Hajj pilgrims to ‘stone the devil’ tomorrow

Hajj pilgrims will on Wednesday, gather pebbles and hurl them at three concrete walls in the symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual.

Then they will return to Mecca’s Grand Mosque — Islam’s holiest site — for a final circumambulation of the Kaaba, the giant black cube that Muslims worldwide pray towards each day.

This year’s hajj is the largest since Saudi authorities scrapped a requirement for women to be accompanied by a male guardian in 2021.

At this year’s hajj, which follows the lunar calendar and is not always held in summer, a maximum age limit has also been removed, allowing thousands of elderly to attend.

Heat is not the only risk at the pilgrimage, which has seen multiple crises over the years, including militant attacks and deadly fires.

In 2015, a stampede killed up to 2,300 people. There have been no major incidents since.

American engineer Ahmed Ahmadine, 37, said he felt “blessed” to be able to take part.

“I try to focus on praying for my family and friends,” he said.

“This is an opportunity that will not be repeated.”

(Vanguard)