Millions of pilgrims walk to Mina to perform Jamarat, Eid Al-Adha prayers

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The pilgrims walked to the site where they queued in the baking heat to perform the "stoning of the devil" ritual. (SPA)
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Men and women, side-by-side threw their three stones at the large pillars. (SPA)
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The site has multi-level walkways under screens, to protect them from the sun. (SPA)
Updated 21 August 2018
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Millions of pilgrims walk to Mina to perform Jamarat, Eid Al-Adha prayers

  • They had spent the previous night camped out after having been to Mount Arafat
  • Tuesday also marked the start of Eid Al-Adha

MAKKAH: Muslims celebrated the first day of Eid Al-Adha on Tuesday, which marks the closing parts of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The massive crowds had spent the previous night camped out in Muzdalifah, having performed the most important of the Hajj rituals, visiting mount Arafat, where they believe the Prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon.

They had also endured poor weather conditions, which ranged from the intense heat of the summer sun, rain and sandstorms.

Millions of pilgrims gathered at Mount Arafat on Monday. (AFP)

On Tuesday, clad in white robes, shaded only by umbrellas, the 2.4 million pilgrims from 165 countries walked to the complex at Jamarat to throw pebbles at three columns.

It is here that Muslims believe the devil tried to talk the Prophet Ibrahim out of submitting to God’s will.

Muslims believe Ibrahim's faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Ismail.

“The Feast of Sacrifice”

The pilgrims perform the stoning ritual, where they gather at three pillars that represent the Devil.

They throw three stones, each bringing them closer to God as they repent the Devil.

The stoning ritual area is on a multi-level structure that surrounds the pillars with a walkway to and away the site to ensure the safety of the millions of pilgrims.

The final days of Hajj coincide with the Eid al-Adha holiday, or "Feast of Sacrifice."

They traditionally slaughter sheep for the three-day festival, a tribute to the Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice of a lamb after God spared Ishmael, his son.

 

 

They will consume some of the meat and give the rest to poor people unable to buy food.

The Saudi authorities have deployed more than 130,000 security forces and medics as well as modern technology including surveillance drones to maintain order.

“The police assistance and the services were all extraordinary. Praise God, I am very happy and God willing our Lord will provide for us again,” said Jordanian Firas Al-Khashani, 33.

“A beautiful feeling“

The once in a lifetime pilgrimage last five days and sees people travel from all over the world and while the intense heat and vast crowds might seem testing to many, the pilgrims seem to bask in that same test of faith.

“It is a beautiful feeling,” said Egyptian Hazem Darweesk, 31. “The beauty of it is in the difficulty of performing it. It brings you closer to God.”

King Salman arrived in Mina, east of Makkah, on Monday evening ahead of Eid Al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice.

King Salman arrived in on Monday, he said it was a privilage for Saudi Arabia to serve the pilgrimage. (SPA)

 


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.