Muzdalifah, Mecca - Nearly 2.5 million Hajj pilgrims from around the world stayed overnight in Muzdalifah after gathering at Mount Arafat on Saturday where they stood in prayer from noon to sunset in one of the most important days of the Islamic calendar.
The rocky areas of Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah a few kilometers east of Mecca are the main sites of Hajj, which culminates with Sunday’s Eid al-Adha holiday, and are the location of rituals laid out of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed.
At Muzdalifah, pilgrims gathered pebbles for a symbolic stoning of the devil ritual which begins on Sunday, which is also the start Eid al-Adha feast of sacrifice marked by the world’s more than 1.5 billion Muslims.
One of the first few pilgrims have already made the 8 km walk from Mount Arafat to Muzdalifah. In a few hours once the sun sets, this area will fill with 2.4 million people. pic.twitter.com/gq9yRC63Dg— Ismaeel Naar (@ismaeelrn) August 10, 2019
The Maghrib (sunset) call to prayer has begun. We’ll now see pilgrims make their way to Muzdalifah where they’ll stay overnight in the open air. Women, children and the elderly will make their way to Mina starting at midnight while the rest will start moving at dawn prayers. pic.twitter.com/w8U6Ehgqyv— Ismaeel Naar (@ismaeelrn) August 10, 2019
During the day of Arafat, all pilgrims stand in vigil from noon to sunset to offer supplications, seek repentance, and listen to sermons from where it is believed Islam’s Prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon. The ritual at Arafat is the most day of Hajj and is considered compulsory for a successful pilgrimage.
Steady stream of people still making their way to #Muzdalifah from #Arafat with 5 more ours to go. This is what the largest gathering of humans on earth looks like. #Hajj2019 #Mecca pic.twitter.com/0WpRircjH5— Ismaeel Naar (@ismaeelrn) August 10, 2019
Speaking to Al Arabiya English, Pakistani pilgrim Abdulqodus Mohammed said he had saved up for the past 20 years to afford making the journey from his hometown to Mecca with his elderly parents.
“With the blessing of Allah, I am very happy and thank Allah (swt) who gave me a lot of blessings. Arrangements from the Saudi government are very good in every shape,” Abdulqodus said.