Sun Nov 19 2017, 11:26:29 +03

This year a total of 2.35 million people carried out the hajj pilgrimage

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(Makkah-AlummahWorld-Dhu-AlHijjah 10,1438H)  Muslims performed Eid Al-Adha prayer on Friday morning at the Grand Holy Mosque in Makkah, the Prophet's Holy Mosque in Madinah, and throughout the regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In Makkah, Muslims performed Eid Al-Adha prayer at the Grand Holy Mosque, which was led by Imam and preacher of the Grand Holy Mosque Sheikh Dr. Maher bin Hamad Al-Muaiqli.
In Madinah, Muslims performed Eid Al-Adha prayer at the Prophet's Holy Mosque which was attended by Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Madinah Region.

In Riyadh, Eid Al-Adha prayer was performed at Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque and attended by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh region.
In Dammam, Eid Al-Adha prayer was performed and attended by Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Region and Prince Ahmad bin Fahd bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Vice Governor of the Eastern Region.

This year a total of 2.35 million people carried out the hajj pilgrimage, which was the most crowded one of last five years, Saudi Arabia's statistical authority said. It added that 229,308 of these pilgrims were either Saudi citizens or people holding residency permits.

The pilgrims from across the globe were gathered in Saudi desert valley of Mina, a tent city located around 7 kilometers north-east of Mecca, on Friday for the final major ritual of the annual hajj pilgrimage at the Jamarat Bridge, the scene of a stampede in 2015 that left 767 dead according to the official numbers, but many outlets claim the number was around 2,300.

For many, the pilgrimage, which runs five days and which all Muslims must perform at least once in a lifetime if physically and financially able, has been a lifelong dream.

Saudi Arabia says it has deployed more than 100,000 security personnel to keep pilgrims safe this year, whereas 31,569 vehicles were brought in to transport the pilgrims.

The huge crowds, many holding umbrellas to shield them from the sun, took part in the stoning rite under strict surveillance, with police tape guiding the flow of pilgrims, cameras everywhere and helicopters hovering overhead.

The stoning ritual, which lasts under Sunday, marks the first day of the Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), which commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son.

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 version of the story, Abraham is ordered to kill his other son, Isaac.

The final days of hajj coincide with the Eid al-Adha to commemorate Ibrahim's test of faith. For the holiday, Muslims slaughter livestock and distribute the meat to the poor.