World

A JOURNEY THROUGH HAJJ

Islam’s special pilgrimage

For the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, the Hajj is a spiritual pinnacle.

Each year, up to three million pilgrims descend on the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca — the epicenter of the Muslim world — to seek redemption, forgive and be forgiven.

About 1.9 million Muslims attended Hajj in 2016. A record 3.16 million Muslims attended in 2012.

Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty

How does Hajj compare to other major religious gatherings?

General Authority for Statistics, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Reuters, CNN Reporting

The Prophet Mohammed made the first pilgrimage to Mecca with 1,400 followers in 628 AD. Now Saudi authorities manage entry through strict visa applications.

Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Where do the pilgrims come from?

General Authority for Statistics, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mecca is the only Islamic holy site where men and women pray and perform all the Hajj rites together.

Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

Who attends Hajj?

General Authority for Statistics, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Massive crowds have sometimes put pilgrims at risk, especially during the “stoning of the devil,” when pilgrims lob rocks and stream between pillars that symbolize rejecting the devil’s temptation.

Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

How deadly is Hajj?

CNN Reporting

Saudi authorities spent millions on increased safety measures for the 2017 Hajj.

Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

What went into preparing for 2017?

2,000
Saudi Red Crescent Authority personnel

17,000+
Civil Defense personnel deployed

300
Ground ambulances

General Authority for Statistics, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia