Hajj pilgrims perform symbolic 'stoning of devil', prepare for Eid al-Adha

2023-06-28 18:12:41

Millions of Muslim worshipers cast pebbles in the “stoning of the devil” ritual of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The “stoning of the devil” is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in the Hajj.

The stoning ritual is performed on the last day of the pilgrimage as Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate the first day of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) holiday.

On Wednesday, day three of the annual Hajj rituals, groups of worshipers made their way across the valley of Mina, near the holy city of Mecca in western Saudi Arabia, to throw stones at three concrete walls representing Satan.

The ritual is an emulation of Prophet Ibrahim’s stoning of the devil at the three spots where, according to the holy Qur'an, Satan tried to dissuade him from obeying God’s order to sacrifice his son, Ismail.

Helicopters hovered overhead while security officers organized the flow of worshipers in Jamarat, where the stoning ritual takes place, as Saudi authorities closely watched the crowds to ensure an incident-free Hajj.

The stoning ritual has in past years led to deadly stampedes, as millions of participants converge on a tight space.

Thousands of health workers were also on alert for cases of heatstroke and exhaustion as temperatures soared to 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).

The final stage of the pilgrimage takes place at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, where the pilgrims will perform a final circumambulation of the Holy Ka’aba, the revered cube-shaped shrine towards which Muslims worldwide pray each day.


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