Pilgrims return to Mina, perform four main rituals of Hajj on Wednesday
After performing wuquf (standing) at Arafat, the high point of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj, on Tuesday and spending overnight in Muzdalifah in an atmosphere full of spirituality, the Hajj pilgrims returned to their camps in the Tent City of Mina this morning to perform the four main rituals of Hajj.
After reaching Mina, 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 on Wednesday, Dhul Hijjah 10, which is also known as Yaum Al-Nahr or the Day of Sacrifice.
At Mina, pilgrims performed stoning at Jamarat Al-Aqba (the biggest pillar symbolising Satan). They used seven pebbles for the stoning ritual. The pilgrims’ movement to hurl pebbles at Jamrat Al-Aqaba was smooth, orderly, and flexible on the floors of the giant Jamarat Bridge with all the precautionary measures in place.
Around 300,000 pilgrims can perform the stoning ritual at the facility in an hour. All the security, health, ambulance, hygiene, and civil defence services are well in place at the Jamarat Bridge complex. The security men were seen organising the movement of pilgrims in the vast, sprawling stoning area on the multi-level Jamarat Complex and at its entrances and exits. The heat-blocking coating of pedestrian paths in Mina leading to the Jamarat Bridge is giving some respite to the pilgrims under the scorching sun.
Members of scouts and volunteers are also engaged in guiding pilgrims onto the Jamarat Bridge through the paths designated for the entry and exit, as well as facilitating their return to Mina camps. The movement of pilgrims to and from the Jamarat Bridge was arranged in line with the preplanned schedule.
The pilgrims were able to see the prescribed time allotted for them to perform the stoning ritual on the Nusuk App on their smartphones. This year, the Nusuk platform added the schedule of the Jamarat stoning ritual to facilitate and streamline the performance of the ritual.
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 trimmed the length of a fingertip 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’ (the ritual of running between Safa and Marwah), two other pillars of Hajj. Those pilgrims who performed sai’ along with Tawaful Qudum (Tawaf of Arrival) need not perform it again.
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.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all Muslims are required to undertake it at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able to do so. It is one of the world’s largest religious gatherings and returns to full capacity this year following three years of coronavirus restrictions.
A total of 1,845,045 pilgrims from around 150 countries performed Hajj this year. Among them are 4,951 pilgrims of 90 nationalities who came to perform Hajj as the guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. These include 2,000 pilgrims from the Saudi and Yemeni families of those who died in the Decisive Storm military operation in Yemen. Another 1000 pilgrims, who belong to family members of the Palestinian martyrs, prisoners, and wounded Palestinians, arrived to perform Hajj at the expense of the King.
The Ministry of Health has mobilised a total of more than 32,000 doctors and paramedics at its 32 hospitals and 140 health centres to serve the pilgrims. These health workers are on hand to help fend off heatstroke, dehydration, and exhaustion in the heat of the summer, which recorded temperatures of more than 43 degrees Celsius.