Cii Hajj Nerve Centre | 25 October 2012
3 million hujjaj started moving from the Mina Valley to the Plains of Arafah on Thursday morning, the most important and sacred aspect of the Hajj.
The pilgrims will spend the day there and must be within the boundary of Arafah, even for a moment, before the wukoof ends at sunset.
They will beseech Allah collectively and individually and seek forgiveness from Allah.
It is the most intense period of the entire Hajj pilgrimage, a scared fundemental of Islam, that Muslims must do at least once in a life time provided they have the means.
Visuals from the kingdom on Thursday morning show hundreds of thousands of pilgrims streaming out of their camps in Mina.
Many will walk the distance of around 13 km while others will use the rapid bus transit system.
Ml Moosa Olga, one of the spiritual leaders of the South African Hujjaj, encouraged people to imbue taqwa during the hajj and further on in their lives.
“When Sayyidina Umar (RA) asked Kaab Ahbar (RA), explain what taqwa is. He said taqwa means if a person is walking on a pathway full of thorns, then how cautious he will be that I don’t tramp any thorns that will prick my feet. How cautious he will be that no thorn must hook onto my clothes, likewise I will be cautious that this think that I will say or do may earn the wrath of Allah.”
At Arafah the Khutbah or traditional sermon will be delivered the by the grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh. The Dhur and Asr prayer will be combined and then the pilgrims will intensely beseech Allah to fulfill all their needs of this life and the hereafter. They will then leave for Muzdalifah after sunset without performing the Maghrib prayer.
The old Kiswa or Kabah covering was also removed at the Haram, or sacred masjid in Makkah Mukarramah on Thursday. The black cloth will be replaced by a new one today. Some 30 workers of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs will clothe the Ka’aba with a new cover made of pure silk at a cost of SR20 million.
Saudi authorities have confirmed that over 1,7 million foreign pilgrims attended the hajj this year. They are complement by at least 1,3 million locals and a number of undocumented hujjaj who manage to sneak in. More than 82,000 security officers have been deployed to ensure smooth Haj operation.
The Commerce and Industry confiscated and destroyed about 7,500 fast-food meals and dairy products for violating health regulations.
Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Khaled Mirghalani said no cases of contagious diseases among pilgrims have been reported so far.
Additional reporting – Arab News