International desk, August 11: The pilgrims have gathered for the second time in Mina to stone the Jamrat Al-Aqaba (big Satan), slaughter their Adahi and sacrificial animals, change their ihrams into plain clothes, shave off, cut their hair and proceed toward the Grand Mosque for the Tawaf Al-Ifada.The pilgrims stayed the night in Muzdalifa after they came from Arafat where they stood from dawn to dusk among cooling rains and breezy winds climaxing their pilgrimage.
They prayed Zuhur and Asr together at Namirah Mosque where they listened to Sheikh Muhammad Bin Hassan Al-Asheikh who delivered the Arafat sermon in which he called for mercy and compassion among all the people.
According to the latest statistical reports, released by the General Authority of Statistics (GaStat), there are 2,489,406 pilgrims of whom 1,855,027 have come from outside and 634,379 domestic pilgrims including 67 percent non-Saudis.
The statistics said there are 1,385,234 male and 1,104,172 female pilgrims with an increase of 117,731 over their number last year which was 2,371,675.
The pilgrims will remain in Mina for two or three days more during which they will stone the three Jamrat with pebbles they have collected from Muzdalifa.
They will throw a total of 21 stones at the Jamrat each with seven stones unusually after mid-day.
According to the security forces, the Haj went smooth with no untoward incidents to mar this great occasion and the crowds were superbly managed, avoiding collisions and stampede.
The roads to the Jamrat area have been enlarged and shaded to protect the pilgrims against the scorching sun.