Hajj pilgrimage 2017: What is the Kaaba? All you need to know
The Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and all believers are required to perform it at least once in their lives, as long as their health allows it.
The holy event takes place in several locations around the city of Mecca, and lasts for five days of intense worship.
What is Kaaba?
The Ka'bah, also referred as al-ka`bah al-musharrafah, is a building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque, that is Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām, in Mecca, Hejaz, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam.
When does the Hajj start?
The Hajj takes place every year between the 8th and the 12th of Dhu al-Hijja, the final month of the Islamic calendar ( It is based on the movements of the moon and the fact date of the Hajj shifts every year).
This year the Hajj will begin from August 30 and end on the evening of September 4.
How is the Hajj observed?
The Hajj pilgrimage involves several sacred rituals and strict rules that are carried out over the five day event. All Muslims travelling to Mecca are required to wear white ihram garments, which are symbolic of their purity.
They are also forbidden from shaving, using scented soaps and fighting arguing throughout.
When they enter Mecca's Grand Mosque, Muslims will start the Tawaf, during which they will circle the Ka'ba seven times, followed by a kneeling prayer.
Who's sending the most pilgrims in 2017?
Indonesia - 2,21,000
Pakistan - 1,79,210
India - 1,70,000
Bangladesh - 1,27,198
Egypt - 1,08,000