Groups like IS are maligning the image of Islam: Grand Mufti

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MECCA: In apparent condemnation of the Islamic State militant group, also known as Daesh, Saudi Grand Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh on Wednesday urged Muslims to unite and rise up against extremist groups, which are trying to destroy the image of Islam.

Speaking to Muslims from around the world in an address during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, the Grand Mufti said that terrorist organisations like Daesh are trying to take Islam back into the age of ignorance.

The mufti spoke from Nimrah Mosque at Mount Arafat in western Saudi Arabia, home to Islam s holiest sites.

More than 2.5 million Muslims from around the world including 143, 368 Pakistanis gathered at Mount Arafat for a day of prayer at the peak of the annual Hajj.

Hajj is among the five pillars of Islam and every capable Muslim must perform it at least once in a lifetime.

Grand Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh urged Muslims to make concerted efforts in their individual and collective lives to spread true message of Islam as religion of peace, love and brotherhood.

He warned that conspiracies being hatched by enemies of Islam to undermine its strength. He urged Muslim Ummah to forge unity in its ranks to foil their nefarious designs.

He cautioned Muslims against those who are misusing the name of Islam and indulging in sabotage and terrorist activities.

“They have not spared even mosques and peaceful citizens,” he added.

He said these elements have gone astray and are strengthening hands of enemies of Islam.

The Grand Mufti said that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) declared all types of injustices as haraam (forbidden) and added that no human being would take life another human being. He said injustice is destined to be eliminated sooner or later.

The mufti specially addressed the youth and said they should not listen to those who are spreading anarchy. Instead, they should direct their energies towards constructive pursuits and spread the true message of Islam.

He said we should make our lives as beacon of light for people living around the world.

He called upon media to discharge its professional responsibilities in an honest manner, putting across what is right and inculcating the sense of unity among Ummah.

After the sermon, prayers were offered for well being and unity of the Ummah.

The pilgrims offered Zohr and Asr prayers at Maidan-e-Arafat and will leave for Muzdalfa just after sunset. During stay at Maidan-e-Arafat, the pilgrims will offer special prayers and repent their sins.

After stay in Arafat (Waqoof -e-Arafat), they will spend whole night in open sky at Muzdalfa where they will offer their Maghrib and Isha prayers.

Next day, the pilgrims will return to Mina and perform Rami and sacrifice animals.

They will put off their Ihrams after sacrificing animals, and shave their heads followed by Tawaaf-e-Ziara which could be performed within three days.

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