Heads of four Islamic states are making the hajj to Islam’s holy shrines in Saudi Arabia this year, Aljazeera said.
The Presidents of Sudan, Somalia, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, along with hundreds of thousands of other hajjis are taking part in the main rites of the hajj dressed in white clothes.
All in all, not more than 2 million Moslems are expected to attend the functions of the hajj in Saudi Arabia this year. About 1.5 million people have already arrived from foreign countries and the remaining 500,000 or so hajjis are the so-called ‘internal pilgrims’.
From three to four million people would usually gather in Mecca and Medina in the past but the restoration and expansion works in Mecca’s Grand Mosque that are going on for a third year in succession have compelled the Saudi authorities to cut down the quotas for hajjis considerably.
For instance, the quota for foreigners has been slashed by 20% and the quota for domestic believers has gone down 50%
Throughout the whole day the hajjis are thronging to towards Mount Arafat located at a distance of 25 km away from Mecca. All of them should arrive by the dawn of Friday in the vicinity of Mount Arafat.