Pilgrims on Mt. Arafat at dawn, above.
Hajj is the ultimate lifetime journey. The sheer numbers of pilgrims who make this journey each year is unlike anything else.
Each ritual has a deeper meaning than its mere performance. All pilgrims are equal in the Hajj regardless to ethnicity or race or nationality or “school” of Islamic practice. They wear special clothing to emphasize this, as simple as possible.
A picture of Makkah from about 1700. The Ka’aba itself looks the same! But look at how the city has changed.
The same rituals are performed as they were during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammad. Below, a picture from around 1940.
And below this, a modern photo of the same ritual, throwing stones at a rock representing Satan.
More people, more urgency to get enough space to do the ritual. Sometimes gets out of hand. And other rocks are much larger to accommodate more people.
The front of the Ka’aba from up close, with its beautiful cover and calligraphy.
Remembering Arafat, the high point of the Hajj, we return to the Ka’aba to circle it seven times.
And have a blessed Eid!