Hajj 2018 in pictures: Stunning photos as millions of Muslims make pilgrimage to Mecca


The 2018 Hajj officially begins on Sunday August 19 until Friday August 24, where three million Muslims are expected to gather at the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Today, thousands have already arrived at the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, inside the Grand Mosque, to pray.

Pictures show a mass of people during morning prayers, before the sun rises.

The Hajj is the largest single gathering of people on the planet, with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia being one Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime.

The word Hajj is an Arabic word, meaning ‘to intend a journey’.

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam – the others are shahadah (declaration of faith); salat (daily prayer); zakat (giving of alms); sawm (fasting in Ramadan).

It is mandatory for Muslim adults to go on Hajj at least once in their lifetime. They must be of sound mind and physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.