Pilgrims begin final rites of Hajj as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha (2024)

MINA, Saudi Arabia—

Masses of pilgrims on Sunday embarked on a symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia under the soaring summer heat. The ritual marks the final days of the Hajj, or Islamic pilgrimage, and the start of the Eid al-Adha celebrations for Muslims around the world.

The stoning is among the final rites of the Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. It came a day after more than 1.8 million pilgrims congregated at a sacred hill, known as Mt. Arafat, outside the holy city of Mecca, which Muslim pilgrims visit to perform the annual five-day rituals of Hajj.

Fourteen Jordanian pilgrims have died due to sunstroke during the Hajj pilgrimage, according to Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it has coordinated with Saudi authorities to bury the dead in Saudi Arabia, or transfer them to Jordan.


The pilgrims left Mt. Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in a nearby site known as Muzdalifa, where they collected pebbles to use in the symbolic stoning of pillars representing the devil.

A usually joyous Muslim holiday falls amid the ruins and hunger of Gaza

Last summer, Palestinians in Gaza held celebrations for the Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha, but amid the Israel-Hamas war, there is hunger and despair.

June 15, 2024

The pillars are in another sacred place near Mecca, called Mina, where Muslims believe Ibrahim’s faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son, Ismail. Ibrahim was prepared to submit to the command, but then God stayed his hand, sparing his son. In the Christian and Jewish versions of the story, Abraham is ordered to kill his other son, Isaac.

On Sunday morning, crowds headed on foot to the stoning areas. Some were seen pushing disabled pilgrims on wheelchairs on a multilane road leading to the complex housing the large pillars. Most pilgrims were seen sweltering and carrying umbrellas to protect them against the burning summer sun.

An Associated Press reporter saw many pilgrims, especially among the elderly, collapsing on the road to the pillars because of the burning heat. Security forces and medics were deployed to help using gurneys, carrying those who fainted out of the heat to ambulances or field hospitals. As the temperature spiked by midday, more people required medical help. The heat had reached to 116.6 Fahrenheit in Mecca, and 114.8 in Mina, according to Saudi meteorological authorities.

Despite the suffocating heat, many pilgrims expressed joy at being able to complete their pilgrimage.

“Thank God, [the process] was joyful and good,” said Abdel-Moaty Abu Ghoneima, an Egyptian. “No one wants more than this.”

Each year between 2 to 3 million Muslims from around the world take part in a five-day pilgrimage in Mecca called the hajj.

Sept. 24, 2015

Many pilgrims will spend up to three days in Mina, each casting seven pebbles at three pillars in a ritual to symbolize the casting away of evil and sin.

While in Mina, they will visit Mecca to perform their “tawaf,” or circumambulation, which is circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque counterclockwise seven times. Then another circumambulation, the farewell tawaf, will mark the end of Hajj as pilgrims prepare to leave the holy city.

The rites coincide with the four-day Eid al-Adha, which means “Feast of the Sacrifice,” when Muslims with financial means commemorate Ibrahim’s test of faith by slaughtering livestock and animals and distributing the meat to the poor.

Most countries marked Eid al-Adha on Sunday. Others, such as Indonesia, will celebrate it Monday.

Once the Hajj is over, men are expected to shave their heads and remove the shroud-like white garments worn during the pilgrimage, and women to snip a lock of hair in a sign of renewal and rebirth.

Israel to pause daytime fighting in southern Gaza to help flow of stalled aid to Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly angered upon learning of a pause in military operation and is then told there is no policy change.

June 16, 2024

Most of the pilgrims then leave Mecca for the city of Medina, about 210 miles away, to pray in Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, the Sacred Chamber. The tomb is part of the prophet’s mosque, one of the three holiest sites in Islam, along with the Grand Mosque in Mecca and Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.


All Muslims are required to make the Hajj once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to do so. Many wealthy Muslims make the pilgrimage more than once. The rituals largely commemorate the accounts of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ismail, Ismail’s mother Hajar and Prophet Muhammad, according to the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

More than 1.83 million Muslims performed Hajj in 2024, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah said in a briefing, slightly less than figures from last year, when 1.84 million made the rituals.

Most of the Hajj rituals are held outdoors with little if any shade. It is set for the second week of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic lunar calendar, so its time of the year varies. And this year the pilgrimage fell in the burning summer of Saudi Arabia.

This year’s Hajj came against the backdrop of the devastating Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, which has pushed the Middle East to the brink of a regional conflict.

Through personal ups and downs, they’ve waited years to perform hajj. These are their stories

This year’s hajj is a landmark: the first full pilgrimage after three years when the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the scale of one of Islam’s holiest rites.

June 17, 2023

Palestinians in Gaza weren’t able to travel to Mecca for Hajj this year because of the closure of the Rafah crossing in May when Israel extended its ground offensive to the city on the border with Egypt. And they will not be able to celebrate Eid al-Adha as they used to do in previous years.

Dozens of Palestinians gathered Sunday morning near a destroyed mosque in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Yunis to perform the Eid prayers. They were surrounded by debris and rubble of collapsed houses. In the nearby town of Deir al Balah in central Gaza, Muslims held their prayers in a school-turned-shelter. Some, including women and children, went to cemeteries to visit the graves of loved ones.


