Meet the celebrities, sports stars performing Hajj this yeartext_fields
Riyadh: Hundreds of thousands of Muslims from across the world have congregated in the holy city of Mecca to take part in the biggest Hajj pilgrimage since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic
This year, many celebrities are also performing Hajj. Pakistan's legendary bowler Shoaib Akhtar, England's leg spinner Adil Rashid, and former Indian actress Sana Khan have blessed our feeds with peaceful pictures from their 'most favourite and beautiful' place in the world.
Akhtar, one of the fastest bowlers in world cricketer turned-commentator tweeted pictures of himself in Ihram clothing.
"Going for honorary Hajj as a state guest of Saudi Arabia. I will also be addressing the Hajj Conference attended by leaders of the Muslim world in Makkah," the cricketer-
In another tweet, he posted a photo with the caption: "At the Grand Hajj Symposium 2022 representing Pakistan in the Holy land of Makkah Mukarramah."
In a series of tweets documenting his "beautiful journey from Makkah to Madinah," he shared videos from the two holy cities, including a unique view of the Holy Kaaba from the top of the Makkah Clock Tower, the Haramain High-Speed Railway Station in Makkah, the Quba Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah.
Akhtar, who retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup, meanwhile, has skipped England's series against India to embark on the Hajj pilgrimage.
Rashid said earlier this year that he had "reached the right time in his life" to make the pilgrimage to Makkah.
He was granted leave by the England and Wales Cricket Board and his club Yorkshire to perform Hajj and is expected to return in mid-July before England's white-ball series against South Africa.
"I've been wanting to do it for a little while, but I've found it pretty difficult with the timings," Rashid told ESPNcricinfo. "This year, I felt as though it was something that I had to do and something I wanted to do as well."
"It's a massive moment: Each faith has got its own different thing, but for Islam and being a Muslim, this is one of the biggest ones. It's a big thing for my faith and for myself. I knew that I needed to do it while I'm young, strong, and healthy. This is something that I really committed to myself that I would do."
Congratulating Rashid and wishing him the best for his lifetime journey, England Cricket, the official Twitter account of the England cricket team, tweeted: "Hajj Mubarak, Rash. We all wish Adil well as he makes The Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah."
Khan, a former Indian actress who quit the world of entertainment for religious reasons saying she wants to serve humanity, shared a video montage upon reaching Saudi Arabia for her first Hajj with her husband, Anas Saiyad.
Taking to Instagram, Khan was seen smiling and posing with Saiyad after she arrived in Makkah.
In the clip, both don Ihram clothing to begin their Hajj journey. A part of her caption reads: "Can't wait to experience the most beautiful journey of my life of Hajj with my husband."