The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to pray for the country’s unity as they join Muslims globally to observe Arafat.
Gbajabiamila made the plea in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, on Friday.
Arafat, a 230 feet granite hill about 20 km east of central Mecca in the plain of Arafat is also known as the “Mount of Mercy”.
According to Islamic tradition, the hill is the place where Prophet Muhammad delivered his farewell sermon to Muslims, who accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life.
It is also said to be the place where Adam and Hawa reunite on earth after falling from heaven and where Adam was forgiven, hence it is known as the mount of mercy.
Islamic faithful believe that prayers offered on the mount on every August 9, receives speedy answers as it is a place of mercy and they are expected to fast.
Gbajabiamila, who is currently performing the hajj, expressed optimism that with prayers, Nigeria would move to the next level.
He said: “I want to urge all our pilgrims to pray for the unity of Nigeria; we need the prayers because the government is not relenting as it is striving to make life better for the citizens.
We also need to pray for the general wellbeing of all Nigerians; Arafat is a special day that Allah answers prayers.
“I call on Nigerian pilgrims to utilise the opportunity.’’
The speaker said that the importance of prayers in the life of any nation could not be over-emphasised.
He also commended Nigerians currently on pilgrimage for their upright conduct and abstinence from activities that could tarnish the image of the country.