Muslims celebrate Eid Al Adha as pilgrims continue Hajj

One million faithful return to Makkah for the ritual stoning of the devil

Hajj worshipers perform the Eid Al Adha prayer in various parts of the Kingdom. SPA
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Muslims around the world celebrated Eid Al Adha on Saturday as pilgrims in Saudi Arabia began performing the final rituals of Hajj.

Eid Al Adha is marked by prayers and the sacrifice of a sheep, goat or cow by those who can afford, with the meat shared among family members and with the poor.

Muslims believe the Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Ismail, but God spared him and sent a ram in his place.

Hajj pilgrims returned to the Grand Mosque in Makkah from Muzdalifah plains early on Saturday to perform Eid prayers and start the Jamarat — the symbolic stoning of the devil.

The Jamarat will continue over the next three days before pilgrims perform the final Tawaf — the circumambulation of the Kaaba at the Grande Mosque — to complete their Hajj.

After the first stoning ritual, pilgrims must cut or trim their hair before sacrificing an animal.

Male pilgrims are advised to shave their head, while female pilgrims cut a lock of their hair.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said the public slaughterhouses in Makkah were ready to receive pilgrims for the Eid Al Adha sacrifice.

They must first book an appointment electronically at any of the approved slaughterhouses in Makkah, or through the Nama charity in Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman wished Muslims around the world a blessed Eid Al Adha in his morning address on Saturday.

He thanked all the Hajj workers and volunteers for their efforts to ensure the safety and health of the pilgrims.

"Praise be to God for facilitating the return of pilgrims and to have raised the number of pilgrims this year to one million pilgrims hailing from inside and outside the kingdom."

Hajj / worshipers perform the Eid al-Adha prayer in various parts of the Kingdom. SPA

Pilgrims from abroad, who were allowed to participate this year for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, also marked Eid with calls to loved ones back home after the morning prayers.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever make it to Hajj. Eid Al Adha was always spent with my three children on a staycation in Egypt, much like I had planned this Eid, " said Hajer Abou Soleiman, a dermatologist from Egypt.

"Here I am, in Mina, video calling my kids, as I miss them terribly, but at the same time thanking God for this once in a lifetime experience."

Pakistani pilgrim Saliha Khan revelled in her first Eid in Saudi Arabia. “It’s nice to celebrate Eid here it’s my first. We hugged each other and can’t believe we are so lucky to be here. Pilgrims just want to sleep now and spend as much time praying in the holy sites before we return."

“We are really tired, everyone is asleep right now. After muzdalifah and jamarat, we went to cut each other’s hair- just a few strands or inches and came back to our rooms,” she added.

All pilgrims have returned to their rooms in Mina where they will be staying overnight to continue the stoning of the devil.

The Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam that every able-bodied Muslims must perform at least once in their life if they have the means, has historically been one of the world's largest religious gatherings.

Updated: July 09, 2022, 12:26 PM