Most pilgrims leave Mina after performing Hajj rituals

Friday, June 30, 2023

MINA — Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims started leaving the tent city of Mina on Friday afternoon, the second day of tashreeq (Ayyam Al-Tashreeq), after performing the stoning ritual at three Jamarat, pillars symbolizing Satan.

The Grand Mosque in Makkah received several batches of pilgrims who arrived from Mina to perform the Tawaf Al-Wida (farewell tawaf), the last ritual of Hajj, before heading to visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah or to their home.

The pilgrims were seen in a spiritually elevated and euphoric mood after completing their lifetime spiritual journey. The pilgrims who will stay back in Mina on Friday night will leave the tent city after completing the stoning ritual on Saturday, marking the official end of the annual pilgrimage.

The pilgrims, who are in a rush, are allowed to leave Mina for Makkah before sunset on the second tashriq day or else they will have to stay an extra day in Mina and have to pebble the devil. The majority of the pilgrims set to vacate Mina before sunset on Friday.

The Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques announced the start of the second operational plan to facilitate the smooth movement of pilgrims to the Grand Mosque to perform the farewell circumambulation in ease and comfort and that is in coordination with all service and security sectors participating in the Hajj operation. The presidency has deployed all the facilities and arrangements to provide a world-standard system of integrated services for the departing pilgrims at the Grand Mosque.

The authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the departure of pilgrims from Mina as per a two-day schedule prepared by them so as to avoid any congestion at the Jamarat Bridge as well as to ensure their smooth movement to the Grand Mosque to perform the Tawaf Al-Wida. Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdelfattah Mashat said on Thursday that the authorities have decided to do the grouping of pilgrims for their departure from Mina to the Grand Mosque in Makkah during Friday and Saturday.

Pilgrims started the stoning ritual this afternoon in an orderly and peaceful way. They hurled seven pebbles each, first at Jamrat Al-Sugra, then at Jamrat Al-Wusta, and finally at Jamrat Al-Aqaba in a ritual emulating Prophet 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. The ritual is the renunciation of evil in all its forms and a promise never to fall prey to the machinations and intrigues of Satan, the cursed.

The pilgrims moved easily and comfortably from one pillar to the next as they hurled pebbles at the pillars. Multiple lanes were allocated for the smooth movement of pilgrims to the multi-level Jamarat Bridge complex.

More than 1.8 million pilgrims hailing from over150 nationalities proceeded from their camps in Mina to the Jamarat Complex on their scheduled time on Friday afternoon. Pilgrims reached the Jamarat on board Mashair Train and buses while pilgrims staying in tents located near the Jamarat walked on foot to the facility.

After completing the stoning ritual, pilgrims returned to their accommodation in Mina camps, packed their baggage and boarded buses that took them to Makkah to perform farewell tawaf. Although Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, concludes officially on Saturday, the third day of Tashreeq, pilgrims are allowed to leave a day earlier.