MINA: Pilgrims performed four main rituals of Hajj on Saturday, Dhul Hijjah 10, which is also known as Yaum Al-Nahr or the Day of Sacrifice. After reaching Mina from Muzdalifah this morning, they performed stoning at Jamarat Al-Aqaba and then proceeded to Makkah to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah and Sai’ at a time when most Muslims other than pilgrims all over the world started celebrating Eid Al-Adha festival.
Since the dawn on Saturday, pilgrims started arriving in Mina after performing their Wuquf (standing) at Arafat, the most important ritual of Hajj, the previous day, and overnight staying in Muzdalifah in an atmosphere full of spirituality.
At Mina, pilgrims performed stoning at Jamarat Al-Aqba (biggest pillar symbolizing Satan). They used seven pebbles for the stoning ritual. The pilgrims’ movement in throwing pebbles at Jamrat Al-Aqaba was smooth, orderly, and flexible on the floors of the giant Jamarat Bridge. Around 300,000 pilgrims can perform the stoning ritual at the Jamarat Bridge in an hour. All the security, health, ambulance, hygiene and civil defense services are well in place at the Jamarat Bridge complex. The security men were seen organizing the movement of pilgrims in the courtyards of Jamarat Bridge and its entrances and exits.
After performing the stoning ritual, the pilgrims sacrificed animals, and thus had a partial exit (first tahallul) from the state of ihram by shaving or cutting hair for men while women trim the length of a finger-tip from one strand of hair. They then changed back into normal clothing from ihram.
Pilgrims, then, proceeded to Makkah to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah and sai’ (ritual of running between Safa and Marwah), two other pillars of Hajj. The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and other concerned authorities organized the entry of pilgrims to the Grand Mosque through specific doors for each group of pilgrims for performing tawaf around the Holy Kaaba, which contributed to the smooth flow of pilgrims and performance of the ritual in ease and comfort. Those pilgrims who performed sai’ along with Tawaful Qudum (tawaf of arrival) need not perform it again.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and other concerned authorities managed the entry of pilgrims to the Grand Mosque through specific doors for each group of pilgrims.
With the performance of tawaf and sai’, pilgrims would exit completely from the state of ihram. In the remaining two or three days of Hajj, which are known as Ayyamu Tashreeq or Tashreeq Days, the only ritual to be performed is stoning at each of the three Jamarat (Jamarat Al-Sughra, Jamarat Al-Wusta and Jamarat Al-Aqba) seven times each after staying overnight in Mina.
A total of 899353 foreign and domestic pilgrims are performing Hajj this year. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah and advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, announced on Friday that the movement of pilgrims at the Holy Sites is being undertaken easily and smoothly, thanks to the excellent services being provided by the Saudi government. The emir stressed that all sectors and government agencies concerned with serving the pilgrims are implementing their operations plans in accordance with the instructions given to them and they are achieving complete success in their respective sectors. (SAUDI GAZETTE)