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Muslims pray at the Holy Ka'bah in rare rainfall, thunder
Saturday May 10, 2014 6:30 AM, Agencies

Thousands of Muslims attending the Umrah pilgrimage to the Ka'bah in Makkah were given a surprise on Thursday when they were graced with a sudden, unexpected heavy downpour of rain after Maghrib prayers with many only able to reach their accommodation after midnight.

Makkah rains

Rain also swept through parts of Makkah and Hail killing two people and injuring several others. The flooding also caused power cuts and damaged hundreds of cars across Makkah neighborhoods, according to eyewitnesses.

Makkah, which is located in Saudi Arabia's desert climate, only usually experiences brief downpours four or five times a year on average.

For this reason, pilgrims were extra excited to get a rare chance to pray in the rain in the vicinity of the holiest place in Islam.

The overjoyed pilgrims then circumambulated the Ka'bah chanting the words 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great) heartily.

"It was extremely pleasurable to perform Tawaf amid the heavy rain and thunder", Mohammed Abdul Raheem, a pilgrim, said.

The Ka'bah, which had its foundations laid by the first man Adam and then later completed by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, is considered to be the first place of worship on earth dedicated to God.

Every year, in the Islamic month of Dhu'l-Hijjah, millions of Muslims from all over the world come to fulfill their Hajj pilgrimage rites at the Ka'bah in what is one of the biggest and most diverse gatherings of people.

Outside the Hajj season, many Muslims also come to fulfill the minor pilgrimage known as Umrah.

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