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05:29, 22 December 2014 Monday
15:59, 08 November 2011 Tuesday

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Hajjis symbolically throwing stones at Devil in Mecca
Hajjis symbolically throwing stones at Devil in Mecca
(AA)

Millions of Muslims, who are in Mecca for religious hajj service, symbolically threw stones at Devil on Tuesday.

Millions of Muslims, who are in Mecca for religious hajj service, symbolically threw stones at Devil on Tuesday.

Muslims are also walking around Kaaba and performing their prayers on the third day of Eid al-Adha religious holiday.

Meanwhile, AA correspondents have been taking views of Kaaba and other religious places in Mecca from helicopters since the first day of Eid al-Adha holiday which lasts for four days.

The "Hajj" or pilgrimage is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God.

The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which Muslims live while on the pilgrimage.

The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham. Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer, runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, and throws stones in a ritual Stoning of the Devil. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate global festival of Eid al-Adha.

AA



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