Malaysian pilgrims will complete haj rituals today

Sofea Chok Suat Ling

MAKKAH: The Masyair phase of the haj ends today with all Malaysian pilgrims in the tent city of Mina returning here.

They reached their respective accommodation buildings here by noon (local time).

Masyair, which started last Sunday, refers to the massive movement of pilgrims from Makkah to Arafah for wukuf, onwards to Muzdalifah for half a night to pick up pebbles, and then to Mina for the stoning ritual which was carried out over four days at the Jamarat Complex.

Upon the completion of the haj rituals under Masyair, pilgrims will perform their tawaf and saie in Makkah, bringing their haj to a close.

For the tawaf, pilgrims will pray and walk in a circle around the Kaabah seven times in a counterclockwise direction. This is meant to express the devotion of Muslims to the one God.

Saie between the hills of Safa and Marwah, now housed within the Grand Mosque complex, will be carried out after tawaf.

The rite commemorates the actions of Hajar, the wife of Prophet Ibrahim who ran seven times between the hills in search of water for her son.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, said pilgrims started departing Mina in buses from 7am.

He added that from Makkah, the pilgrims who have not yet been to Madinah would proceed to

the second most holiest place in Islam to pray at the Prophet's Mosque and visit places of historical interest under Tabung Haji's 'ziarah luar' programme.

"A total of 16,200 pilgrims out of 30,200 overall completed their stoning ritual a day earlier yesterday under a practice called 'nafar awal'.

"Under 'nafar awal', pilgrims are allowed to forgo the last day of the stoning ritual after fulfilling some requirements."

Mujahid said the pilgrims who were on the first few flights back to Malaysia undertook 'nafar awal' so they could return to Makkah a day earlier to complete their tawaf and saie.

"They left Mina after dawn prayers yesterday for Makkah."

Malaysian pilgrims would start departing Makkah for home from Aug 29. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd