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Hajj 2018: Muslims Around the World Take the Holy Pilgrimage

India | Associated Press | August 21, 2018, 3:50 pm
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 More than 2 million Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage at first light on Sunday (August 19) in Saudi Arabia, circling the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca that Islam's faithful face five times each day during their prayers. (Image: AP)

More than 2 million Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage at first light on Sunday (August 19) in Saudi Arabia, circling the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca that Islam's faithful face five times each day during their prayers. (Image: AP)

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 The five-day hajj pilgrimage represents one of the world's biggest gatherings every year, and is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life. (Image: AP)

The five-day hajj pilgrimage represents one of the world's biggest gatherings every year, and is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life. (Image: AP)

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 The hajj offers pilgrims an opportunity to feel closer to God amid the Muslim world's many challenges, including the threat of violence and extremists in the Mideast and the plight of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority. (Image: AP)

The hajj offers pilgrims an opportunity to feel closer to God amid the Muslim world's many challenges, including the threat of violence and extremists in the Mideast and the plight of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims gather at the Plain of Arafat and climb the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims gather at the Plain of Arafat and climb the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslims believe the hajj retraces the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as those of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail — Abraham and Ishmael in the Bible. (Image: AP)

Muslims believe the hajj retraces the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as those of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail — Abraham and Ishmael in the Bible. (Image: AP)

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 Muslims believe God stayed the hand of Ibrahim after commanding him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. (Image: AP)

Muslims believe God stayed the hand of Ibrahim after commanding him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. (Image: AP)

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 In the Christian and Jewish version of the story, Abraham is ordered to kill his other son, Isaac. (Image: AP)

In the Christian and Jewish version of the story, Abraham is ordered to kill his other son, Isaac. (Image: AP)

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 The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness of God. (Image: AP)

The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness of God. (Image: AP)

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 Muslims circle the Kaaba counter-clockwise seven times while reciting supplications to God, then walk between the two hills traveled by Hagar, Ibrahim's wife. (Image: AP)

Muslims circle the Kaaba counter-clockwise seven times while reciting supplications to God, then walk between the two hills traveled by Hagar, Ibrahim's wife. (Image: AP)

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 Mecca's Grand Mosque, the world's largest, encompasses the Kaaba and the two hills. (Image: AP)

Mecca's Grand Mosque, the world's largest, encompasses the Kaaba and the two hills. (Image: AP)

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 A Muslim pilgrim prays as another pilgrim takes a photo, at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

A Muslim pilgrim prays as another pilgrim takes a photo, at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims walks towards their bus as they leave for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims walks towards their bus as they leave for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 A Muslim pilgrim wheels his children on a wheelchair towards the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

A Muslim pilgrim wheels his children on a wheelchair towards the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 A Muslim hajji pilgrim accompanies his blind relative as they walk towards Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

A Muslim hajji pilgrim accompanies his blind relative as they walk towards Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrim prepare to get on the bus as they leave for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrim prepare to get on the bus as they leave for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims walk towards Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims walk towards Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims take photos at the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims take photos at the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims walk towards Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims walk towards Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims walks towards Namirah Mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims walks towards Namirah Mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims pray on the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims pray on the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims visit the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, upon their arrival to Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims visit the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, upon their arrival to Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim hajji pilgrims pray at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim hajji pilgrims pray at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims attend noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim hajji pilgrims offer morning prayers at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim hajji pilgrims offer morning prayers at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims walk past the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain during the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims walk past the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain during the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 A Muslim hajji pilgrim prays at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

A Muslim hajji pilgrim prays at Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Blind Muslim pilgrims are accompanied by relatives as they walk towards the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Blind Muslim pilgrims are accompanied by relatives as they walk towards the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims gather at the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims gather at the Jabal Al Rahma holy mountain, or the mountain of forgiveness, at Arafat for the annual hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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 Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers on the road near the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Image: AP)

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