- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Muslim pilgrims perform closing rituals of haj
- Date: 29th October 2012
- Summary: MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA (OCTOBER 29, 2012) (REUTERS) OVERHEAD VIEW OF THE HOLY KAABA STONE AT THE GRAND MOSQUE WITH MUSLIM PILGRIMS PERFORMING THEIR LAST CIRCULATION OF THE STONE DURING THIS YEAR'S HAJ IN A RITUAL CALLED THE FAREWELL (FINAL TAWAF) OVERHEAD VIEW OF GRAND MOSQUE VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS CIRCULATING AROUND KAABA DURING THE FAREWELL (FINAL TAWAF) RITE PILGRIMS TOUCHING STATION OF IBRAHIM (MAQAM IBRAHIM) DURING THE FAREWELL (FINAL TAWAF) RITE PILGRIMS SPEAKING TO SECURITY OFFICERS AT THE KAABA VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS PRAYING TO GOD AFTER ENDING THE TAWAF RITE PILGRIMS PERFORMING TAWAF RITE AROUND KAABA PILGRIMS TOUCHING THE WALL OF KAABA KAABA WITH PILGRIMS CIRCULATING PILGRIMS WALKING AND PRAYING TO GOD PILGRIMS CIRCULATING AROUND KAABA VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS DRINKING THE HOLY WATER OF ZAMAZAM SIGN READING ARABIC AND URDU 'ZAMZAM' MINARETS OF THE GRAND MOSQUE AND TOWERS THE GIANT MECCA TOWER AND CLOCK VARIOUS OF OUTSIDE AREAS OF THE GRAND MOSQUE FULL WITH PILGRIMS STREET SIGN READING ARABIC AND ENGLISH 'IBRAHIM AL KHALIL ROAD' ('ROAD OF ABRAHAM') VARIOUS OF PIGEONS EATING SEED OFF GROUND
- Embargoed: 13th November 2012 12:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Royalty
- Reuters ID: LVA5FBA18XL8J9KCU59T3LMTENAC
- Story Text: Thousands of Muslim pilgrims walked around the holy Kaaba stone in the Grand Mosque complex in Mecca to perform the farewell Tawaf ritual as this year's haj neared its end on Monday (October 29).
Pilgrims also performed the holy ritual of drinking holy Zam Zam water.
The haj pilgrimage is one of the faith's so-called five pillars and a religious duty for all Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime if they are capable of it.
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and its ruling monarchy has guardianship of Islam's holiest sites of Mecca and Medina.
Mecca Governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal Khaled declared the pilgrimage this year a success, saying that all rites have been conducted peacefully without any major incident.
He put the final number of people who attended haj this year at 3.6 million people.
The Saudi Health Ministry, in a report on the haj, said there had been no major outbreaks of disease reported despite the large number of people, thanks to strict health precautions.
The Saudi authorities have spent billions of dollars in recent years improving haj infrastructure to avoid a repeat of accidents which have killed hundreds of people during haj pilgrimages in past years.
As the crowds of pilgrims who attended this year's haj disperse, pigeons are able to reclaim the holy city where they are such a familiar sight.
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