*ISLAMABAD - A top Saudi scholar has urged pilgrims to stay away from any acts that would politicize the annual pilgrimage.*
As many as 835,487 pilgrims have arrived from abroad for the upcoming Haj as of Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported quoting the Department of Passports.
A total of 803,753 pilgrims arrived through King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah while 22,352 have came through various land crossings and 9,382 by sea, Saudi Gazette reported.
Head of the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais described the Haj as a "message of peace" and asked the guests of God to stay away from behaviors that would politicize the pilgrimage.
"You should perform your Haj rites in peace, ease and comfort away from political slogans and behaviors that are against the noble values of Islam," he told the pilgrims.
Sudais said, "Islam is against all forms of extremism, terrorism and destruction and asked the pilgrims to spend their time in getting to know each other and cooperate for the good and welfare of all.