Hajj 2024: Pilgrims Perform Farewell Tawaf As Pilgrimage Draws To Close

Hajj 2024: Pilgrims Perform Farewell Tawaf As Pilgrimage Draws To Close
  • PublishedJune 18, 2024

Muslim pilgrims are wrapping up the Hajj, or pilgrimage, in the deadly summer heat on Tuesday with the third day of the symbolic stoning of the devil, and the last circumambulation around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, in the city of Mecca.

Osun Defender reports that the three-day stoning ritual in Mina, a desert site outside Mecca, is among the final rites of the Hajj, and symbolizes the casting away of evil and sin. It started a day after pilgrims congregated Saturday at a sacred hill, known as Mount Arafa.

Pilgrims also exited from their state of ihram, which requires them to follow the modest Hajj dress code, with men shaving or cutting their hair, while women trim the length of a fingertip from one strand of hair.

They then changed back into their normal clothing and proceeded to Makkah to perform the Tawaf Al Ifadah (Farewell Tawaf) and sai’ (ritual of running between Safa and Marwah).

Those pilgrims who performed sai’, along with an arrival Tawaf before the Day of Arafah, were not required to do the final rites on Sunday.

READ: Hajj: Another Nigerian Pilgrim Dies Due To Excessive Heat

The final days of the annual Hajj coincide with Muslims around the world celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday when Muslims with financial means commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith, when God ordered him to sacrifice his only son, by slaughtering livestock and animals and distributing the meat to the poor.

On Monday, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance branch in Madinah said it was “ready to receive the first batches of pilgrims who have fulfilled the Hajj rituals and are departing from Madinah,” and that 900,000 copies of the Quran had been prepared “for distribution at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport and Prince Abdul Mohsin bin Abdulaziz Regional Airport,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The official number of pilgrims this year was about 1.83 million, Saudi Arabian authorities announced.

About 22 per cent of the pilgrims came from Arab countries, according to the official statistics.

The Saudi General Authority for Statistics put the total number of pilgrims at 1,833,164.

Last year, more than 1.8 million pilgrims performed Hajj, which was lower than pre-pandemic levels.

In 2019, more than 2.4 million people made the pilgrimage. Saudi authorities control the flow of pilgrims through quotas, allowing each country one pilgrim for every 1,000 Muslim citizens.

These included 221,854 domestic pilgrims, including citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, and 1,611,310 pilgrims from outside the kingdom.

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