13 Facts About Hajj

1. Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims.

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2. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and of supporting their family during their absence from home.

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3. In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to the Kaaba, the "House of God", in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

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4. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God.

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5. The word Hajj means "to attend a journey", which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions.

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6. Date of Hajj is determined by the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar year.

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7. Every year, the events of Hajj take place in a ten-day period, starting on 1 and ending on 10 Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and last month of the Islamic calendar.

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8. Hajj described the reason that there was no water at Mount Arafat on the 8th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

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9. Today many pilgrims buy a sacrifice voucher in Mecca before the greater Hajj begins, which allows an animal to be slaughtered in the name of God on the 10th, without the pilgrim being physically present.

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10. Apart from being an obligatory religious duty, the Hajj is seen to have a spiritual merit that provides Muslims with an opportunity of self-renewal.

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11. Hajj serves as a reminder of the Day of Judgment when Muslims believe people will stand before God.

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12. Hajj brings together and unites the Muslims from different parts of the world irrespective of their race, colour, and culture, which acts as a symbol of equality.

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13. Hajj said that, despite few cases of MERS, Saudi Arabia was ready for the 2014 pilgrimage.

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