This year, Mount Arafat witnessed the ascent of Approx. 18-lakh pilgrims, marking the pinnacle of a record-breaking Hajj pilgrimage that returned to full capacity for the first time since the global pandemic.
At daybreak, pilgrims residing in the tent city of Mina commenced their day with the dawn (Fajr) prayers, followed by the recitation of Qur’an verses as they made their way towards Arafat. It was on this sacred mount that the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon 1,400 years ago.
This ritual holds great significance as the highlight of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which is one of the five pillars of Islam and a once-in-a-lifetime journey for those who possess the physical capability and financial means.
The 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, known as the Day of Arafat, stands as the most crucial day of the entire Hajj pilgrimage. Missing this day means missing out on completing the Hajj.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced the successful ascent of Arafat, underscoring it as one of the world’s largest religious gatherings. By 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the tent city of Mina was devoid of pilgrims, as worshippers boarded nearly 20,000 buses and the Mashaer railway operated at full capacity to transport pilgrims across the holy sites.
“The transportation of pilgrims proceeded smoothly and adhered to the established schedule,” stated the ministry.
Following the performance of the noon (Dhur) and afternoon (Asr) prayers on Arafat, the worshippers dispersed to Muzdalifah in an organized manner, in accordance with the prearranged plans.
On Tuesday, Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, announced that the annual Hajj pilgrimage has attracted an impressive number of over 1.8 million worshipers from more than 150 countries.
According to the General Authority for Statistics, approximately 21 percent of the total number of pilgrims, which amounts to 346,214 individuals, came from various Arab countries. The largest group of attendees, comprising over 1 million individuals, arrived from Asian countries excluding Arab nations. This represents 63.5 percent of the overall attendance and is the highest percentage among all regions.
Additionally, the pilgrimage welcomed 222,863 participants from African countries excluding Arab nations, accounting for 13.4 percent of the total number of pilgrims. The remaining 2.1 percent, which equates to 36,521 worshipers, journeyed from Europe, America, and Australia.
This year’s Hajj pilgrimage commenced on Monday, the eighth day of Dul Hijjah, marking the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic that millions of Muslims from around the world could participate in this significant ritual. The Hajj is a mandatory practice for all able-bodied Muslims who have the means to undertake it, bringing together worshippers in Mecca for this sacred event.