Muslim pilgrims at Hajj continue to perform the symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual on Sunday. On the second day of Al-Tashreeq, around 2.3 million pilgrims continued to perform their rituals in Mina - where pilgrims will stay in the desert valley, as Hajj nears to an end.
After Muslims marked on Friday the holiday of Eid al-Adha, the pilgrims now spend the Tashreeq days, which mark the 11th, 12th and 13th of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, in Mina near the holy city of Mecca.
The most important practice of these days is the throwing of stones at the jamarat site, the place where the pebbles are thrown and collected.
During the ‘stoning of the devil’ ritual, pilgrims throw stones at three designated sites representing the devil, before heading to Mecca to end their hajj.
For the stoning ritual, the pilgrims filed in crowds through a multi-level structure housing walls 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, Ismail.
The jamarat are three, located on the northern boundaries of Mina east from Makkah. The closest one from Mina is called al-jamra as-sughra or the minor jamra, then al-wus’ta or the middle one and then the farthest and closest to Makkah al-kubra or the major.
Women and elderly pilgrims can delegate this responsibility to a male in their party.
After the first stoning, pilgrims offer sacrifices by slaughtering sheep or cattle and the meat is handed out to the needy. Those who are unable to perform the sacrifice themselves can delegate the task.
Later, male pilgrims are required to shave their head; a common way in which a male who has performed the pilgrimage of hajj can be identified on his return home. Women cut a lock of their hair.
This is followed by Sa’y, walking between the hills of Safa and Marwah seven times to commemorate Ismail’s mother, Hajjar’s, search for water for her child.
After the end of the second day of Al-Tashreeq, pilgrims may rush out of Mina before sunset and head to Mecca, but those who are late must spend the night there, and throw the stones on the third day of Tashreeq.
Pilgrims head back to the Grand Mosque in Mecca to perform the farewell Tawaf al-Efadha, circumambulating the Kaaba seven times.
Most pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom will make haste - trying to avoid the possibility of delay - and complete the rituals on the second day of Tashreeq itself, as they face the prospect of returning to their home countries.