Muslim pilgrims headed to Muzdalifa on SundayDecember 8th, 2008 - 2:07 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi
On Sunday, more than two million Muslim pilgrims headed to Muzdalifa in order to cast stone at the devil in the most dangerous part of the haj pilgrimage.
The haj retraces the path of Prophet Mohammad 14 centuries ago after he removed pagan idols from Mecca, his birthplace, and years after he started calling people to the new faith, which is now embraced by more than one billion people worldwide.
According to the Saudi Arabia media 1.72 million pilgrims came from abroad this year and over half a million belonged from inside the country. Saudi Arabia the home to Islam’s holiest sites.
At Muzdalifa, outside the Mecca, people gathered small pebbles to throw at large walls at the Jamarat Bridge, symbolising the rejection of temptation.
Pilgrims will spend the next three days visiting the bridge as well as revisiting the Grand Mosque in Mecca. On Monday will be Eid al-Adha, which means the willingness of biblical patriarch Abraham to sacrifice his son for God.
In the year 2006, the bridge had a number of toll deaths of 362 people who were stampede and crushed to death but then the worst haj was in the year of 1990 but now the Saudi Arabia authorities have made arrangement like they have made renovations to ease the flow of pilgrims at the Bridge, also adding an extra level so that pilgrims have four platforms from which to throw stones each day. They are also making clear appeals to pilgrims this year to throw their stones at any time of day rather than only in the afternoon, as Saudi clerics have often insisted in the past.
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