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Muzdalifah Before Dawn

Oil on canvas
39 x 46.8” (97 x 119 cm)

On a particular night during the Hajj period, pilgrims pass the evening in a location called Muzdalifah. They collect Jamarat (small stones) for the ritual of stoning the three pillars, in a reenactment of the temptation of the prophet Ibrahim. There they remain until dawn, then head to the location of Al Aqabah for the stoning ritual. I performed Hajj at a time when electric lights were limited. At night, I was able to see the pilgrims in white robes scattered across the dark purple landscape, sitting by fires whose colored light was reflected on their snowy garments.