A day before Eid al-Adha, which is a major Islamic holiday, Muslim pilgrims mark the Day of Arafah or Arafat, which is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage. On this day, Muslim pilgrims will at dawn make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafah where they will stand in contemplative vigil. As pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of Islam, the day is considered important among Muslims, and this year it falls on July 29. Also Read - UN-designated Terror Group Jaish-e-Mohammed Threatens French President Macron
Day of Arafah falls on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic Calendar, and it is so called as it is the day when Muslim pilgrims hold vigil on Mount Arafah. Known as the ‘Mountain of Mercy’, Mount Arafah is a granite hill located about 20 km southeast of Mecca in the plain of Arafah. It is believed that Muhammad gave one of his last sermons in the final year of his life from this mount. Also Read - French President Emmanuel Macron Receives Threat From Al-Qaeda, After Country Kills 50 Jihadists
Importance of Day of Arafah:
The day is considered important among Muslim pilgrims because it is the day when Prophet Muhammad gave his farewell sermon to the many Muslims who had accompanied him as he completed Hajj towards the end of his life. The day is also important as it is believed that holding vigil and fasting will pardon all sins of the past. Also Read - Pakistani Teacher Beheads French President Macron's Effigy In Front of Young Girls, Video Goes Viral
How Day of Arafah is Marked:
Those who make the pilgrimage to Mount Arafah, stand in contemplative vigil, offer supplications, seek God’s mercy for their past sins and listen to sermons by Islamic scholars. Also known as ‘standing before God’, the vigil lasts from noon through sunset and is considered as one of the most significant rites of Hajj. Pilgrims recite the Arafah prayer from Zuhr prayer to sunset, and those who are unable to make it to Mecca go to mosques or shrines to recite it.
On this day, people not partaking in the pilgrimage are encouraged to fast as it is believed that they will reap great benefits and their sins will be forgiven.
Day of Arafah is considered to be an auspicious day in Islam, and many pilgrims try their best to visit the Mount at least once in their lives. In 2019, over 2 million Muslims dressed in white garments had gathered at Mount Arafat to perform the ‘stoning of the devil’ ritual.