Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Pilgrims Commence Final Rites of Hajj

The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in Muzdalifa. SPA
The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in Muzdalifa. SPA
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Pilgrims Commence Final Rites of Hajj

The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in Muzdalifa. SPA
The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in Muzdalifa. SPA

Masses of pilgrims on Sunday embarked on a symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia. The ritual marks the final days of Hajj pilgrimage and the start of the Eid al-Adha celebrations for Muslims around the world.

The stoning is among the final rites of the Hajj, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It came a day after pilgrims congregated on a sacred hill in Mount Ararat outside the holy city of Makkah, which Muslim pilgrims visit to perform the annual five-day rituals of Hajj.

More than 1.83 million Muslims performed Hajj in 2024, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah said in a briefing.

The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in a nearby site known as Muzdalifa, where they collected pebbles they have used in the symbolic stoning of pillars representing the devil.

The pillars are in another sacred place in Makkah, called Mina.

Pilgrims will spend the next three days in Mina, where they walk long distances on pedestrian-only streets toward a multi-story complex housing large pillars. There, they cast seven pebbles each at three pillars in a ritual meant to symbolize the casting away of evil and sin.

While in Mina, they will visit Makkah to perform “tawaf,” circumambulation, which is circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque counterclockwise seven times. They will make another circumambulation, known as Farewell Tawaf, at the end of Hajj and as they prepare to leave the holy city.

The rites coincide with the four-day Eid al-Adha, which means “Feast of Sacrifice.”

When the Hajj is over, most of the pilgrims leave Makkah for the city of Madinah, about 340 kilometers away, to pray in Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, the Sacred Chamber. The tomb is part of the prophet’s mosque.

 



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Arabia Continues Airdrops of Food Aid into Gaza

The airdrop was part of the popular campaign for relief for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA
The airdrop was part of the popular campaign for relief for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA
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Saudi Arabia Continues Airdrops of Food Aid into Gaza

The airdrop was part of the popular campaign for relief for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA
The airdrop was part of the popular campaign for relief for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA

Saudi Arabia, through its humanitarian arm, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), continued airdrops of food aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in cooperation with Jordan.
On Monday, an airdrop of food supplies took place in the Al-Mawasi area, west of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands of displaced people are located.

“It was carried out in cooperation with the Jordanian Armed Forces with the aim of breaking the Israeli occupation forces’ closure of border crossings,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The airdrop was part of the popular campaign for relief for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, which was directed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.