More than 2 million pilgrims from different parts of the world are performing Hajj today (Monday). All have gathered at the plains of Mount Arafat shortly after the sunrise to perform the most significant ritual of Hajj.
The pilgrims are chanting “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk” (Here I am O Lord, answering your call) seeking blessings and mercy from Allah. Here the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon.
From there, pilgrims will head to an area called Muzdalifa, picking up pebbles along the way for a symbolic stoning of the devil and a casting away of sins that takes place in the Mina valley for three days.
At the end of Hajj, male pilgrims will shave their hair and women will cut a lock of hair in a sign of renewal for completing the pilgrimage. Around the world, Muslims will mark the end of hajj with a celebration called Eid al-Adha.
The holiday, remembering Ibrahim`s willingness to sacrifice his son, sees Muslims slaughter sheep and cattle, distributing the meat to the poor.
As part of the annual Hajj tradition, Ghilaf-e-Kaaba is changed each year before the Hajj begins. This annual traditional ceremony is attended by the governor of Makkah, senior Saudi officials, and other significant personalities.
To ensure security, Saudi Arabia has deployed 10,000 security forces in Mecca, Medina, Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifa and the surrounding areas.