Hajj 2022: Pilgrims carry out final rituals in Mecca
Hundreds of Thousands of Pilgrims are performing final rituals, including circumambulating the holy Kaaba and stoning the devil, to mark the final days of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Some 1 million pilgrims from more than 150 countries convened in the city of Mecca this year to perform the Hajj pilgrimage making it the biggest since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2019.
The pilgrimage consists of different rituals which are performed on designated dates according to the lunar month. The rituals include Tawaf (ritual of circumambulating the Kaaba, the metaphorical house of God at the center of Mecca), Safa and Marwa (Muslims walk between the two hills of Safa and Marwa), Arafah (where Muslims stand in contemplative vigil), stoning the devil, sacrifice, and a final Tawaf among many other steps and details.
Many Muslim countries took Saturday as Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice. According to lunar sightings, Iran designated Sunday as Eid. The day is when Hajj pilgrims throw seven peddles at walls in a place called Jamarat in a symbolic act of pushing Satan away before sacrificing an animal. Other Muslims around the world also mark this day by sacrificing animals and performing rituals while Muslim countries typically designate it as a national holiday.
Back in Mecca, Hajj pilgrims then shave or trim their hair and stay at Mina, an area east of Mecca, for some nights.
One of the final rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage is Tawaf which refers to walking in circles around the Kaaba in an anti-clockwise motion. One Tawaf is made up of seven complete circuits, with each one starting and ending at the black stone.
The final Tawaf after Eid al-Adha allows pilgrims to relax and do everything that was unlawful during the pilgrimage, such as engaging in marital relations.
Hajj pilgrimage is one of the pillars of Islam that Muslims who have the means should perform at least once in their lives. Muslims typically save for years to take part in the event.