Ahmed, IOL Correspondent
December 24 (IslamOnline.net) – Around 7,000 Muslims in the Russian Federation are to leave for Saudi Arabia early in
January to perform Hajj.
of the Central Religious Administration of Russian Muslims Mohamed Ghali Khuzen said that procedures to grant the pilgrims
entry visas will begin this week and end by January 5.
marks an increase of 2.000 pilgrims on that of last year. Some 20-25 million Muslims live in Russia according to the latest
census, including 2.5 million in Moscow.
IslamOnline.net that the increase of pilgrims came after more 350 Muslims from Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan
opted for Hajj, and the same that number opted for performing Hajj this year.
The fifth Pillar of Islam is the pilgrimage (hajj) to Makkah and its
surroundings, Saudi Arabia. Muslims travel from all over the world every year to perform Hajj.First Batch
who doubles a member of the Russian government Pilgrimage Affairs Council - pointed out that the first batch of pilgrims will
leave Kazan on January 3.
in an interview with the Russian Novosti news agency on December 20 that Saudi Arabia would close its land borders on January
by road between Russia and Saudi Arabia takes seven days. Hence, journeys by road will start at the beginning of January 2005,
while most air flights will take off between January 10- 12.
pilgrims this year will be from northern Caucasus as usual. Most of them will head towards Mecca without passing through the
Iraqi territories due to the deteriorating security situation there.
authorities have asked those pilgrims to be vaccinated against diphtheria and other fatal diseases and decided that each pilgrim
should carry a badge carrying his or her name, passport details, and place of residence in the sacred places in the Islamic
pilgrims are expected to return home by the end of next January.
of Russian pilgrims last year amounted to 5.500, less than the quota of visas allocated by virtue of the resolutions of the
Organization of Islamic Conference to Saudi Arabia.
The Russian federation includes 10 Islamic republics in addition to
Russian provinces and governorates in which a large number of Muslims live.Hajj Rituals
of Hajj date back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and commemorate his willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isma`il
(Ishmael). During the days of Hajj, the pilgrims attempt to forget all but their most basic worldly needs and to focus their
attention and devotion on Allah Alone.
in Makkah, the pilgrims first circumambulate the Ka'bah seven times in a ritual known as Tawaf. This ritual reminds the pilgrims
that Allah (God) should be the focus and center of their lives.
also go to Madinah - another Saudi city - before or after Hajj in order to pray in the Prophet’s Mosque and visit his
grave, although this visit to Madinah is not a must.