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Arafat and its importance for Muslims in hajj


Arafat is a vast plain nine miles east of Makka. On the 9th Zil Hij, it is mandatory for all pilgrims to reach there well before the Zuhr prayer and stay here till the Maghrib prayer. The stay at Arafat (Wuquf-i-Arafat) constitutes the most important ritual (Rukn-i-Azam) of the Hajj. For the pilgrims, as for all the Muslims, the plain of Arafat is a holy as well as a historical place.

The stay at Arafat reminds them of the Farewell Sermon delivered by the greatest of all the world leaders, the Holy Prophet (), while he addressed a huge crowd of his devoted followers from the "pulpit" of the Mount of Mercy (Jabal al-Rahmah). The audience numbered around 124,000 on this occasion. The stay also reminds them of their standing before their Lord on the Day of Judgment.

Moreover, they are reminded of the last revelation received by the Holy Prophet (). Thus a stay of less than half a day quickly reinforces some of the fundamental beliefs of pilgrims. They also believe that the stay is an occasion for granting supplications and, therefore, they engage themselves in praying humbly before Allah.

They repeatedly recite Talbiah, Durud, and Istighfar in order to move the Court of Mercy and Clemency of God Almighty. Seeking God's mercy and forgiveness together with all other pilgrims promotes a strong sense of equality and belonging to a unified community while every single pilgrim feels to be purified from worldly illusions and past sins. It also prepares them for their final meeting with Allah which shall take place on the Day of resurrection in this very plain of Arafat.

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