Nearly 300,000 pilgrims to ‘stone the devil’ per hour in one of final Hajj rites
Mina, Mecca - After having spent the previous night camped out in the open air in Muzdalifah, Hajj pilgrims made their way back to Mina and Mecca to perform several duties, one of which is the symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual on Sunday.
The pilgrims began heading back to Mina and the Grand Mosque to perform the final Hajj rites and rituals on the third day of their pilgrimage, which is also the first day of Eid al-Adha.
The “stoning of the devil” ritual includes stoning three pillars which symbolize the devil and the sins. On the first day of Eid al-Adha, pilgrims throw small pebbles or stones, which they gathered the night before in Muzdalifah, at the “Great Aqaba” column.
Pilgrims will be walking in crowds through a multi-level structure housing three pillars symbolizing the devil.
The ritual is an emulation of Prophet 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.
The Jamaraat Bridge is almost one kilometer long and allows for nearly 300,000 pilgrims an hour to carry out the ritual. There are 28 escalators in each of the 11 towers in the structure of the main bridge, as well as 20 in the two exits, operating 24 hours a day and with the capacity of transporting up to four million people a day.
In designing the Jamarat Bridge, Saudi officials built the structure to eventually host six million pilgrims by 2030.
Speaking to Al Arabiya English, an Egyptian family of pilgrims said they found their path from their tent camp in Mina to the Jamaraat Bridge accessible.
“We were worried about the large crowds and the heat this morning after the heavy rains from yesterday. But the walk from our camp to the Jamaraat area was organized and we’re happy right now to be winding down our Hajj pilgrimage,” Ahmed Mohammed told Al Arabiya.