All roads lead to Mina
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Jeddah, Oct 24: Over two million Muslims from across the world including about 1.27 lakh Indians today began their main rituals of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, heading from Mecca to Mina where they will rest and pray for the night before moving on to Mount Arafat.
The pilgrims, of whom nearly 1.7 million came to Saudi Arabia from abroad, started to travel by bus, on foot or with the Mashair light railway to Mina.
The passage to Mina marks the official launch of the Hajj on the eighth day of the Muslim calendar month of Dhul Hijja.
The day is known as Tarwiyah (Watering) as pilgrims in the past stopped at Mina to feed their animals and stock up for the following day's trip to Mount Arafat.
In Mina, pilgrims pray Dhuhr, Asr, Maghreb, and Isha. According to the Sunnah, the pilgrims spend the night of the Tarwiyah Day in Mina.
Muhammed Obeid Al Mazrouei, Chairman of UAE Official Hajj Mission, said that preparations have been made to receive thousands of pilgrims at Minah and Mount Arafat.
The pilgrims will tomorrow ascend to Mount Arafat, some 13 km southeast of Mina, and will spend the day in prayer and reflection. They will listen to the Hajj sermon at historical Nimrah mosque and perform Wuquf, the most important ritual of Hajj.
After sunset, they head to Muzdalifah, between Mina and Arafat, where pilgrims collect stones to throw at the devil, one of the last rituals which takes place on Friday and marks the first day of Eid al-Adha, the annual feast of sacrifice.
The symbolic "stoning of the devil" is followed by the ritual sacrifice of an animal, usually a lamb.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST
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