10-Zulhijjah: The Eidul-Adha festival all over the world, but here in Mina, people preparing for Jamrat stoning. Some would be fast enough to do in the morning and be able to go to Masjidil Haram in Makkah for Eid prayer. But for common people, mostly who come with groups, prefer to do it at night to avoid congestion. People are supposed to come back to stay in Mina camp after stoning, because you have to do it the 2nd round before 13-Zulhijjah. We, on the other hand, chose to go to Jamrat bringing our small luggage, wait until midnight in Mina, before going back to Makkah (all the way for hotel bed rather than sleeping in camp!). It’s on your own expense and risk, and you have to be back to Mina again to do the 2nd round of stoning.
9 Zulhijjah 1429, after sunset. After a long wait for the bus, we left Arafat for Muzdalifah, an area between Arafat and Mina. In here pilgrims made a stop to pick up small stones to use in rituals of ‘stoning the devils’ at Jamrat place in Mina the next day. Though the area was actually covered by desert sand rather than rocks or small stones, and even if there were supposed to be some small stones laying somewhere, they were almost gone. I mean, thousands of people have been hunting for them today! Hmm but my father managed to get some for us, and we kept these stones inside a small cloth bag.
The pilgrims stopped in Muzdalifah to spend a few hours sleeping on the ground during the night of 9 Zulhijjah.
Picking small stones. It looks easy, but not. You may need torchlight, and you may mistake a stone with other junk.
While everyone back home in Malaysia were busy preparing for the big Eid next day, the pilgrims in Muzdalifah were having picnic on a desert surrounded by cold wind and crowds.
It’s part of the Hajj stages actually – to spend the night of 9 Zulhijjah in Muzdalifah. But since it’s only a few hours, and there were millions of us the pilgrims, providing camps isn’t that necessary. So we just spent the night laying on the ground itself, covered with plastic carpet provided by Tabung Haji.. and it’s not that bad actually. You don’t get to have a picnic with thousands people at a time, at night, in other places but Muzdalifah :) Lucky that on the bus they loved to constantly provide food and drinks so we didn’t left starving.