Some 39,000 Iranian Hajj pilgrims have so far arrived in Saudi Arabia, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Some 39,000 Iranian Hajj pilgrims have so far arrived in Saudi Arabia, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said.
Hamid Mohammadi said flights carrying the pilgrims from Iran to Medina and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, began on July 18, and by Friday, August 3, 39,000 Hajjis arrived in the Land of Revelation.
He said flights to Medina will run until August 10 and those to Jeddah continue until the last batch of Iranians arrive in Saudi Arabia.
The returning flights will run from August 26 to September 15, the official added.
Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city in Islam.
It is regarded as one of the pillars of Islam and the largest act of mass pilgrimage in the world.
The holy pilgrimage is also a demonstration of Muslims’ unity and their submission to Allah.
Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to perform the pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime.
Like last year, more than 85,000 Iranian pilgrims will make the pilgrimage this year.
In 2017, some 85,000 pilgrims from Iran travelled to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
A year earlier, more than 1.8 million pilgrims attended Hajj, but Iranians stayed at home after tensions between Riyadh and Tehran boiled over following a deadly crush of people during the 2015 pilgrimage.
On September 24, 2015, thousands of people lost their lives in the deadly crush after Saudi authorities blocked a road in Mina during a ritual, forcing large crowds of pilgrims to collide.
The crush was the deadliest incident in the history of the pilgrimage. According to an Associated Press count based on official statements from the 36 countries that lost citizens in the disaster, more than 2,400 pilgrims were killed in the incident.
Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people, including over 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives.