Over two million Muslims began Saturday to gather on Mount Arafat, highlight of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
The course of the Hajj "continues normally. Everything is going well," he told AFP the spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, General Mansour al-Turki. This year up to 100,000 agents of the security forces and civil defense were mobilized in the Holy Places.
Dressed in white, the faithful flocked from sunrise to Mount Arafat, also called "Jebal Al-Rahma" (Mount of Mercy), a hill from which the Prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon there are more 14 centuries.
"O God, I am responding to Your call," repeated in chorus pilgrims, bus or on foot, traveled slowly, for good weather, the ten miles between Mount Arafat in the valley of Mina where the pilgrims began Friday with a day of prayer and meditation.
According to the governor of Mecca, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, more than 1.83 million pilgrims came from abroad, a figure up 1.5% over 2010. Added to hundreds of thousands of Saudis and foreign residents of the Saudi kingdom.
At midday, the faithful must participate in a collective prayer in the mosque of Namera, built on the site where Muhammad had prayed.
The pilgrims then spend the rest of the day to pray and beg God's forgiveness extensively on Mount Arafat, the symbol of the expectation of doomsday.
At sunset, the faithful begin to flow into the valley of Muzdalifah, a few miles away, to spend the night.
Sunday, they will return to Mina to sacrifice an animal, usually a sheep, in remembrance of the sacrifice that Abraham was nearly complete by wanting to kill his son on God's orders. This ritual marks the beginning of the great feast of Al Adha.
Hajj, the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, is one of the five pillars of Islam that every believer is supposed to do at least once in his life if he can afford.