SG (MINA)
Nearly two million pilgrims have completed their convergence in Mina in preparation for their ascendance to Arafat, for the most important ritual of Haj — Standing at Arafat — on Thursday. All pilgrims reached the vast tent city of Mina by bus and on foot through the roads, tunnels and bridges from Makkah by Wednesday afternoon, marking the beginning of the Haj rituals. They performed the obligatory prayers in shortened form following the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and engaged in supplications and reciting the Holy Qur’an.

Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Naif and Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah, advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and chairman of the Central Haj Committee, closely followed the smooth flow of the pilgrims under the supervision of tens of thousands of security forces. Helicopters from the Royal Saudi Air Force patrolled Mina and the holy sites to monitor the movement of pilgrims.

In a related development, the Civil Defense Directorate in Haj has completed all the arrangements for the safety of pilgrims on the vast plains of Arafat. Brig. Gen. Abdullah Al-Hammad, commander of the Civil Defense in Arafat, said that his forces have been supplied with highly advanced equipment and devices to monitor the movement of pilgrims in Arafat, especially at Namira Mosque and Jabal Al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy).

“The units of motorcyclists from the Civil Defense will be deployed in all parts of Arafat to handle any eventuality. The Civil Defense personnel will also monitor pilgrims through cameras installed at its towers in the holy site,” he said. The directorate has readied a specialist team to check air pollution and carbon emission in Muzdalifah.

Meanwhile, Minister of Transport Sulaiman Al-Hamdan inspected the transport facilities including bus stations and bus inspection centers, and the facilities for the pilgrims. He also inspected the progress of the construction of the Rusaifa Railway Station for the Haramain Speed Train.