15 Photos From The Hajj Pilgrimage In Mecca

Millions of Muslims travel to Mecca for the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage which all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform once in their lives.

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Muslim pilgrims pray while touching the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, while performing Tawaf, an anti-clockwise movement around the Kaaba and one of the main rites of the annual pilgrimage, known as hajj, in Saudi Arabia.

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A Muslim pilgrims poses for a photograph as he climbs Noor Mountain to Hiraa cave, where Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from God to preach Islam, on the outskirts of Mecca.

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Muslim Pilgrims attend Friday afternoon prayers outside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca.

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Muslim pilgrims arrive for the Maghrib late afternoon prayer at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

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A Muslim pilgrim prays atop Noor Mountain outside the Hiraa cave, where Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from God to preach Islam, on the outskirts of Mecca.

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Pilgrims queue atop Noor Mountain outside the Hiraa cave.

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Pilgrim heads towards Mount Hira where Prophet Mohamed is believed to have received the first verses of Quran from the Angel Gabriel in Mecca.


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Roughly 3 million people from around the world are expected to converge at the Kaaba, in Mina and other nearby areas for the hajj, which lasts about five days.

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All able-bodied Muslims are required to perform the pilgrimage once in their lives.

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Muslim pilgrims circle counterclockwise at Islam's holiest shrine, the Kaaba, at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

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Muslim pilgrims pray at the Kaaba.

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A pilgrim cries while praying in Mecca.

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In Mecca, the annual pilgrimage began with over millions of faithful gathering to call out in Arabic: "Here I am, God, answering your call. Here I am."

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Prayers at the pilgrimage are aimed at ultimately erasing past sins.


Mosa'ab Elshamy / AP

Pilgrims walk outside the Grand Mosque.