Over two million pilgrims from 160 countries have started moving from Makkah to Mina in Saudi Arabia, marking the commencement of this year’s holy pilgrimage.
The pilgrims, including over 95,000 Nigerians, are expected to spend the whole of Monday in provided tents in Mina.
They are also to pass the night there.
This event is commonly referred to as: “Layali al Tashriq.”
The pilgrims will leave Mina for Arafah on Tuesday morning in continuation of hajj rites.
The pilgrims at Mina are expected to read the Holy Qur’an, offer prayers and listen to Islamic lectures among others.
Mina, which is also known as Muna, is commonly called the City of the Tents.
It is situated within the holy sites borders between Makkah and Muzdalifah.
It is about 8km from the Holy Mosque and can only be inhabited during hajj period.
Mina can host up to three million pilgrims.
The City of the Tents is also believed to be the location of the pledges in Al-Aqaba of the Ansar to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
In those days, pilgrims would bring their own tents to the valley and dismantle them while returning from the hajj.
Meanwhile, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria on Sunday night started the transportation of the Nigerian pilgrims from Makkah to Mina for the commencement of the hajj rites on Monday (today).
The Coordinator of NAHCON’s committee for the movement (Taraddudiyyah), Dr. Aliyu Abubakar Tanko, who spoke in an interview after the pre-Arafah conference in Makkah on Saturday, said the midnight movement was to ease the transportation of pilgrims and to avoid congestions on the roads, which were the hallmark of the old movement system.
Dr. Tanko, therefore, enjoined the pilgrims to strictly and religiously abide by the guidelines of the Saudi Jamar’at master plan.
This year’s hajj is the first full capacity hajj since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.