Mina: Pilgrims streamed out of Mina after performing the ritual stoning of the devil for one last time on Saturday.
There was no respite from the hot weather and the mercury hovered around 45 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.
The pilgrims had poured into the Jamrat Complex since morning to perform the mandatory ritual. Most of them had umbrellas to protect them from the sun's merciless rays.
At noon, all five platforms leading into the Jamrat complex were packed with pilgrims.
“Alhamdulillah, I have carried out all the rituals," said Sultan Al-Shehri, from Riyadh, who is performing Haj for the first time. "I have no complaints because my parents and relatives had prepared me for this daunting task."
Rauf Abdul Hameed, from Alexandria, Egypt, wept after completing the ritual. "Haj is not easy. It drains you physically and even emotionally," he said.
"Why do we do all this? Because this is our faith and our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, told us to do so", he added.
All roads leading out of Mina and Makkah were jammed with vehicles of all sizes.
The pilgrims who have come from abroad will go to Makkah and stay in their hotels for a few days before leaving the Kingdom.
The domestic pilgrims from different cities in the Kingdom took to the roads and began their homeward journeys.
According to reports in the local media, many pilgrims left Mina on Friday.
In view of the expected rush on Saturday, the Haj Ministry had warned pilgrim establishments against violating the time schedule put in place for pilgrims to carry out the stoning ritual on Saturday.
The Makkah Traffic Department had put in place a special traffic plan for the movement of pilgrims from Mina. The plan focused on separating pedestrians from vehicular traffic. [Arab News]