More than 2 Million Muslims gathered near Mecca to perform Hajj
On Thursday, more than 2 million people from around the world have gathered with their palms facing the sky in a request with tears in their eyes in an effort to start anew and erase past mistakes. They are gathered to beg forgiveness and guidance from God in the peak day of the Hajj pilgrimage. A massive crowd of people will be gathered in Mount Arafat to spend the day in appeal and review. This mountain is surrounded by desert, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon more than 1,400 years ago. A 47-years old pilgrim from Egypt, Khaled Ahmed said that we hope that ALLAH will forgive our past mistakes and we hope to have a new start with our God. In his sermon, the prophet called on his followers to repay their debts, beware of Satan, perform 5 daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan and give to charity.
He also called on those with the means to perform the hajj once in a lifetime. He also reminded worshippers of the rights that women have and said that no ethnic group or race has superiority over another except in piety and good action. During the Hajj, pilgrims are expected to shed symbols of materialism, though the trip itself can be quite expensive for most. Male pilgrims are required to wear seamless, white terrycloth garments for the entirety of the Hajj. Women wear loose clothing, cover their hair and forgo makeup and nail polish to achieve a state of humility and spiritual purity. The massive crowds gathered from more than 160 countries around the world, dressed in nearly identical white garments, are meant to symbolize unity among Muslims, humility, and equality before God.