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Pilgrims At Hajj Gather At Mount Arafat

Muslims pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca on August 8.

An estimated 2 million Muslims have gathered at Saudi Arabia's Mount Arafat as part of the annual hajj pilgrimage.

Worshippers spent the night at a large encampment around the hill where Islam holds that God tested Abraham's faith by commanding him to sacrifice his son Ismail. It is also where Prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon.

Saudi Arabia has said more than 2 million pilgrims, mostly from abroad, have arrived for the five-day ritual, a religious duty once in a lifetime for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the journey.

The pilgrims will spend the day on Mount Arafat.

By sunset they will move to Muzdalifa to gather pebbles to throw at stone columns symbolizing the devil at Jamarat on August 11, which marks the first day of Eid al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP