Hajj pilgrims symbolically ‘stone devil’ in last major ritual

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Muslim pilgrim throw pebbles at a stone pillar representing the devil, during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. The last stage of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, the symbolic stoning of the devil, began on Friday. The first day of stoning also marks the start of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice, when Muslims around the world slaughter sheep and cattle in remembrance of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

 

 

Pilgrims began heading back to Mina and the Grand Mosque to perform further rites and rituals on the third day of their Hajj pilgrimage and first day of Eid Al Adha on Friday.

 

Having spent the previous night camped out in the open in Muzdalifah, pilgrims will proceed back to the Mina and Makkah to perform several duties, one of which is the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual.

On Friday, Muslims around the world are also marking one of two Islamic holidays, known in Arabic as Eid al-Adha, commemorating what Muslims believe was Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael as a test of his faith from God.

 

For the stoning ritual, pilgrims will be filing in to crowds through a multi-level structure housing three pillars 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, Ismael.

Muslims from around the world pour to Makkah every year to perform Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.

AL ARABIYA.NET