Muslim pilgrims conclude the Hajj season by symbolically stoning Satan and performing a final circumambulation around the Kaaba

MINNA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Muslim pilgrims conclude the Hajj Hajj or Hajj, In the deadly summer heat on Tuesday, the third day of Stoning is symbolic of SatanThe final circumambulation around the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, in the city of Mecca.

The three-day ritual of throwing stones at Mina, a desert site outside Mecca, is among the last rites of the Hajj, symbolizing the casting away of evil and sin. It started after a day Pilgrims of the Holy House of God are gathering today, Saturday, on the holy hill known as Mount Arafat.

The last days of the annual Hajj season coincide with Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Adha When Muslims with financial means commemorate the test of the Prophet Abraham, when God commanded him to slaughter his only son, by slaughtering his livestock and animals and distributing their meat to the poor.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Its rituals largely commemorate the Prophet Abraham and his son the Prophet Ishmael, Ishmael’s mother Hagar and the Prophet Muhammad, according to the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book. In the Islamic version, God stopped his hand and Ishmael was saved.

“I am reassured. I feel relieved,” Mujahid al-Mahrabi, a Yemeni pilgrim, told The Associated Press after he finished the third day of stoning the Jamarat. “Whoever is able to visit the Grand Mosque should do so.”

The blazing sun and stifling hot weather remained on Tuesday, with temperatures expected to reach 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Mecca and the holy sites in and around the city, according to the Saudi National Meteorological Center.

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Many pilgrims, especially the elderly, were seen exhausted and in need of medical assistance due to the heat. There were also reports of dozens killed, including 14 from Jordan.

After the symbolic stoning, pilgrims head to Mecca to perform the “tawaf,” or circumambulation, circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque seven times counterclockwise. This circumambulation, known as the Farewell Tawaf, marks the end of the Hajj as pilgrims prepare to leave the Holy City.

Once the Hajj is over, men are expected to shave their heads, and women are expected to cut off a lock of hair as a sign of renewal.

Most pilgrims then leave Mecca for Medina, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) away, to pray at the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad, the Holy Chamber.

The Holy Chamber Tomb is part of the Prophet’s Mosque, one of the three holiest places in Islam, along with the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

All Muslims are required to perform Hajj once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able to do so. Many wealthy Muslims perform the Hajj more than once.

More than 1.83 million Muslims performed the Hajj in 2024, including more than 1.6 million pilgrims from 22 countries, and about 222,000 Saudi citizens and residents, according to Saudi Hajj authorities.

The 2014 Hajj season came against the backdrop of devastating events The war between Israel and HamasWhich pushed the Middle East to the brink of regional conflict.

“I prayed first for Gaza and then for Yemen,” said Al-Mehrabi, the Yemeni pilgrim, referring to the war between Israel and Hamas in the Palestinian Strip and the decade-long conflict in his homeland.

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