Saudi Arabia Announces the Haj 2024 Commencement on June 14

asmaa - | Arab News

June 14 will mark the beginning of the 2024 Haj pilgrimage, according to Saudi Arabia's official announcement. Astronomical observatories spotted the crescent Moon on Thursday evening, at the start of the month when the yearly pilgrimage takes place, and the decision was made accordingly.

Saudi Arabia's Announcement

Saudi Arabia has officially announced that the Haj pilgrimage for the year 2024 will commence on June 14. The decision was made following the sighting of the crescent moon by astronomical observatories on Thursday evening, marking the beginning of the month in which the annual pilgrimage falls.

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia declared that Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar, would commence on Friday. This determination was communicated by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The Haj pilgrimage holds significant religious importance in Islam, being one of the five pillars of the faith. It is obligatory for all Muslims who have the means to undertake it at least once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage entails a series of rituals that are performed over a period of at least four days in Makkah and its surrounding areas in western Saudi Arabia.

The focal point of the pilgrimage occurs on the second day, when pilgrims gather for prayers on Mount Arafat. This year, this significant event will take place on June 15, while the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha is scheduled for June 16, as reported by SPA.

In the previous year, over 1.8 million Muslims participated in the Haj pilgrimage, according to official statistics. This underscores the magnitude and significance of the annual pilgrimage in the Islamic world.

Anticipation and preparation

The announcement of the commencement of the Haj pilgrimage on June 14 signifies a deeply rooted tradition in Islam. It marks the beginning of a spiritual journey for millions of Muslims worldwide. With the sighting of the crescent moon, a sense of anticipation and preparation fills the air as pilgrims from diverse backgrounds gather in Saudi Arabia for this sacred event.

The decision made by the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia regarding the start of Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic calendar, is of paramount importance. It serves as a guide for Muslims globally, ensuring alignment in the observance of religious practices and rituals.

The Haj pilgrimage is not merely a physical journey; it is a spiritual undertaking of immense significance. For believers, it represents a profound expression of faith and devotion to Allah. The rituals performed during the pilgrimage symbolize unity, humility, and submission to the will of God.

As one of the five pillars of Islam, the Haj pilgrimage holds a central place in the faith. It is a duty incumbent upon every capable Muslim, reinforcing the principle of equality and solidarity among believers. Regardless of social status or background, all pilgrims are equal before God during the Haj, emphasizing the universality of Islam.

The rituals of the Haj pilgrimage unfold over several days, each carrying its own spiritual significance. From the Tawaf around the Kaaba to the symbolic stoning of the devil at Mina, every action is imbued with meaning and purpose. Pilgrims immerse themselves in prayer, reflection, and supplication, seeking forgiveness and spiritual purification.

Mount Arafat stands as the pinnacle of the pilgrimage experience, where pilgrims gather in a profound display of devotion. It is here that they beseech God for mercy and guidance, acknowledging their own weaknesses and shortcomings. The collective supplication on Mount Arafat epitomizes the essence of the pilgrimage—a journey of self-discovery, repentance, and spiritual renewal.

The significance of the Haj pilgrimage extends beyond its religious dimensions; it is also a cultural and social phenomenon. The annual gathering of millions of Muslims from diverse backgrounds fosters a sense of unity and solidarity within the global Muslim community. It is a time for fellowship, compassion, and mutual support, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

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