MAKKAH: The holy and auspicious Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Azha is being celebrated in Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Gulf countries, Afghanistan along some other parts of the world today.
In Saudi Arabia, major congregations were held in Masjid-ul-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Makkah, and Masjid an-Nabawi, also called the Prophet’s Mosque, in Madina early Tuesday morning where more than two million Muslims offered Eid-ul-Azha prayers.
The pilgrims, after completing their prayers, began arriving in Mina where they will perform ‘stoning of the devil’ (Rammi) at Jamarat Al-Aqba.
After the stoning ritual, the pilgrims will sacrifice animals, shave their heads and then leave for Makkah to perform Tawaf Al-Ifada and Sai’, two other pillars of Hajj.
Eid-ul-Azha involves slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah and in commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) readiness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God’s command.
A sea of pilgrims ascended Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia on Monday to pray and repent, the pinnacle of the annual Hajj. Mount Arafat is where Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) delivered his final sermon.
The imam of Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Hussein bin Abdelaziz Al al-Sheikh, delivered the sermon yesterday, in which he emphasised respectful behaviour and good character as being the most important lessons of Islam.
Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said the number of pilgrims arriving in Makkah had already surpassed the two million mark, mostly from abroad including large contingents from Egypt, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Every Muslim is under conition to complete the Hajj journey in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the monetary means to do so.