Differences are no reason for conflict, hear pilgrims during message for unity on Arafat

Sheikh Yusuf bin Mohammad bin Saeed preached about equality among Muslims of different races and backgrounds

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Muslims should unite in word, prayers and action, and should avoid conflict, Hajj preacher Sheikh Yusuf bin Mohammad said in his sermon on Mount Arafat on Tuesday.

Sheikh Yusuf, who has held several of the highest religious positions in Saudi Arabia before being appointed preacher at this year's Hajj, reminded the world that racism has no basis in Islam, quoting a hadith – or saying – by the Prophet Mohammed.

“There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and no superiority for a white-skinned person over a black-skinned person, except due to one’s consciousness of Allah.”

Sheikh Yusuf said: “God has forbidden amongst you the spilling of blood, looting of wealth and violation of honour.

“The difference in languages, colours and ethnicities does not justify falling into discords and divisions.”

Allah has commanded for “unity, love harmony and prohibits disputes and divisions”, Sheikh Yusuf added.

The sermon was translated into 20 languages and broadcast in its original Arabic with simultaneous sign language interpretation.

Millions of pilgrims listened to the sermon and many more watched abroad.

“We are all watching the Hajj sermon live on YouTube,” Diana Wijaya from Indonesia told The National.

Pilgrims were due to combine their dhuhr and asr prayers in shortened forms, before making their way to Muzdalifah, an open area near the holy city of Makkah, near Mina, the “city of tents”.

“It’s extremely hot, but we are lucky to be here. Very blessed and we don’t take that for granted,” said Eman Ali, a local pilgrim.

At Muzdalifah, pilgrims gather pebbles for the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual that begins on Wednesday, which is also the start of the Eid Al Adha feast of sacrifice marked by more than 1.5 billion Muslims globally.

Sheikh Yousef has been a member of the Council of Senior Scholars and served as a teacher at the Grand Mosque of Makkah and the Prophet Mohammed's mosque in Madinah among others.

He has also served as a preacher during Eid sermons for 20 years. Most recently, Sheikh Yousef was Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance for four years.

Updated: June 27, 2023, 11:26 AM