THE STAR/ANN – Malaysia once again made history when it became the first country to be invited by the Saudi Arabian government to choose the time to perform the stoning ritual at Mina.
Malaysian Haj Delegation head Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman said the advantage allowed Malaysia to choose between 8pm and 10pm for the ritual, which would provide comfort as the daytime weather could reach over 50 degrees Celsius.
“When in talks with the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, they just accept whatever time we choose and it has been sealed in an agreement between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia,” he explained.
“The schedule chosen is in accordance with the pilgrims and our haj operation schedule.
“This is a good thing because we are given priority… other countries will probably go in the morning, noon and afternoon while we will go in the evening.”
He said this to reporters after visiting the locations of Malaysian pilgrims in Arafah, Muzdalifah and Mina, reported Bernama. Previously, Malaysia made history when it became the first country to receive a permit to operate a medical centre in Saudi Arabia.
It was also listed among the five countries that participated in the “Makkah Route”.
Syed Saleh said on the 13th of Zulhijjah, some pilgrims would throw stones in the early morning after dawn prayers to avoid congestion and untoward incidents.
“This year, if the Wukuf ritual (assembly on the Arafah plain) falls on Friday, we will start deploying staff on the 7th of Zulhijjah.
“They will leave at night to make preparations to receive the Malaysian pilgrims, who will start moving early in the morning,” said Syed Saleh.
“The movement of pilgrims involving 17 buses will start at 7am. We hope the movement from Makkah to Arafah will go smoothly.
“On the 10th of Zulhijjah, they will move to Muzdalifah after Maghrib prayers to join the rituals until close to midnight at 11.45pm.
“After that, the pilgrims will move from Muzdalifah to Mina and stay there for three days starting on the 10th of Zulhijjah.