Ritual Stoning of The Devils at Hajj as Eid al-Adha BeginsWorld | November 27, 2009, Friday // 19:14| views
Thousands of Muslim pilgrims ritually 'stone the devils' at the climax of the annual Hajj. Photo by BGNES
Hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims have performed the ritual "stoning of the devil" at Muzdalifa, outside the Saudi holy city of Mecca, on Friday, in one of the high points of the annual Hajj.
The ritual coincides with the beginning of Eid al-Adha - or "Festival of Sacrifice," considered one of the most important days in the Islamic calendar.
The religious feast commemorates the belief shared by Muslims, Christians and Jews that God gave the prophet Abraham a ram to stop Abraham's impending sacrifice of his son.
Muslims around the world are slaughtering animals to celebrate Eid al-Adha. In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere many also purchase vouchers which provide meat for poor Muslims around the world.
This portion of the Hajj has historically been the most dangerous. There have been a number of deadly stampedes in recent years at Jamarat Bridge, where the stoning ritual takes place.
It is estimated that some 2,5 million people from 160 countries are taking part in the Hajj, one of Islam's five obligations - or pillars. Every Muslim, if able, must perform it at least once during his or her lifetime.?
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