MAKKAH, August 22 (CIC) – Various scenes showing Muslim pilgrims on Tuesday, the third day of Hajj, the Islamic major pilgrimage, near the Holy City of Makkah.
On the third day of Hajj, or the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, pilgrims visit the Holy Site of Muzdalifa. They perform daily prayers throughout the day and also perform the symbolic ritual of stoning the devil, where they throw seven pebbles at the largest of three pillars, known as Jamrat Al-Aqabah.
Afterward the ritual, men either shave their heads or get a haircut and women too cut their hair. The slaughter of sacrificial animals also takes place on the third day, which also marks the start of Eid Al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Eid Al-Adha is a major holiday for Muslims – including those not performing the pilgrimage.
On the fourth day, at noon, pilgrims return to stone all the three pillars at Jamrat Al-Aqabah. And on the fifth day, they throw pebbles at the pillars a third time, and then are free to leave the Holy Site of Mina for Makkah before sunset. Some pilgrims continue the pilgrimage for a sixth day on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah, or August 24, 2018.
Hajj lasts for five days from the 8th until the 12th of Dhul Hijjah but some pilgrims still perform Hajj on the 13th of the same Islamic month of 1439 Hijri year, corresponding to Friday August 24th, 2018.
Saudi authorities have officially said the total number of international and domestic pilgrims was 2,371,675, topping the 2017 tally of more than 2.35 million pilgrims who performed Hajj. This year’s pilgrims include more than 1 million women.
The biggest contingents of pilgrims from abroad came from Egypt, Iran India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan and Jordan, among others.
One of the five pillars of Islam, Hajj is the Muslim major pilgrimage to Makkah, Islam’s holiest city. All Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the pilgrimage are required to do so at least once in their lives.