Egyptian pilgrims in good health, perform stoning of the devil

MENA , Ahram Online , Monday 12 Aug 2019

Muslim pilgrims perform the "Tawaf al-Ifada", a mandatory circumambulation around the Kaaba (the Cube), Islam's holiest shrine, at the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on August 11, 2019 AFP

Egyptian Muslims performing pilgrimage were safe and healthy, having begun the symbolic ritual of pelting the devil with stones at three walls on the first day of Eid Al-Adha (Greater Bairam) on Sunday, chief executive of Egypt's official Hajj mission Amr Lotfy said on Monday.

Pilgrims spent the night before camping out in the open in the Muzdalifah area to collect pebbles.

Lotfy pointed out that the Egyptian mission had coordinated with the Saudi authorities to secure the safety of pilgrims.

He added that Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik was constantly checking up on the conditions of Egyptian pilgrims and offered all the facilities possible to Egyptian pilgrims in the kingdom until the end of the Hajj rituals.

The devil-stoning ritual is an emulation of Prophet Ibrahim’s pelting of the devil at the three spots where he is said to have appeared trying to dissuade Ibrahim from obeying God’s order to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail.

The stoning ritual lasts for four consecutive days, starting on the first day of Eid Al-Adha.

Egypt's social solidarity ministry said an Egyptian pilgrim passed away of natural causes upon arriving in Mecca.

The death of pilgrims, mainly elderly ones, occurs from heat exhaustion, fatigue and other natural causes during the Hajj season.

The government said 70,531 Egyptians are performing pilgrimage this year, while the Saudi authorities announced on Saturday that more than 2.49 million Muslims from around the world arrived in the kingdom in the past few days to perform Hajj. 

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