- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Mecca pilgrims hold Friday prayers
- Date: 5th November 2011
- Summary: MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA (NOVEMBER 4, 2011) (REUTERS) CLOSE OF GRAND MOSQUE MINARET, AUDIO OF CALL FOR FRIDAY PRAYERS TOP VIEW OF GRAND MOSQUE, AUDIO OF VOICE FROM LOUDSPEAKERS CALLING FOR PRAYERS PILGRIMS CIRCLING KAABA AT GRAND MOSQUE MINARETS OF GRAND MOSQUE MORE OF PILGRIMS CIRCLING KAABA SCENE AT GRAND MOSQUE VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS PRAYING AROUND KAABA AND PILGRIMS PRAYING AT THE OUTSIDE YARDS OF THE GRAND MOSQUE VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS PRAYING OUTSIDE THE GRAND MOSQUE END OF PRAYERS
- Embargoed: 20th November 2011 12:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA43QH2CQ8P1Y7FO2HPECEOJVG0
- Story Text: Muslims from all over the world were congregating in Mecca for the annual haj pilgrimage on Friday (November 4).
Between 2.5 million and 3 million pilgrims were expected to arrive in Mecca by Friday to perform the haj, a duty that all able-bodied Muslims should undertake at least once in their lifetime.
Upon arrival to Mecca, visitors perform their Tawaf al-Qudum by circling the sacred cube-shaped Kaaba seven times, reciting prayers along the way.
On Friday, the first official day of the haj, all pilgrims are expected to start their journey to Mina -- a small village east of Mecca -- where they will spend the day worshipping before heading to Arafat, a rocky hill nearby.
Pilgrims later travel to an open plain called Muzdalifa, between Arafat and Mina, to collect pebbles which they will throw at pillars representing Satan on the last day of the pilgrimage, celebrated with the Eid al-Adha holiday on Sunday.
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