CAIRO - Turkish President Abdullah Gul is expected to join millions of fellow Muslims to perform the hajj in Makkah this year, according to sources in Saudi Arabia.
President Abdullah Gul will join millions of fellow Muslims to perform the hajj (pilgrimage) in Makkah this year, Today's Zaman reported.
The news about Gul plans to join Muslims were first announced on the internet by Turkish journalists based in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Yet, Gul's trip to holy Makkah this year has not yet been confirmed by presidential sources.
If confirmed, the visit would not be first hajj for Gul.
The Turkish President is known to have performed the hajj several times during his employment as an economist at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.
At dawn on Monday, October 14, the faithful will begin moving towards Mount `Arafat, about 15 km east of Makkah, for the climax of hajj.This year, `Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on October 15.