Nearly 2 million Muslims from around the world are gathering this weekend in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, for the annual pilgrimage.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and Muslims believe it fosters universal relationships and symbolizes how everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah. It is a journey every sane adult Muslim from every race, color, and social status must undertake at least once in their lives, as long as they are physically able and can afford it.
These are some of the people taking the journey to Saudi Arabia this year.
1. This pilgrim who cycled from China.
A Chinese man who goes by the name Mohamed rode his bicycle all the way into Saudi Arabia to perform hajj and was welcomed by a local cycling club in Taif, a city in the Mecca province, when he arrived, according to local news reports. Mohamed reportedly cycled over 5,000 miles from his home in Xinjiang, northwest China, which took him nearly four months.
2. And this pilgrim who cycled from Russia.
Bulat Nassib Abdulla, 24, left Russia on the first day of Ramadan on June 6, cycling his way to reach Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage, reported local Saudi news websites. He was welcomed by Saudi hajj officials in Medina, a city in the west of Saudi Arabia.