DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A rare quiet has already fallen over the Grand Mosque of Mecca, which normally draws thousands of worshippers throughout the day and night, circling it and praying toward it.
(The Conversation) — Mecca’s sites average 4.96 TripAdvisor stars out of 5, while Europe’s 200 best-rated tourist destinations average 3.96 stars.
(RNS) — Some American Muslims are saying it's time to send a message to Saudi Arabia by boycotting the pilgrimage to Mecca. Why it's important to keep hajj a personal, not a political decision.
(The Conversation) — Nearly 2 million Muslim pilgrims are gathering in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for all Muslims who are able to undertake the five-day pilgrimage.
LOS ANGELES (RNS) — A new group founded a year ago is helping Muslim women make the pilgrimage to Mecca by providing money, advice and even rewriting the narrative about women and hajj.
(RNS) — In public and private messages on Facebook, Salman Azhar described the pilgrimage that he and his wife are set to conclude on Sunday, one that included lessons in self-restraint, humility and love of God.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia uses its oversight of the hajj to bolster its standing in the Muslim world — and to spite its foes, from Iran and Syria to Qatar.
(RNS) It took less than 24 hours to crowdsource the funds to build a mosque that will be called Masjid Nabra, which is already under construction.
(RNS) Whether the president's time abroad will appease faith groups upset by his proposed Muslim travel ban and his waffling over the possibility of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem — among other thorny issues — remains to be seen.
Custodian of Islam's most revered places, Saudi Arabia stakes its reputation on organizing hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to is obliged to undertake the hajj at least once.
(RNS) A slideshow of Ramadan observed as a time of prayer and reflection, and typically large evening meals featuring specialty foods which vary across cultures.
(RNS) Drawing an estimated 17 million pilgrims, the Shiite ritual known as Arbaeen dwarfs even the hajj. Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the seventh-century slaying of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, which engendered the Sunni-Shiite schism.
(Reuters) Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran expressed outrage at the deaths of 131 of its nationals at the world's largest annual gathering of people while politicians in Tehran suggested Riyadh was incapable of managing the event.
At least 717 pilgrims were killed Thursday on the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha in a crush at Mina outside the holy city of Mecca.
(REUTERS) Al Arabiya television said the crane fell because of recent, strong sand storms. The accident happened just weeks before Mecca will be thronged with Haj pilgrims.
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