In the footsteps of Prophet


Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims circulate 
around the Kaaba (the black cube seen at center) 
inside the Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest shrine, in Mecca. 
The Kaaba is the original place of worship that Muslims believe 
Abraham and Ishmael built 4,000 years ago. More than 2 million 
pilgrims are expected to take part in the Muslim annual "hajj" pilgrimage



A pilgrim from India prays for forgiveness at 
the site of Prophet Muhammad's last sermon. 
Hundreds of thousands of faithful gathered 
to pray in a symbolic enactment of the Final 
Judgment,which marks the high point of the hajj



A Muslim pilgrim counts his stones in the valley of Mina, 
near the birthplace of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. 
"The Stoning of the Satan" is a traditional ritual on 
the first day of Eid al-Adha, the four-day celebration 
of the completion of the hajj. 
This year 35 people were killed in a stampede during this ritual



Saudis and foreign workers pray inside a tent in Mina, 
three kilometers southeast of Mecca, earlier in the week, 
while setting up tents to receive some 2 million pilgrims



On the first day of Eid al-Adha, Muslim pilgrims 
shave their heads as part of a purification ritual




Pilgrims converge on Arafat, the site of 
Prophet Muhammad's last sermon, to pray in 
a symbolic enactment of the Final Judgment




An Iraqi pilgrim holds up his national flag as hundreds 
of thousands of Muslim pilgrims gather on Mount Arafat




Muslim pilgrims gather around the holy Kaaba 
at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. 
The faithful circle the cube-shaped Kaaba seven times, 
the traditional greeting of worshipers to the holy shrine


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