8 November 2010, 19:08

Russian Muslims on Hajj to Saudi Arabia

 Russian Muslims on Hajj to Saudi Arabia
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At least 20,000 Muslims from Russia are taking part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

At least 20,000 Muslims from Russia are taking part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This number may increase next year, but the quota for Russian pilgrims to Arabia is still not enough, the spokesman of Russia’s Mufti Council Damir Gizatullin told the VoR

In our opinion, Russia needs a quota for at least 25-28,000 people. We have forwarded letters to the King of Saudi Arabia to change the Hajj quotas for Russians who had no chance for the pilgrimage during the 70 years of Communism.

The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina  is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out by every Muslim at least once in their lifetime . Russian government established a special commission that supports the Hajj pilgrims and provides them with everything they need, Damir Gizatullin says

The Mufti Council has a Hajj committee whose meetings are attended by government officials, transport, customs and passport control services. We also have doctors who vaccinate people in preparation for the pilgrimage and later accompany the pilgrims.

Recently, more young people have been taking the Hajj to Mecca. Also, the number of pilgrims from  central Russia has recently increased by 30 percent.

Saudi Arabia has provided a special terminal in Jidda’s King Abdulaziz International Airport  and Medina’s Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz airport for the pilgrims. A new hi-tech passport control system will facilitate the entry procedure.

The Hajj will last for 10 days, during which pilgrims should perform a series of rituals: each person walks counter-clockwise about the Ka’bah, the cube-shaped building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer,  drinks from the Zamzam Well, and goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil.

The pilgrimage will end with the major holiday of Kurban Bayram or the Sacrifice Feast commemorating prophet Ibrahim who was ready to sacrifice his son in love for the name of his God.

This year the feast will begin at sunset on November 16 and will last for 4 days


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