Hajj Reaches Climax As more than 2 million Pilgrims Ascend Mount Arafat

On Tuesday, more than 2 million pilgrims performing Hajj this year ascended Mount Arafat, capping off a record-breaking pilgrimage that has returned to full capacity for the first time since the global pandemic.

As the sun rose, pilgrims camped in Mina’s tent city performed dawn (Fajr) prayers before beginning to recite Qur’an verses and moving towards Arafat, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon 1,400 years ago.

The ritual is the culmination of the annual pilgrimage, one of Islam’s five pillars, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who are physically fit and financially capable.

The Day of Arafat, on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, is the most important day of the Hajj. If a pilgrim misses this day, he or she misses the entire pilgrimage.

Announcing the ascent of Arafat — one of the world’s largest religious gatherings — the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that the tent city of Mina was empty of pilgrims by 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

Worshippers boarded almost 20,000 buses, while the Mashaer railway operated at full capacity transporting pilgrims via the holy sites.

“The pilgrims were transported easily and according to the schedule set,” the ministry said.

After worshippers performed the noon (Dhur) and afternoon (Asr) prayers on Arafat, they “dispersed to Muzdalifah smoothly, according to the plans set for them,” it added.

Pilgrims will return to Mina on Wednesday morning.

After Fajr prayers on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, pilgrims will leave Muzdalifah and head to Jamarat, where they will use the pebbles to stone a series of three pillars representing the devil.

Women and the elderly can delegate this responsibility to a male on their spiritual journey.

Men are then required to shave their heads, while women cut a lock of their hair as they do after Umrah.

Pilgrims are also required to sacrifice an animal and distribute the meat to the needy. Those who are unable to perform the sacrifice themselves can delegate the task.

Pilgrims then travel back to the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

Leave a Reply