By Omoniyi Salaudeen
Over two million pilgrims from all over the world, including Nigerians, will today converge on Mount Arafat (the mount of Mercy) as this year’s hajj climaxes in Saudi Arabia.
The 9th Day of Dul-Hijjah is usually designated as the Arafat Day when millions of pilgrims gather at the plain of Arafat as an obligatory ritual of Hajj. It commemorates the finality of revelation of the Holy Qur’an, as well as the completion of the Ḥajj pilgrimage.
The gathering at Arafat is the largest assemblage of human beings of diverse races, status and languages. It is a reminder that everyone is fully accountable for their deeds and Allah (God) will take every person into account.
According to Islamic tradition, the Mount Arafat was the spot where Adam and Eve united after Allah expelled them from Paradise. Fasting is recommended for the Muslims on the Day of Arafat. According to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “Fasting on the Day of Arafat (9th Dul-Hijjah) is an expiation for (the sins of) the previous year and an expiation for (the sins of) the coming year.” (Muslim).
Following the Arafat gathering, Muslims around the world will tomorrow observe Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael.