Dhu Al Hijja 9 – Second Day of Haj, 2012

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Known as the Day of Arafat, pilgrims awake to perform dawn prayer before travelling to the Mount Arafat, also known as the Mount of Mercy.

The location is significant as it was the place where the Prophet Mohammed delivered his farewell sermon before millions of Muslims accompanying him on the Haj. It is here where pilgrims spent the entire day standing or sitting, either on the mountain or its surrounds and engage in one of the most intimate conversations with their Lord, among which is praying for the expiation of their sins and for a new spiritual start post haj. The significance of the Day of Arafat is also shared by non-pilgrims. Muslims not undertaking the Haj this year share the share the spirit by fasting from dawn to dusk with the reward being forgiveness of sins from their Lord. The Day of Arafat is known as the essence of the Haj. If a pilgrim does not arrive to the location on this day then their Haj is considered null and void. The pilgrim will remain in Arafat until sunset after which they journey to Muzdalifah, a desert location between Mina and Arafat, to spend the night under the stars (there are no tents or lodgings in Muzdalifah). It is here pilgrims collect about 70 pea-sized pebbles for use in the Stoning of the Devil ritual taking place the following days.

* Saeed Saeed

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