Hajj: Heat prevents pilgrims from pelting the devil in Saudi Arabia 

Hajj and Umrah Minister of Saudi Arabia Dr Abdulfattah bin SulaimanMonday issued directive in a statement in Mina, Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the effect that pilgrims are prevented from proceeding to the Jamarat Bridge for the ritual of pelting stones from 11 am to 4 pm.

The statement by the authorities said the measure became necessary in order to ensure the well-being of pilgrims amidst high temperatures to prevent heat stroke.

It reads: “The following measures have been implemented: pilgrims are prevented from proceeding to the Jamarat Bridge for the ritual of pelting stones from 11 am to 4 pm.”

The minister said security personnel would be stationed at camps to enforce the restriction and prevent any pilgrim from departing before 4 pm.

Abdulfattah urged the Office of Hajj Affairs and service providers to ensure compliance, adding that any violations thereof, they would be held responsible.

“We pray may Allah SWT’s protection over the pilgrims and the acceptance of their hajj,” the statement reads in part.

Jamarat is one of the three pillars located in Mecca and are important part of the hajj pilgrimage for Muslims.

As part of their pilgrimage to Mecca, pilgrims pelting stone at the pillars to symbolise “stone the devil.”

 Rajm Al-jamarat or the Stoning of the Devil, a translated as throwing pebbles is a way for Muslims to reject temptation, affirm their faith in Allah, and honour the Prophet Ibrahim.

According to the Saudi Gazette, 1, 833, 164 million pilgrims performed this year’s hajj.

The 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 expatriates and citizens.