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Extreme heat delays Hajj pilgrims from stoning the devil in Saudi Arabia

Measures were taken in order to ensure the well-being of pilgrims amidst high temperatures and to prevent heat stress.

Extreme heat delays Hajj pilgrims from stoning the devil in Saudi Arabia [Daily Trust]

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Dr Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman, issued the directive in a statement on Monday in Mina, Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He said the measure became necessary in order to ensure the well-being of pilgrims amidst high temperatures and to prevent heat stress.

"Accordingly, the following measures have been implemented: pilgrims are prohibited from proceeding to the Jamarat Bridge for the ritual of throwing stones from 11 am to 4 pm."

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He said security personnel would be stationed at camps to enforce the restriction and prevent any pilgrim from departing before 4 pm. He urged the Office of Hajj Affairs and service providers to ensure compliance, adding that they they would be held responsible for any violations thereof.

"We pray for Allah’s protection over the pilgrims and the acceptance of their Hajj."

Meanwhile, the official of the Nigeria’s Hajj Commission has intercepted two illegal migrants of Nigerian decent (Muhammed Umar and Nazifi Tasi'u Garba), over infiltration of pilgrims tents amidst concerns regarding overstretched accommodation and petty theft.

Consequently, the suspects were handed over to the Saudi Police, where their biometrics were obtained and a fine of 10,000 Saudi Riyals was imposed on them to be paid whenever they are leaving the country.

NAN reports that the Jamarat are three pillars located in Mecca and are an important part of the Hajj pilgrimage for Muslims.

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As part of their pilgrimage to Mecca, pilgrims throw pebbles at the pillars to symbolically "stone the devil."

The Stoning of the Devil—or rajm al-jamarat, translated as throwing pebbles—is a way for Muslims to reject temptation, affirm their faith in Allah, and honor the Prophet Ibrahim.

NAN reports that according to the Saudi Gazette, more than 1.83 million pilgrims performed this year's hajj.

A total of 1,833,164 pilgrims came from within the Kingdom and abroad to perform the annual pilgrimage and they included 1,611,310 foreign pilgrims and 221,854 domestic pilgrims, both citizens and expatriates.

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