Pilgrims pelt pillars symbolising the devil with pebbles on the
third day of the Hajj
'Suicide operations have become a curse of Muslim lands':
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh
exhorted Muslims the world over to adhere to the true principles of
Islam in his address on the
Hajis refused to let heavy rains dampen their spirits:
Millions of pilgrims spent the first day of this year’s Haj - Yaum
Al-Tarwiyah in prayers in Mina on Wednesday as rains soaked the
faithful and flooded roads snarling traffic......
Mina (Saudi Arabia):
Millions of pilgrims performing Hajj in Saudi Arabia have begun the
act of symbolically stoning the devil as Muslims around the world
celebrate Eid al-Adha - the greater of two Muslim festivals.
Pilgrims started arriving at the tent city of Mina early on Friday
morning for the third day of Hajj rites, after spending the night at
Throngs of people were proceeding to the Jamarat Bridge to hurl
stones at one of three walls representing the devil, historically
the most dangerous rite of the Muslim pilgrimage.
The bridge has been the sight of deadly stampedes in the past,
although it has been without major incident in recent years, due in
part to new crowd-control mechanisms, and an expanded multi-storey
This year, Saudi unveiled a fifth level of the bridge.
After the stoning, pilgrims cut or shave their hair, pay to have a
livestock animal killed on their behalf to feed the poor, and head
Saudi TV footage showed thousands of pilgrims had reached the Grand
Mosque in Mecca by mid-morning to perform a ritual circulation of
Weather forecasts on Thursday predicted heavy rains could disrupt
the day's rituals.
Thunderstorms earlier in the week had soaked the pilgrim camp sites
in Mina and related
floods have killed more than 70 people in the city of Jeddah so far.
Thousands of pilgrims were also reported to have been stuck in
Jeddah because of the flooding, unable to begin Hajj.
A possible outbreak of H1N1 had been one of the biggest concern
leading up to the start of Hajj, but Saudi authorities insist spread
of the illness has been contained.
The last figures from the Saudi health ministry were 67 confirmed
cases of H1N1 among pilgrims, with four of them in critical
condition, and at least four deaths.
Elsewhere around the world, Muslims will be celebrating the holiday
with a special morning prayer, passing out sweets and visiting
family and friends.
Pilgrims will continue Hajj rites for the next two to three days,
camping out at Mina and stoning the three columns representing the
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is mandatory for all
able-bodied Muslims with the financial means to undertake it once in