“Today, after the ninth month, more than 37,000 martyrs, more than 87,000 wounded, and hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed,” Abdulhalim abu Samra, a displaced Palestinian, told the AP after wrapping up prayers in Khan Yunis. “Our people live in difficult circ*mstances.”

Also in the occupied West Bank, Palestinians convened for the Eid prayers in Ramallah, the seat of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. “We suffer greatly and live through difficult moments with [what’s happening to] our brothers in Gaza,” said Mahmoud Mohana, a mosque imam.

In Yemen’s Houthi-held capital of Sana and in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, Muslims celebrated and prayed for the war-weary Palestinians in Gaza.

Hajj pilgrimage begins in Saudi Arabia, with capacity crowd of 2 million expected

Some 2 million Muslim pilgrims officially begin the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which is returning to full capacity for the first time since the pandemic.

June 26, 2023

“We are happy because of Eid, but our hearts are filled with anguish when we see our brothers in Palestine,” said Bashar al-Mashhadani, imam of the Gilani Mosque in Baghdad. “[We] urge the Arabic and Islamic countries to support and stand beside them in this ordeal.”

In Lebanon, where the militant Hezbollah group traded nearly daily attacks with Israel, a steady stream of visitors made their way into the Palestine Martyrs Cemetery near the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut early Sunday morning, bearing flowers and jugs of water for the graves of their loved ones, an annual tradition on the first day of Eid.

The cemetery is the burial site of many Palestine Liberation Organization leaders and militants who died fighting Israeli forces in Lebanon in the 1970s and ’80s. More recently, top Hamas official Saleh Arouri and two other Hamas members killed with him in an apparent Israeli airstrike in Beirut’s southern suburbs in January were buried there.


Magdy writes for the Associated Press. AP writers Wafaa Shurafa in the Gaza Strip and Abby Sewell in Beirut contributed to this report.

More to Read

  • Hundreds died during Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia amid intense heat, officials say

    June 19, 2024

  • Photos: Southland celebrates Eid al-Fitr

    April 10, 2024

  • Ramadan is ending this week. How communities decide when to celebrate

    April 9, 2024

Pilgrims begin final rites of Hajj as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha (2024)


How do Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha answer? ›

During the festival, families that can afford to sacrifice a ritually acceptable animal (sheep, goat, camel, or cow) do so and then divide the flesh equally among themselves, the poor, and friends and neighbours. Eid al-Adha is also a time for visiting with friends and family and for exchanging gifts.

Why Hajj is performed on Eid ul Adha? ›

The Hajj re-enacts events performed by prophet Abraham, his wife Hagar and their son Ismail as they reaffirmed their faith and trust in God. Nothing captures the spirit of Eid better than 'Eidgah', that brilliant short story of Prem Chand.

What came first Hajj or Eid ul Adha? ›

The more authentic and widely accepted report, on the other hand, indicates that the first Eid prayer was observed in the second year of the Hijra. Hajj, on the other hand, was made obligatory in the ninth year of Hijra.

How do pilgrims celebrate the end of the Hajj? ›

Pilgrims reflect on their experience and thank Allah for everything, while circumambulating the Kaaba. On completing the Tawaf, pilgrims can proceed to collect their belongings, leave Kaaba by setting their left foot out first and making supplications while doing so. This final step marks the end of Hajj rituals.

What happens at Eid al-Adha? ›

As with Eid al-Fitr, the Eid prayer is performed on the morning of Eid al-Adha, after which udhiyah, or the ritual sacrifice of sheep, may be performed. In Islamic tradition, it honours the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command.

What is the reason why Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha? ›

Eid ul-Adha is the latter of the two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to God's command. Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, Allah provided a lamb to sacrifice instead.

How important is Eid al-Adha? ›

One of the biggest Islamic holidays, the occasion commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's test of faith through slaughtering livestock and animals and distributing the meat to the poor.

Why is the Hajj celebrated? ›

The word Hajj means "pilgrimage made to the Kaaba", a long pious journey taken by Muslims to cleanse their souls of all worldly sins, which connotes both the outward act of a journey after death and the inward act of good intentions.

Why do Muslims sacrifice in Eid al-Adha? ›

Traditionally, Eid al-Adha is celebrated to mark the end of the hajj pilgrimage and to honour the prophet Abraham. According to Islamic teachings, Abraham was instructed to sacrifice his son Ismael to Allah, in a test of faith. God then replaced Ismael with a sheep just before the sacrifice was to take place.

What is one way that Eid al-Adha is celebrated? ›

Most Muslims will attend the special prayers held at major mosques and Islamic centers in the United States and throughout the world. Muslims usually wear new clothes and some exchange gifts. Children take a day off from school (including college students), and many adults do not go to work.

How do Muslims celebrate Eid? ›

Eid al-Fitr is usually a period of great celebration, with families and friends coming together and sharing large meals. It is also common for children to receive either money or small gifts from their elders.

What do Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha to remember? ›

The festival of Eid-Ul-Adha is also celebrated by Muslims to remember Abraham's obedience to the Lord God.

How do Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha GCSE? ›

Eid al-Adha

Muslims attend a service in mosques, which focuses on the importance of obedience to Allah. Muslim families often sacrifice an animal and divide it into three parts: one to their family, one to their relatives, and one to the poor.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated:

Views: 6326

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.