Millions of pilgrims Tuesday gathered on the plain of Arafat seeking Allah’s mercies and forgiveness of sins as this year’s holy pilgrimage climaxes.
This is coming as over 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims prayed for peace, progress and stability of the Nigerian nation.
Mount Arafat, and by its other name, Jabal ar Rahmah, is a granodiorite hill about 20 kilometers Southeast of Makkah.
The mountain is approximately 70 metres in height with its highest point sitting at an elevation of 454 metres.
Arafat day is the central day of the holy pilgrimage; a pinnacle or climax of hajj rituals.
The pilgrims, who are expected to stay on the plain of Arafat from dusk to dawn, gathered to engage in acts of worship, supplication, recitation of Qur’an, among others.
The day of Arafat encompasses historical events related to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his final sermon, the completion of the Qur’an, the origin of the hajj through Prophet Ibrahim and the concept of repentance as exemplified by Adam and Eve.
It is significant for its emphasis on forgiveness, mercy, repentance, spiritual cleansing, unity and the culmination of the hajj pilgrimage.
It is a day of immense importance and a time for Muslims to seek closeness to Allah, seek forgiveness and reflect on their faith and actions.
Meanwhile, Nigerian pilgrims on the plain of Arafat, in their various tents, prayed for peace, progress and stability of Nigeria.
Speaking with The Eagle Online on the plain of Arafat, Saudi Arabia, an Associate Professor and Head of Journalism Department, Lagos State University (LASU), Dr Musbau Tunde Akanni, said Arafah day in Islam “is reckoned with as the best of all days.”
The Associate Professor stated further that Arafat day was the best “because for as long as we strive to do good deeds in compliance with Allah’s injunction, we stand to gain the best of rewards from Allah on that day.”
According to Dr. Akanni, same way pilgrims on the plain of Arafat were enjoined to pray strenuously, Muslims not on hajj were enjoined to pray and fast fervently on Arafat day.
He, therefore, enjoined all Muslims whether on hajj or not to pray for their families, friends, the nation and the Muslim ummah.
“One can only get a day like this once in a year. It is, therefore, significant that we seize the opportunity to benefit from Allah’s abundant blessings on Arafat day,” Dr Akanni advised.