Hajj ends officially after last batches of pilgrims complete rituals

Around 8;000 pilgrims; who stayed back in Mina Thursday night to perform the stoning ritual for the fourth consecutive day; threw pebbles at three Jamarat (pillars); symbolizing Satan; on Friday afternoon.

They then reached Makkah to perform Tawaful Wida (farewell circumambulation); marking the end of the annual pilgrimage on a sound and joyous note.

The pilgrims hurled seven pebbles each; first at Jamarat Al-Sugra; then at Jamrat Al-Wusta; and finally at Jamrat Al-Aqaba in a calm and peaceful atmosphere inside the sprawling Jamarat Complex manned by a contingent of security forces; officials and health workers.

Nearly 50;000 pilgrims; out of the total 58;518 domestic pilgrims; left Mina on Thursday after performing the stoning ritual at the Jamarat and performed Tawaful Wida at the Grand Mosque in Makkah before leaving for their destinations in various parts of the Kingdom. Although Hajj concludes officially on Friday; the third day of Tashreeq; pilgrims are allowed to hasten to complete it the previous day. Most of the pilgrims of this year’s Hajj took advantage of the concession to leave a day earlier.

The Saudi authorities have won accolades from within the Kingdom as well as from the Arab and Islamic world for their great efforts in making this year’s Hajj pilgrimage hassle-free and a resounding success. Many Arab and Islamic countries and organizations praised the Saudi leadership and people for their great efforts in the success of the Hajj; which was limited to 60;000 vaccinated domestic pilgrims; including citizens and residents who represent 150 countries; in light of the unprecedented pandemic situation.

Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announced on Thursday the success of the health plans for this year’s pilgrimage; and that the pilgrimage was free from coronavirus and other epidemic diseases. The World Health Organization welcomed the measures taken by Saudi Arabia during the Hajj season; to limit the spread of the pandemic and to ensure the safety of pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh; who is also chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars; and General Presidency for the Scholarly Research and Ifta; congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on the success of the Hajj season. He lauded the great efforts of the government and private sectors which harnessed all their energies to serve the pilgrims to perform their rituals in ease and comfort despite the unprecedented circumstances through which the world is going due to the pandemic.

Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen; secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); which is the grouping of 57 Muslim countries; congratulated King Salman and the Crown Prince on the successful conclusion of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. “The Saudi government has provided a lesson in managing crises and large crowds; as it is able to organize the Hajj rituals in light of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis without having any harm among the pilgrims.”

He attributed the successful Hajj season to a series of solid measures and decisions taken by the Kingdom since the outbreak of the epidemic; and confining the season to a limited number of pilgrims so as to ensure that the ritual is held in a safe atmosphere as well as to ensure the safety of everyone from the threats of the pandemic.

Arab Parliament President Adel Al-Asoumi congratulated King Salman and the Crown Prince on the success of this year’s Hajj season. In a statement; Al-Asoumi lauded the health and security measures taken by the Kingdom to make the Hajj season a great success.

On its part; All Pakistan Ulema Council hailed the success of the Hajj season; appreciating the great endeavors exerted; wise decisions taken; and comprehensive plan endorsed and applied by Saudi Arabia to regulate the workings of this year’s Hajj season.

“People of the Arab and Islamic world follow up with full pride the wise directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman related to organizing Hajj season as well as the direct follow up of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to make the season a big success; despite the risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic;” the council said in a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency.