Muslim pilgrims enter days of ‘Tashreeq’ in Mina as Hajj nears end

Muslim pilgrims, some holding umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun, head to take part in the symbolic stoning of the devil at the Jamarat Bridge in Mina, near Mecca.

:: Muslim pilgrims at Hajj continue to perform the symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual on Saturday.

Pilgrims will stay in the Saudi desert valley of Mina over the coming days, called Tashreeq, as Hajj nears to an end.

After Muslims marked on Friday the holiday of Eid al-Adha, pilgrims now spend the Tashreeq days, which mark the 11th, 12th and 13th of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, in Mina near the holy city of Mecca.

During the ritual, pilgrims throw stones at three designated sites representing the devil, before heading to Mecca to end their hajj.

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.

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.

Pilgrims then head back to the Grand Mosque in Mecca to perform the farewell Tawaf al-Efadha, circumambulating the Kaaba seven times.

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