Holiday & VacationNews

Hajj 2024: Nigerian Muslim Pilgrims From 32 States Prepare Arafat… As Over 1.5 Muslims Arrive In Saudi Arabia

Nigerian Muslim pilgrims, a diverse group from 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are preparing to ascend Mount Arafat.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has successfully transported 50,865 pilgrims, including 31,726 males and 19,139 females, for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, showcasing the unity and diversity of the Nigerian Muslim community.

PRNigeria reports that the Muslim pilgrims were airlifted from 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), excluding Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, and Cross Rivers states in this year’s Hajj.

According to the Kingdom’s General Directorate of Passports, Saudi Arabia has welcomed over 1.5 million pilgrims for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

As of June 10, 1,547,295 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom through various ports, with the majority (1,483,312) arriving by air.

The remaining pilgrims arrived through land and sea ports.

The directorate emphasises its commitment to facilitating the entry process for all pilgrims, utilising advanced technology and a team of multilingual personnel.

Last year’s Hajj drew over 1.8 million worshipers, and this year’s pilgrimage is expected to exceed that number.

The Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is a sacred journey of immense significance. It is mandatory for all physically and financially capable Muslims.

The pilgrimage began on June 14 and involved various rituals, including Tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba), travel to Mina, a day of worship on the Mountain of Arafat, and the symbolic stoning of pillars representing evil.

Pilgrims have begun performing Tawaf and will proceed to Mina on the first day of Hajj.

They will then engage in a day of worship on the Mountain of Arafat, then transition to Muzdalifah, where they will gather pebbles for the stoning ritual.

Saudi authorities have implemented a comprehensive set of measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all pilgrims.

These measures include tighter security and health guidelines and preparations to combat extreme weather conditions, providing a reassuring environment for the pilgrimage.

The Hajj rituals include wearing Ihram (a state of spiritual purity), travelling to Mina, spending a day in prayer and remembrance, collecting pebbles at Muzdalifah, stoning the pillars in Mina, performing Qurbani (sacrifice), and trimming or shaving hair.

The pilgrimage concludes with a farewell Tawaf in Mecca.

Meanwhile, 30 Nigerian Muslims invited by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, as special guests are also attending the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage.

The invitation recognises their contributions to Islamic education and enlightenment.

The guests include Islamic scholars, communication specialists, public officers, businesspeople, and social media influencers.

Among those invited are: Yushau Abdulhameed Shuaib, publisher of PRNigeria and Economic Confidential; Rasheed Abubakar of Muslim News Nigeria; Abdulateef Aliyu of Daily Trust; Dr. Awa Ibraheem, financial expert; Justice Abdullateef Kamaldeen, Kwara State Grand Khadi; – Hajia Hadiza Ndamadi, First Lady of Jigawa State; Justice Idris Haroun, a retired Grand Khadi; Bashir Ahmed and Jubril Gawut, social media influencers.

Other include Sheikh Sufyan Abdullah, Sheikh Imran Eleha, Sheikh Dr. Sani Abubakar Birnin Kudu and Dr. Nasir Abubakar among others.

The king’s invitation was also extended to guests from 90 countries worldwide.

By PRNigeria

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