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Hajj 2014: Pilgrims head towards Arafat

MAKKAH: Millions of Hajj pilgrims after Fajar prayers are heading towards the ground of Arafat to listen the Hajj sermon and offer Zuhr and Asr prayers at tent city of Arafat.  Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdul Aziz Shaikh will give Hajj sermon during Wuqoof-e-Arafat, ARY News reports.

The pilgrims will offer Zuhr and Asr prayers combined after listening to the sermon by the Grand Mufti. After the Hajj sermon, the pilgrims will head towards Muzdalifa for offering Maghrib and Isha prayers and spend the night under the open sky and will collect stones for Rammi.

After spending the night in Muzdalifa, the pilgrims will head towards Jamarat where they will stone three devils. After hurling stones at devils, the Hajj pilgrims will sacrifice animals, shave heads and do off their Ahram and will wear normal dress.

Eid-ul-Azha will be celebrated in the holy land on Saturday (tomorrow). The pilgrims will return to Makkah and will perform Tawaf. The pilgrims than will head back to Mina again. They will stay in Mina for two more days for prayers and will stone the devils. The pilgrims after hurling stones at devils will leave Mina before Maghrib.

Ghilaf-e-Kaaba changing ceremony

Earlier, annual Ghilaf-e-Kaaba changing ceremony held on Friday morning at Masjid-Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque) in Saudi Arabia where millions of pilgrims have gathered to perform Hajj.

The covering cloth of the Kaaba, known as Kiswa, changes on 9th Zilhajj every year on the day of Arafat. The new cover has been prepared with estimated 150 kg of pure gold, silver and silk fiber.

The cover, inscribed with verses of the Holy Quran, is prepared by hundreds weaving experts with the cost of millions of Saudi riyals.

The old Ghilaf will be divided into pieces and will be gifted to the foreign dignitaries.

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