“Tears, Duas,” 2 Million Pilgrims Pray on Mount Arafat in Hajj Climax

“Sacred point where Adam and Eve were first reunited on earth after expulsion from Paradise,” Five Things Muslims Believed about Mount Arafat.


About two million Muslims on Saturday ascended the Mount Arafat, the high-point and most tasking day of the annual Hajj rites.

Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports confirmed that up until Monday, June 10, the number of pilgrims that entered the Kingdom through the air, land and sea ports reached 1,547,295.

This is asides hundreds of thousands of foreigners and citizens that later joined from outside and within the Kingdom to perform Hajj.

The huge number of about two million, Platforms Africa reports, is also asides the over 250,000 intending pilgrims that were deported at the borders due to lack of Hajj permits.

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The desert summer heat is expected to hit 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 degrees Fahrenheit), creating challenges especially among the elderly during a day of prayer and reciting the Qur’an.

Mount Arafat: 5 Things To Know About Sacred Mountain

Platforms Africa reports that worshippers from all over the world stand on mount and plain of Arafat as the climax for Hajj rites. Here are five things to know about the sacred mountain.

1. The Mount Arafat is a rocky, 70-metre (230-feet) hill.

2. Arafat is about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the city of Mecca.

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3. Some Muslims also believed that it is the sacred point where Adam and Eve first renited (met physically) on earth after their expulsion from Paradise.

4. It is also reported to be the point on where the Prophet Mohammed is believed to have given his last sermon.

5. The mountain and its plain are also believed by Muslims to be the place where Adam and Eve were forgiven, hence giving it the name Jabal ar-Raḥmah, meaning ‘Mountain of Mercy’.

The Hajj and Climate Change

The hajj, which takes at least five days to complete and is mostly outdoors, “is not easy because it is very hot”, said Abraman Hawa, 26, from Ghana.

“We have sun… but it is not as hot. But I will pray to Allah at Arafat because I need his support,” she added.


Saudi authorities have urged pilgrims to drink plenty of water and protect themselves from the sun. Since men are prohibited from wearing hats, many carry umbrellas.

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More than 10,000 heat-related illnesses were recorded last year, 10 per cent of them heat stroke, a Saudi official told AFP this week.

The Hajj, one of the world’s biggest religious gatherings, is increasingly affected by climate change, according to a Saudi study that said regional temperatures were rising 0.4C each decade.

But Mohammed Farouk, a 60-year-old Pakistani pilgrim, was not put off by the Gulf kingdom’s scorching summer sun.

The Hajj is “very important for me as a Muslim”, he said.

The enormous crowds of worshippers spent the night in a giant tented city in Mina, a valley several kilometres outside Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

Many of them were tightly packed in air-conditioned tents, lying close together on narrow mattresses.

Arafat Day

They were grouped by nationality and price, depending on how much they had paid for their hajj packages — usually several thousand dollars.

ABC of Hajj

Arafat, they will head to Muzdalifah, where they will collect pebbles to carry out the symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual in Mina on Sunday.

The Hajj is said to follow the path of the Prophet Mohammed’s final pilgrimage, about 1,400 years ago.

It is an important source of legitimacy for the Al Saud dynasty, whose monarch has the title “guardian of the two holy mosques”, in Mecca and Medina.

It is also a major financial windfall for the conservative country, which is trying to develop religious tourism as part of a drive to reduce its dependence on crude oil.

The kingdom received more than 1.8 million pilgrims last year for the hajj, around 90 per cent of whom came from abroad.

It also welcomed 13.5 million Muslims who came to perform Umrah, the small pilgrimage that can be done all year round and aims to reach 30 million by 2030.

This year’s hajj takes place in the shadow of the Gaza war, after eight months of bloodshed that is an open wound for many in the Muslim world.

Platforms Africa

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