Over 2 Million Pilgrims Embark on a Heat-Stricken Hajj Amid Global Conflicts

In the sweltering desert near Mecca, over 2 million Muslim pilgrims have begun the annual Hajj pilgrimage, marking a significant spiritual journey under extreme heat conditions and amidst ongoing regional conflicts. This year’s Hajj sees a significant participation from various countries, including a notable presence from war-torn areas like the West Bank and Syria, reflecting a broader yearning for peace and unity among Muslims. Despite the closure of the Rafah crossing preventing Gaza residents from attending, Saudi Arabia invited 1,000 Palestinians affected by the conflict.

The pilgrimage, one of Islam’s Five Pillars, requires participants to perform a series of rituals commemorating Prophet Ibrahim’s story. Strict security measures are in place to ensure the safety of the pilgrims, who are expected to face temperatures soaring up to 48°C. This year’s pilgrimage also highlights the resumption of large-scale participation after COVID-19 restrictions, underscoring the resilience and enduring faith of the global Muslim community.