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Al-Haj and Eid Al-Adha Al-Mubarak

All Muslims all over the world tries to do Al-Haj which is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and the largest gathering of Muslims people in the world every year. On this time October 14, 2013 the Muslims were in Mecca doing the final stage of Al-Haj. Al-Haj occurs from the 8 to 12 Thu Al-Haja, the last month of the Islamic calendar of twelve months which is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world. Al-Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and a religious duty which must be carried out by each Muslim who have the ability and can afford to do so at least once in the lifetime (women or man).

The selection of pilgrims in Iraq were done by nomination (choose by lot) of about 30,000 limited pilgrims every year. This year, Saudi Arabia officially requested all Muslim countries to decrease the number of pilgrims by about 20% due to construction and development in Mecca. So about 6000 Iraqi pilgrims could not do Al-Haj this year.

Al- Haj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God. During the Haj, the man needs to dress ihram which is a garment consist of two white sheets with sandals, the women required to cover here head hair with Hijab and white dress.

The Haj is associated with the life of the Prophet Mohammed from 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Ibrahim.

<Source: Mawtani>

About 3 million pilgrims join several processing steps, which simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Haj, and perform a series of rituals simplified as shown hereunder:

1- Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, Al-Kaaba building acts as the Muslim direction prayer.
2- Then runs back and forth between the two hills (Al-Safa and Al-Marwah), and drinks from the Zamzam well.
3- After that the pilgrims goes to the Arafat Mountain to stand in vigil, and throws stones in a ritual throwing of stones on the Devil.
4- Final stage is shaving the head of pilgrims, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the four days of Eid Al-Adha which is a big celebration for Muslims and went back to their home.

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October 24, 2013 in Iraq |