Makkah: More than two million pilgrims have begun ascending the plains of Mount Arafat shortly after sunrise on Monday to perform the most important ritual of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj.
Standing on Mount Arafat until the sunset on the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah is the most important pillar of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Pilgrims converge on the vast plains of Arafat, dedicated to prayers and supplication, where they performed Dhuhr and Asr prayers in combined and shortened form.
Chanting “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk” (Here I am O Lord, answering your call), pilgrims sought blessings and mercy from Allah the Almighty.
Muslims believe that the Day of Arafat is when one’s sins can be forgiven. It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 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. The Prophet (PBUH) said about the reward of fasting on Arafat day that it “expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year.”
Saudi authorities announced their optimum preparations for Hajj this year to ensure safety and create comfortable conditions for pilgrims to perform the rituals.
After standing on Arafat, pilgrims will head to Muzdalifa after sunset to spend the night there as part of the Haj rituals. The pilgrims will return to the tent city of Mina tomorrow (Tuesday) morning where they perform the symbolic stoning of the devil at Jamarat Al-Aqba and will perform three other major rituals of Hajj before exiting from the state of Ihram.