IN PICTURES: Hajj pilgrims symbolically ‘stone devil’ in last major ritual

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Pilgrims began heading back to Mina and the Grand Mosque to perform further rites and rituals on the third day of their Hajj pilgrimage and first day of Eid al-Adha on Friday.

Having spent the previous night camped out in the open in Muzdalifah, pilgrims will proceed back to the Mina and Makkah to perform several duties, one of which is the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual.

On Friday, Muslims around the world are also marking one of two Islamic holidays, known in Arabic as Eid al-Adha, commemorating what Muslims believe was Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael as a test of his faith from God.

PHOTO GALLERY: Stoning the devil

Most of the pilgrims have completed the first stage of throwing stones known as the Great Aqaba today, after arriving from Muzdalifah to Mina since early morning.

Many of the pilgrims went afterwards to Mecca to perform the third pillar of Hajj, which is Tawaaf al-Efadhah, a final tour around Kaaba.

The pilgrims return on the first day of Eid al-Adha to their homes in Mina to spend the first night of the three nights of Tashreeq, as a prelude to symbolically stoning the devil three times before sunset on the second day of Eid.

For the stoning ritual, pilgrims will be filing in to crowds through a multi-level structure housing three pillars symbolizing the devil.

The ritual is an emulation of Ibrahim’s stoning of the devil at the three spots where he is said to have appeared trying to dissuade him from obeying God’s order to sacrifice his son, Ismael.

Muslims from around the world pour to Makkah every year to perform Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.

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