Around two million pilgrims from around the world will converge in Arafat to perform the main ritual of Hajj “Waqoof-e-Arafat” today. It is one of the most iconic moments in history. Muslims from around the globe converge on this unique and central movement, focussed on one-act, The worship of Allah Swt, (God).
Bickering neighbours will stand arm-in-arm next to each other, ‘enemy’ nationalities will help each other walk through the rough terrain in the endearing heat and for once, in a solitary location, Muslims will stand united. For an emotional day of repentance and supplication at the site where Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon, calling for equality and unity among Muslims.
They will listen to a sermon to be delivered at Namira Mosque and then perform Dhuhr and Asr prayers and spend time in Arafat with prayers for acceptance of their pilgrimage and recitation of Quranic verses until sunset.
After sunset, the pilgrims will head to Muzdalifah, where they will stay until midnight, engaged in prayers after performing Maghrib and Isha prayers combined.
They moved to Arafat from Mina area about 20 km east of Makkah, a tent facility which houses the 2 plus million people in one place. Despite the heatwave that swept through Mina at noon, the weather had cooled somewhat by night, giving pilgrims a much-needed respite from the oppressive glare of the sun.
The ritual of changing Ghilaf-e-Kaaba ( the cloth of the Kabaa) was held at night, at Masjid al-Haram in Saudi Arabia where millions of Muslims have gathered to perform Hajj. The scale of the pilgrimage presents vast security and logistical challenges, with tens of thousands of safety officers deployed.