Hajj main factor of unity in World of Islam: Iran official

IRNA – Representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader in Hajj Affairs said the annual pilgrimage is a main factor of preserving unity and solidarity among Muslims of the world.

‘Today, the World of Islam is in a sensitive and dangerous condition,’ Hojjatoleslam Ali Qazi Asgar, Supreme Leader’s representative in Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs, said in a ceremony held at Imam Khomeini Airport to see off the first group of Iranian pilgrims.

On Wednesday morning, the first group of the Iranian pilgrims departed for Medina, western Saudi city, for annual Hajj rituals.

At the ceremony, Qazi Asgar said that the political disputes between Iran and Saudi Arabia should not be depicted in Mecca and Medina as the World of Islam is in a sensitive situation these days.

Pilgrims should be vigilant and not be trapped into plots, the official noted.

He further said that about 86,000 Iranian pilgrims will perform major Hajj rituals this year.

About the first Iranian group who left for Saudi Arabia this morning, the official said they were 270 pilgrims.

About 500 Iranian pilgrims were killed during a stampede in 2015 Hajj annual congregation when, according to reports, two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the ‘Stoning of the Devil’ ritual at Jamarat.

The annual Hajj is a major religious duty for Muslims and must be performed at least once during a Muslim’s lifetime.