Sourced Content (Australasian Muslim)
Sydney, Australia, September 1, 2017
More than two million people have descended on Makkah, Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj this year. Comparatively, 1,080,000 men and 780,000 women performed Hajj last year.
Most pilgrims for Hajj come from Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Nigeria in descending order.
Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Makkah during the specific Islamic calendar dates in the month of Zulhijjah is considered one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam.
The first day of the six-day Hajj journey commenced on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 ending on Monday, September 4, and includes overnight stay in Mina followed by spending the day on Nine Zulhijjah at the plain of Arafah and by completing the rituals of rami, sacrifice, tawaf and sai during the rest of the days.
During the same period on 10 Zulhijjah, Muslims in other parts of the world will be celebrating Eid Al Adha, the festival of sacrifice commemorating Prophet Ibrahim (a) act of obedience to God’s command.
Eid Al Adha was celebrated largely on Friday, September 1, 2017 throughout the world based on the global sighting of the crescent moon except in India, Pakistan and Iran where it was celebrated today (Saturday, September 2) based on regional moonsighting.
The Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamad together with the Australian National Imams Council in a media release has declared Friday 1, September for Muslims to celebrate Eid Al Adha in Australia.
The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Australia, therefore, offered Eid Al Adha prayers on Friday, September 1, while some mosques conducted prayers today (Saturday, September 2).
The celebrations for the feast of Eid Al Adha will continue from Friday well into the weekend with early morning prayers, sacrifice of animals, visits to family, friends, neighbours and backyard BBQs.
Many Muslims on this day visit the sick and elderly at their residence, hospitals or nursing homes as well as pay a visit to the cemetery to remember their loved ones who have passed away and pray for their salvation.
Zia Ahmad is Managing Editor, Australasian Muslim Times, a monthly web-based newspaper published from Sydney, Australia. The above article, which appeared in the September 2017 issue of the publication, has been reproduced here with the permission of Mr Ahmad.
Masjid Al-Haram (The Grand Mosque) with the Kaaba in the centre in Makkah.