Significance Of Arafat Day

The performance of the hajj at the spiritual sites in Makkah this year witnessed some innovations. Introducing vehicles for Tawaf in Kaába and metro lines for transportation of some of the over two point five million Pilgrims from one end to the other for the Hajj operations facilitated the observance of the spiritual exercise.

The Hajj pilgrimage is an annual Islamic journey that brings Muslims from around the world to Makkah to perform Hajj.

It is the fifth pillar of Islam, which is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in a lifetime.  It is a religious injunction for all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey and can support their families at home during their absence.

The word Hajj means a journey which connotes the outward act and the inward acts of intention to perform the acts as instructed by Allah.

During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Makkah for the week of the Hajj.  During this week, pilgrims perform a series of religious activities as ordained by God and Prophet Muhammad peace is upon him.

When the pilgrims are in places called Miqat, away from Makkah, they enter into a state of holiness known as Ihram that consists of wearing two white seamless cloths for the male, with the one wrapped around the waist reaching below the knee and the other draped over the left shoulder and tied at the right side.  Muslim women are allowed to wear what pleases them, except clothes that are attractive to or imitative of men dressing.

The Day of Arafat is an Islamic holiday that falls on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th of the lunar Islamic Calendar.  Arafat Day is the holiest day in the Islamic calendar, while the holiest night is the Night of Power in the month of Ramadan.  The second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the 10th day is the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha when sacrifices of slaughtering ram are performed by Muslims all over the world.

On the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims go to Mount Arafat from Mina, for the most important part of the Hajj rites.  The day of Arafah falls on the 2nd day of the pilgrimage with many of the pilgrims standing on Mount Arafah, a granite hill in the eastern part of Makkah, with a level area surrounding the hill called the Plain of Arafat.

Mount Arafat also called the Mount of Mercy is the place where Prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the farewell sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life.

On the day of Arafat, the Khutbah of Hajj will be delivered by the assigned Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah after which the Zuhur and Asr prayers are combined.

In the entire day, from dawn until sunset, Muslim pilgrims stand in earnest supplication and devotion praying for Allah’s abundant forgiveness. Tears are readily shed as those who gather make repentance and seek Allah’s mercy. They recite words of prayer and remembrance of God while gathering as equal creatures before their Creator, Allah.

Muslims around the world who are not participating in the pilgrimage are recommended to fast on Arafat day to partake in the special blessings and rewards offered to Muslims on that day by Allah.

The rituals end at sunset, pilgrims then move to Muzdalifah for a shortened Maghrib and Isha prayers and for a short rest before performing a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars known as Jamrah.

The over sixty-five thousand Nigeria’s pilgrims are expected to pray for peace, progress, and development in the country and ensure harmonious relationships with their pilgrimage brothers and sisters during the period of Hajj operations.

The gathering during Hajj symbolizes the largest annual gathering of people in the world and for Muslims on Hajj the most important rite that requires wealth, health, and ability to perform.

The more than two point-five million Muslims from around the world including over sixty-five thousand from Nigeria are gathering on the plains of Mount Arafat for the hajj ritual with total submission to Allah and devotion to His mercy and forgiveness also pray for peace and end to calamities and wars in any part of the world.

The benefits of standing on Mount Arafat as promised by Allah are total forgiveness of sins and the guarantee of paradise to all those who performed acceptable supplications with genuine intention to their creator, Allah.

 

 

 

 

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