Arafat Valley: More than two million pilgrims from over 150 countries have ascended the plains of Mount Arafat on Monday 10th of Dhul Hijjah 1439H, corresponding to August 20, 2018, to perform the most important ritual of Hajj - one of the five tenets of Islam.
Standing on Mount Arafat until the sunset on the 9th day of Dul Hijjah is the one of the most important rituals of the Hajj pilrimage.
Pilgrims converge on the hill, dedicated to prayers and reflection, where Dhuhr and Asr prayers are prayed together. After the Dhuhr and Asr prayers, Imam-e-Masjid Nabawvi, the Prophet's Mosque, will deliver the Arafat Sermon.
Chanting Talbiyah “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk” (Here I am O Lord, answering your call), pilgrimsare seeking blessings and mercy from God Almighty.
It is believed that the Day of Arafat is when one’s sins can be forgiven. It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad said the day: “Expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year.”
It is also narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the Day of Arafat,” in reference to the fires of Hell.
Muslims who are not performing Hajj observe the day by fasting from dusk till dawn.
Saudi authorities announced their optimum preparations for Hajj this year to ensure safety and create comfortable conditions for pilgrims to perform rituals.
After standing on Arafat, pilgrims head to the site of Muzdalifa to spend the night, as per Hajj obligations. Muzadlifda is the area for performing Jamarat, the symbolic stoning of the devil.
Earlier, pilgrims started moving towards Mount Arafat a bit later than the announced schedule because of heavy rains and dust storm.
After the storm began clearing, pilgrims started their journey to the desert planes of Arafat.
Local media reports said that the gush of winds hit tents in Mina that required restoring, causing the initial delay. Pilgrims were waiting in their camps in Mina for green signal to start the journey.
Camaraderie was visible in the tents of Mina as pilgrims helped each other out in making their stay comfortable. Prayers and chants went on for the good part of the night and, after brief nap, they were all up for morning prayers.
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