Mina.- two million Muslims gather annually for the Hajj, many staying in tented accommodations at certain stages of the pilgrimage (2).
Pilgrims gather on the plain of 'Arafat at the Mount of Mercy, where the Prophet (PBUH) delivered his Farewell Sermon (2).
A pillar marks the Mount of Mercy the rocky hill rising from the plain of Arafat
Waqfa - pilgrims dressed in 'ihram', a garment made of two seamless white sheets or towels symbolising purity and equality, perform the ritual of waqfa (standing before Allah) at the Mount of Mercy (1).
Hajjis spend one night camped at Muzdalifah between Arafat and Mina
Bus en route from Muzdalifa at break of dawn (1)
Crowds at the small town of Mina cast pebbles at pillars that symbolise evil
The Ka'bah and Masjid Al Haram at the end of the 19th century - the buildings next to the Ka'bah have since been demolished leaving plenty of room for the tawaf..
The Ka'bah and Masjid Al Haram in modern times (1).
Tawaf - pilgrims walk seven times around the Ka'bah in a conterclockwise direction, starting at the southeastern corner of the Ka'bah.
The elderly and infirm are carried around the Ka'bah (1)
The Black Stone - embedded in the southeastern corner of the Ka'bah. It is believed to be a remnant of the original structure built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ishmael (PBUT).The stone is kissed by some during Hajj but it carries no devotional significance
The Station of Ibrahim - the site where Ibrahim (PBUH) stood while he built the Ka'bah
The sa'y (or "running") commemorates Hagar's (PBUH) search for water to quench Ishmael's (PBUH) thirst. She ran back and forth seven times between two rocky hillocks, al-Safa and al-Marwah and found the sacred water known as Zamzam. The area has been developed into a covered portico and even has narrow passageways set aside for those in wheelchairs.
Zamzam - this water, which sprang forth miraculously under Ishmael's (PBUH) tiny feet, is now enclosed in a marble chamber in the Ka'bah.
Towards the end of the Hajj the sacrifice of an animal such a sheep, goat or camel takes place. This festival of sacrifice (Eid ul-Adha) commerates Prophet Ibrahim's (PBUH) willingness to sacrifice his son for God. Here camels are herded for the modern day sacrifice (1).
A dish of baby camel meat, roasted whole, served during the feasts at the end of Hajj (1).