Annually, Muslims from around the world are gathered in Saudi Arabia to undertake the rites of the Hajj pilgrimage. The Hajj is on record as the most attended annual gathering, it pools together over two million Muslims who undergo rites in a number of historic and holy sites in the blessed land of Makkah.
According to records, the Saudi government operates a quota system for particularly Muslim majority nations. Africa occupies four slots in the top 10 pilgrim contributing countries for this year.
According to figures published by Gulf news channel Al Jazeera, Egypt with 108,000 pilgrims was Africa’s largest contingent even though they placed fifth on the list. The top contributor was Indonesia followed by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in that order.
Other African countries that made the top 10 are Nigeria (79,000), Africa’s most populous nation is sandwiched by Iran and Turkey. Algeria (36,000) and Morocco (31,000) complete the top 10 list.
According to the Saudi Press Agency as at August 26, 2017; exactly 1,584,269 million people had arrived in the country purposefully for Hajj. Majority arrived via air (1,483,522), others came by sea (14,598) and by land (86,149).
The Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam. It is an annual pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia – where pilgrims observe a number of rites concentrated in the city of Makkah. It is a once in a lifetime event, even though a person can observe it multiple times.