Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

Hajj: skies open in Mina to delight of faithful

Storms have been drenching the area, but assembled pilgrims see it as a good sign

Heavy rains struck Mina in Saudi Arabia on the first day of Ayyam Al Tashreeq.

The skies opened around 3.30pm on Monday.

Pilgrims saw this as an additional blessing during the Hajj period, as Muslims believe that prayers are answered most during rainstorms.

The faithful, who will stay in the area for three days, were hit by the inclement weather as they arrived to take part in the stoning of the devil ritual, known as Jamrat Al Aqabah.

Pilgrims heading to the area where the observance was to take place were told to go back to where they were staying.

Most camps had already cut off their electricity for safety reasons though, so there was no power.

Many stood outside their tents underneath umbrellas or gathered in areas of shelter in quiet contemplation.

"Quite the weather we had hoped for an August Hajj," a pilgrim from Makkah said, echoing the feelings of many who were pleased with the rain.

There were some showers on Saturday and Sunday.

Updated: August 13, 2019 12:27 PM

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