Two million Muslim pilgrims nearing end of hajj

Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Ka'bah at the Grand Mosque, during the annual hajj pilgrimage in Makkah, September 30 2014. (Reuters)

As this year’s hajj pilgrimage nears to an end, some 2 million Muslim pilgrims on Monday continued the symbolic rite of stoning the devil.

The stoning rite, taking place in Mina Valley, continued for a third day before many of the pilgrims move to nearby Makkah.

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.

Pilgrims will then circumambulate the holy Kaaba in Makkah before returning home. Some of the pilgrims will remain until Tuesday, officially the last day of hajj.

Hajj is one of the world's largest religious pilgrimages and this year drew believers from 163 nations, according to Agence France-Presse.

Muslims from around the world pour to Makkah every year to perform the pilgrimage, 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.

This year's hajj attracted just over two million domestic and foreign believers, including almost 1.4 million from abroad, according to the official SPA news agency.

No cases of the deadly MERS or Ebola viruses have been recorded among the pilgrims, the Saudi health minister said in a press conference on Monday.


[With AFP]


Last Update: 06:42 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42