Riyadh : Sheikh Yousef bin Mohammad, who has been appointed as the preacher at this year's Hajj on the Day of Arafah, reminded Muslims to unite and refrain from conflict during his sermon from the Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) Al Nimrah mosque.
The Day of Arafah is the ninth day of Dhu Al Hijjah and the second day of Hajj - when millions of pilgrims perform dawn prayers, in Mina, then make their way to Mount Arafat, about 21 kilometres away from Mecca. The National is a private English-language daily newspaper published in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Mount Arafat is where the Prophet (PBUH) gave his final sermon, and ascending the mountain is the most important pillar of Hajj.
The Day of Arafah is part of the Hajj pilgrimage, which this year began on Sunday.
Meanwhile, more than two million pilgrims headed to Mount Arafat near Mecca for the second day of Hajj, as coronavirus pandemic restrictions in place since 2020 have been fully relaxed, The Nation reported.
The very next day, the pilgrims will perform the ritual of stoning the Jamarat, three stone pillars located in Mina within the boundaries of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They don't throw stones at the pillars but rather the tricks and inner evil.
This year's Hajj is a challenge, taking place in the nearly 45-degree Celsius heat, the date for the pilgrimage dependent on the lunar calendar.
This year, Hajj is held between June 26 and July 1, with the celebration of Eid al-Adha taking place on June 28, according to Al Jazeera.
While an expensive ritual, the journey of Hajj often inspires hope for many, even if they hail from parts of the world besieged by war, poverty or occupation. Many save what little money they have for years, to be able to afford it, as per Al Jazeera.
Hajj is a unique manifestation of unity, as Muslims from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and nations gather in the sacred land of Mecca to perform the rituals together. It is a remarkable sight to witness people from different walks of life converging towards a common purpose, setting aside their differences and embracing one another as equals before Allah.
The longing to join this collective gathering stems from the deep desire to experience the unifying power of Hajj, to be part of a global community of believers and to forge connections that transcend geographical and cultural boundaries.
Hajj is not merely a physical journey; it is a spiritual odyssey that can transform a person's heart, mind, and soul. The rituals performed during Hajj serve as reminders of the life of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his family, symbolizing sacrifice, submission, and devotion to Allah. The experience of walking through the plains of Arafat, praying fervently, and shedding tears of repentance instils a profound sense of humility and spiritual awakening.