Mount Arafat (Saudi Arabia) : Over 2 million pilgrims, including about 1.5 lakh Indians, thronged Mount Arafat and its surrounding plain on Friday for the high point of Haj as Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti voiced Islam’s unequivocal position against extremism and terrorism, reports PTI.
After reaching Mina, where they spent the night in prayer and supplication, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims clad in a white seamless cloth headed towards Arafat following Fajr prayers on Friday morning. On reaching Arafat, they crowded onto the hill and the plain surrounding it to pray until sunset.
Before noon all pilgrims had reached Arafat and there was only a sea of people everywhere with pilgrims packed on the roads and inside Masjid Nimrah.
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh in his annual Arafat sermon, which he delivered for the 34th year in a row, called on Muslims to unite and overcome divisions to build a stronger Muslim Ummah (community).
The thrust of his address was on Islam’s moderation and tolerance as well as the religion’s unequivocal position against extremism and terrorism.
The Mufti had earlier said that the dreaded militant groups — Islamic State and al Qaeda — were “enemy number one of Islam” and not in any way part of the faith. He asked Muslims to assume leadership roles at all levels of life — at family, national and international level.
Hundreds of thousands of people prayed together here combining the afternoon and evening prayers as they move to Muzdalifa at sunset. Even intense heat could not dampen the enthusiasm of the pilgrims, some of whom took shelter under trees while others braved the sun but continued to pray and ask God for forgiveness.