Step 1 - ARRIVAL AND CHANGE: The Purifying Rite of Ihram Step 2 - THE HAJJ RITES IN MECCA: Circling the House of God, Walking between Hagar's Hills, Drinking from the Zamzam Well. Step 4 - THE HAJJ RITES IN THE DESERT: Muzdalifah Step 5 - RETURN TO MINA VALLEY AND CONCLUSION OF THE HAJJ

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Step 1 - ARRIVAL AND CHANGE: The Purifying Rite of Ihram

Step 2 - THE HAJJ RITES IN MECCA: Circling the House of God, Walking between Hagar's Hills, Drinking from the Zamzam Well.

Step 5 - RETURN TO MINA VALLEY AND CONCLUSION OF THE HAJJ

Step 4 - THE HAJJ RITES IN THE DESERT: Muzdalifah

Step 3 - THE HAJJ RITES IN THE DESERT: Mina Valley, Plain of Arafat
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Step 3 - THE HAJJ RITES IN THE DESERT: Mina Valley, Plain of Arafat: Mina Valley, Plain of Arafat

Step 3 - THE HAJJ RITES IN THE DESERT: Mina Valley, Plain of Arafat

Step 3 - THE HAJJ RITES IN THE DESERT: Mina Valley, Plain of Arafat Graphic

THE HAJJ RITES IN THE DESERT: Mina Valley, Plain of Arafat

At this point, the Hajj becomes a moveable ritual, stopping four times along a circular fifteen-mile route through a desert landscape ringed with granite hills.

On the eighth day of the pilgrimage month, pilgrims all leave the city and troop five miles east, into Mina Valley. Here, a tent city of enormous proportions fills the valley for miles around. Pilgrims pass the night in Mina, leaving behind the comforts of civilization and further dissolving class and cultural distinctions, as everyone becomes a wayfarer.

On the morning of the ninth day, the exodus pushes another five miles east, to the Plain of Arafat. Here the high point of the Hajj takes place in the form of a group vigil, called the Day of Standing Together (Yawm al-Wakuf). At Arafat, pilgrims are transported into a timeless frame of mind: Arafat is the location where, Muslims believe, Adam and Eve were reunited after leaving Eden. This is a place set aside for spiritual reunion, where pilgrims come to seek pardon, reclaim their faith, and re-collect their spirit. Muslims often refer to this portion of the Hajj as a rehearsal for the Day of Judgment.


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