One million Muslim pilgrims were converging on Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on Wednesday for the largest hajj since the COVID-19 pandemic severely curtailed access to one of Islam’s five pillars.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow some 850,000 Muslims from abroad to make the annual pilgrimage, which begins on Thursday, marks a major step toward normalcy after two years of a drastically scaled-down hajj restricted to Saudi residents.
The one million foreign and domestic pilgrims participating is still far less than the 2.5 million Muslims who travelled in 2019 for the pilgrimage, typically one of the world’s largest gatherings.
Those performing the ritual this
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