Malaysian pilgrims arrive in the kingdom Source:

Millions of Muslims are currently arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, which is set to begin early next month. 

The pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of Islam and considered a once in a lifetime experience for millions who make difficult journeys from across the world to attend.

Whether difficulties in arriving arise from political situations, financial or personal issues, all pilgrims often describe the overwhelming joy they experience upon leaving for Hajj and arriving at the holy site. 

This year, a few of these joyous moments were captured in moving, heartwarming photos and videos that went viral on social media. 

Here are a few of them:   

1. Gazans leave for Hajj after Egypt opens border

After Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing last week, some of the 2,500 Palestinian pilgrims who received permits to attend this year's Hajj began to leave the blockaded coastal enclave to Saudi Arabia. 

2. Saudi national welcomes a Qatari pilgrim arriving for Hajj

Even though Saudi officials repeatedly stressed that the Qatari pilgrims are welcome in the kingdom despite the ongoing crisis, people making the trip from the Gulf state faced difficulties.

This is because the blockade saw Saudi Arabia shut down the Salwa border opening - Qatar’s only land border outlet. 

However, after King Salman ordered the opening of the border last week, Qatari pilgrims began to make the journey to the kingdom in their cars. 

These include one Qatari pilgrim who was welcomed by a Saudi in a now-viral video. 

3. "The joy of pilgrims will always be one of [the] most profound emotions to ever be captured on camera"

4. 8 Muslim British pilgrims arrive for Hajj on bikes

Photos and videos of eight British Muslims who arrived in Saudi Arabia for Hajj after five grueling weeks of cycling, went viral all over social media last week. 

Known as the "Hajj Riders," the eight men biked through the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Greece, and Egypt before arriving in Saudi Arabia for the sacred Islamic pilgrimage. 

5. In total the men's journey saw them cross 3,200 km

6. The joy on the faces of pilgrims leaving to Hajj from Lagos

7. The moving celebrations of Nigerian pilgrims upon their arrival to the holy site

8. The heartwarming moment Indonesian pilgrims land in the kingdom

Hajj in a glance

The Hajj is an annual journey to Mecca, western Saudi Arabia. 

All Muslim adults who are able to physically and financially make the journey are expected to perform the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.

"The five-day pilgrimage to Mecca is the fifth and final pillar of Islam, and concludes when up to two million Muslims circle the sacred cube-shaped Kaaba."

"The journey resembles a tradition performed by the Prophet Muhammad with millions of Muslims undertaking a route around a rocky mountain of the ancient city in Saudi Arabia."