These 13 rare National Geographic photos tell us how Hajj was performed in 1953

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Hajj, the annual pilgrimage, is one of the five pillars of Islam. This year’s pilgrimage is about to end as Muslims across the World throng Mount Arafat, a place where Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) gave his last sermon.

The festival Eid al-Adha marks the end of hajj and on this occasion Muslims sacrifice a Halal animal, which is then distributed among poor people as well.

The Hajj ritual has been going on for centuries and has gone through various transitions. However, the basic rituals remain same. Here are some of the rare photographs from National Geographic Magazine, dated July 1953, which tell us how the Hajj was performed way back then.

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Most of the Pilgrims used to travel to Makkah (Mecca) via a ferry or a ship.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953

Not everyone those days would travel by air. It was limited to those who could afford.

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Coaches used to transport pilgrims from place to place. However, a metro train service has been rolled out now.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953
The cities of Mecca and Medina are closed to those who are not Muslims. Thus, the signage.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953
The Ka’ba (Kaaba) those days.

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Closer view of the Kab’ba.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953
Pilgrims were allowed to enter the Ka’ba. The entry has been restricted now.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953
Pilgrims performing Tawaf (circling the Ka’ba). Not as crowded as these days.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953
Pilgrims would pick the animal of choice for sacrifice.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953
Unlike now Pilgrims would also take care of the animals.

these-13-rare-national-geographic-photos-tell-us-how-hajj-was-performed-in-1953

Pilgrims themselves prepared the food.

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Tents near Mount Arafah.

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Stoning of the Devil ritual. The three pillars have gone under modification.

Images- aimislam, Courtesy: National Geographic Magazine.