Charlotte-area Muslims gather to mark holiday honoring Abraham, pilgrimage to Mecca

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Based on Islamic rules, every Muslim possessing the necessary physical and financial capabilities is obligated to perform the Tamattu pilgrimage once in his or her lifetime over a five-day period from the eighth to the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month on the lunar calendar.

He said several government ministries and private organizations have cooperated to make the hajj go off smoothly and ensure the pilgrims' comfort and safety. It's the most sacred shrine of Islam.

Qatar has strongly denied the accusations, as it emerged less than 100 people from the country have made the pilgrimage this year compared to 12,000 last year.

To prepare Americans for traveling to the hajj, the Council on American-Islamic Relations conducted a webinar that discussed people's rights while traveling at customs, USA entry points and airport security checkpoints. It was the worst disaster to strike haj for at least 25 years. Thousands of civil servants are deployed to the pilgrimage each year. Together they share meals, prayers and very close living quarters.

Dressed in white, the pilgrims could be seen climbing up the sides of the hill and taking up positions to pray on rocks already heated by the morning sun.

Saleh congratulated Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board for provision of standard facilities during the hajj and urged pilgrims to pray for the leadership of the board.

The hajj has always been a part of Saudi Arabia's politics.

The over-consumerism during the Hajj season acts as a distraction from prayer, reflection and enhancing the value of brotherhood and solidarity by spending time with fellow Muslims from across the world.

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The Council, which was created at the end of 2013, consists of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and key ministers. Her official meetings with Abe and other Japanese officials are scheduled for Thursday in Tokyo.

Authorities only segregate men and women at the Hajj in terms of sleeping arrangements.

Given the huge religious significance of Hajj for individuals and communities, it is with a slight sense of unease that I observe the ever-increasing encroachment of materialism onto the occasion. They are also more likely to favor educating girls and encourage female labor participation.

After finishing the stone-throwing ritual on the first day of Eid al-Adha, male pilgrims traditionally shave or cut their hair and change out of their seamless robes.

The holiday is marked by the sacrifice of sheep instead by Muslim communities around the world. The hajj concludes Friday, as pilgrims sacrifice an animal. People stream back and forth between the pillars and the Kaaba, posing a major crowd control challenge for organizers.

Later in the day, they return to Mina to stay overnight and throw stones for two more days.

In 2015, 2,300 pilgrims were killed in a fatal stampede during the Stoning of the Devil rituals.

Prince Khalid al-Faisal, the prince of the Mecca region, announced on Sunday the success of this season's annual Hajj pilgrimage.

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