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Pilgrims stone ‘devil’ at Mina

By Tajuddin
In TOP STORY
Oct 5th, 2014
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Makkah Almukaramah ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Two million pilgrims ritually stoned the devil on Saturday in the last major ritual of this year’s Haj here, while fellow believers in many countries celebrated Eid Al Adha.

The stoning took place in Mina, about five kilometres east of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah.

Pilgrims had moved to Mina overnight Friday on foot, motorbikes, and buses from Mount Arafat after the Haj reached its zenith with a day of prayer, as well as tears by pilgrims moved by the sanctity of the spot where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is believed to have given his final sermon 14 centuries ago.

In the stoning ritual, pilgrims throw pebbles, which they collected at Muzdalifah on the way to Mina.

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In conjunction with the stoning, pilgrims offer sacrifices by slaughtering a sheep, whose meat goes to the needy.

This year’s Haj attracted just over two million believers including almost 1.4 million from abroad, according to statistics published by the official Saudi Press Agency. The balance of almost 700,000 came from within the kingdom.

The Haj has drawn a cross-section of humanity, everyone from presidents — Sudanese leader Omar Al Bashir was among them — to commoners including a wounded Syrian rebel war veteran, as well as rich and poor pilgrims alike.

Meanwhile, Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated on Saturday in various countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Canada, United States and Europe.

Eid prayers were held in Masjid-al-Haram and Masjid-e-Nabawi in Saudi Arabia . The prayers in Makkah were led by Shaikh Dr. Saud al-Shuraim. Large number of Muslim communities in Canada and US also celebrated Eid on Saturday whereas several others will observe the joyous occasion on Sunday.

Thousands of members of the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat celebrated Eid-ul-Azha in Karachi Saturday. The main congregation of Eid prayers was held in Tahiri Majid in Saddar area. Later, the members of the community performed qurbani of the sacrificial animals.

On the other hand, Afghan refugees in Peshawar and tribal areas of Pakistan also offered Eid-ul-Azha prayers.

Eid-ul-Azha is being celebrated in Tehsil Bara of Khyber Agency, Jamrud and Landi Kotal areas as well. It should be noted that three separate Eid-ul-Azhas will be celebrated in Britain whereas the festival will be marked on two separate days in France and Austria respectively.

Eid-ul-Azha and Jewish religious holiday Youm-e-Kippur will coincide with each other for the first time in 33 years due to which the security around Masjid-e-Aqsa has been tightened.

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