From Umar Dankano, Mina-Saudi Arabia.
As this year’s pilgrimage progresses in a coordinated and spirited manner,pilgrims from Adamawa and Taraba states,chanting Allah-o-Akbar (God is Greatest), stoned both the small, medium and Big Jamarats , the three pillars representing Satan, in Mina on Saturday and Sunday. The pilgrims came to Mina from Muzdalifa where they spent nights under tents and the open skies, just as the weather was pleasant and the pilgrims had no great difficulty in sleeping. In Muzdalifa they collected pebbles to perform the stoning ritual. The main mode of transport by Nigerian pilgrims from Muzdalifa to Mina and Jamarat was trekking. Under the guidance of preachers and guides, at the Jamarat complex, the ritual went on unhindered and uninterrupted, with Helicopters hovering overhead and security forces on the ground guided pilgrims in the right direction. “We had apprehensions as to whether we will be able to perform all these daunting rituals,” said Halliru Abdur Razaq, “But thanks to good arrangements we could do everything with remarkable ease.” A first time pilgrim,Abdur Razaq was very happy with the smooth flow of pilgrims. “We should thank Allah for these blessings,” adding, “The biggest blessing is that we are Muslims.” There was a sense of jubilation and exhilaration among the pilgrims after the stoning ritual. “I am very happy to have stoned the Satan,” said Sajid Jamaluddin, from Karachi. “All this is symbolic and it demonstrates the victory of good over evil,” he said. Also commenting Mukhtar Nasir, was emphatic that the ritual was in essence the triumph of all that is good in mankind. “We are essentially reminding ourselves that we have shut the door on our past in which we committed sins at the instigation of Satan,” he said. “I now feel like I have been born anew. I have taken a vow to be a good person.” Nasir was too happy to have performed pilgrim. “When we say Haj is a lifetime experience, it indeed is. It teaches you so many things, it teaches you patience, it teaches you tolerance, to be forgiving. Haj brings out the best in us,” he said. He further, said that the feeling of unity at Haj is incredible. “There are pilgrims from all parts of the world, rich and poor, black and white, men and women, we all are equal in the eyes of Allah,” he said. “And the thing that we need to keep thinking about is that if we can unite here in Arafat and Mina, then we can unite in the world beyond the holy sites,” he said. “I prayed for global unity of Muslims.” The stoning ritual will continue for two more days during which pilgrims hurl seven stones every day at each of the three wall-like pillars. In a related development, the Pilgrims in mina after experiencing heat due to the scorching sun weather ,had expressed happiness for the light shower[rainfall] ,as according to them the rain could bring succor to them, ‘’ since I arrived here ,this is the first rain we recorded,’’ said Saliha Maiha a female pilgrim. ‘’Praise and Glory be to Allah for the rain recorded,’’ adds, Abdullahi Adamu another male pilgrim.