Saudi King delegates minister to oversee hajj after herniated disc
Saudi King Abdullah has delegated the country's interior minister to oversee the annual hajj pilgrimage, the official news agency reported Saturday, after suffering from a herniated disc, dpa reported.
On Friday, doctors advised the king to rest for treatment, the agency reported. The 86-year-old monarch did not attend last week's cabinet meeting as well as the G20 summit held in Seoul.
Interior Minister Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is to oversee the hajj, where some 2.5 million Muslim pilgrims gather in the holy city of Mecca.
During the hajj, which starts on Sunday, pilgrims dress in simple white robes, marking ihram, or ritual purity. Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, should be carried out at least once in a lifetime, if the person can afford it.
The pilgrimage to Mecca occurs from the 8th to 12th day of the last month of the Islamic calendar.