MAKKAH: The hajj begins in Saudi Arabia today. Hundreds of thousands of people set out on a journey from Mecca to Mount Arafat through the valleys of Mina and Muzdalifa. It is expected that this year’s hajj will be attended by some 3.5 million people.
Recently a special light-rail metro was opened, connecting Mecca with the valleys. The following year, when construction is completed, every six hours the light-rail metro will carry up to half a million people.
Hajj is one of the five compulsory duties of a Muslim, guaranteeing him pardon for all sins and the attainment of eternal bliss in the life hereafter.