Muslim pilgrims continue to perform the “stoning of the devil” ritual on Wednesday. Pilgrims will stay in the desert valley of Mina over the coming days, called Tashreeq, as hajj nears to end.
After Muslims marked on Tuesday the holiday of Eid al-Adha, pilgrims now spend the Tashreeq days, which mark the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah, in Mina near the holy city of Makkah in modern day Saudi Arabia.
During the ritual, pilgrims throw stones at three designated sites representing the devil, before heading to Makkah to end their hajj.
The Eid al-Adha feast commemorates what Muslims believe was Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail as a test of his faith in God.
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.
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.
Pilgrims then head back to the Grand Mosque in Makkah to perform the farewell Tawaf al-Efadha, circumambulating the Ka’aba seven times.
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.