Over 1.5 Mln Pilgrims Head To Mt. Arafat
Muslim pilgrims started settling in Arafat in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to mark the annual haj’s most important day, Arafat Day.
After spending the night in tents in the massive valley of Mina, more than 1.5 million Hajj pilgrims headed to Mount Arafat, some 20 kilometres east of Mecca for the pinnacle of the pilgrimage.
Muslims from more than 150 countries scaled a hill called Jabal al-Rahma, or mountain of mercy and through streets towards the plain of Arafat since dawn.
Men clad in unstitched white clothes and women in long dresses braced themselves as they prepare physically and psychologically for the most important day of the Muslim pilgrimage of haj.
In Arafat, the pilgrims will spend time praying before heading to Muzdalifah at around sunset, situated nine kilometres west of Arafat by foot or by bus.
The rocky areas of Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah a few kilometres east of Mecca are the main sites of haj, which culminates with the Eid al-Adha holiday and are the location of rituals laid out by the Prophet Mohammed.
Last year, Mina, the city in where Muslims gather on the first day of Hajj, was the scene of the worst disaster in Hajj history when a stampede occurred as pilgrims made their way to the Jamarat Bridge for a stoning ritual.