Arafat: Pilgrims started gathering on the plains of Arafat, about 20 km from Makkah, from Sunday morning (Dhul Hijjah 9), marking the climax of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj.
They stand on Mount Arafat chanting “Labbaik Allahuma Labbaik…“, supplicating to Allah, the Almighty, with total submission as they came from all corners of the globe in answer to their Lord’s call. The Day of Arafah is the Day of Wuqoof (standing), which is tne most important pillar of Hajj, when pilgrims stand on the plains of Arafat. The pilgrims perform Dhuhr and Asr prayers shortened and combined after they listen to the Arafat sermon in Namirah Mosque, which can accommodate up to 350,000 worshippers. Then, they start the standing at Arafat until up to sunset, reciting the Holy Qur’an and raising their voices with prayers while enjoying security and safety amid an integrated system of services provided by the Saudi authorities.
Nearly two million pilgrims in white seamless dress gathered on the plains of Arafat and Jabal Al-Rahmah (Mount of Mercy) in piety and supplication where the differences in colors and races have been vanished. Since the night of Dhu al-Hijjah 9, the disabled, women and elderly pilgrims began arriving in Arafat, while other pilgrims started streaming to Arafat from Mina after they spent the day and night of Tarwiyah Day in the huge tent city, following the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The Hajj-related authorities provide services to pilgrims on the plains of Arafat where the roads and footpaths are packed with pilgrims and all the basic services including hospitals and health centers are readied for them.
The security men engaged in regulating the flow of vehicles and pedestrians, in addition to implementing the grouping plan of pilgrims from Mina and guiding the lost pilgrims.
The Saudi authorities have taken the necessary measures to tackle all potential risks throughout the days of Hajj on the Arafat Day and during the grouping of pilgrims to Muzdalifah and their return to Mina. They have also taken measures in anticipation of risks that may result from rains and flooding.
Due to the scorching temperatures at the Mount of Arafat, the authorities put up water-praying devices along the streets to cool down the Hajj pilgrims, while the health authorities warned the pilgrims of the heat stress and sunstrokes, and urged them to drink enough amounts of water, fluids and juices.
Following completion of their greatest ritual of standing at Arafat, the pilgrims will start moving to Muzdalifah after the sunset of Dhul Hijja 9, where they will perform Maghrib and Isha prayers shortened and combined, and spend the night there until the dawn break, except for the elderly people, disabled, sick, and children who are allowed to leave Muzdalifah after midnight and head to Mina for stoning the biggest Jamarat.