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Hajj Rituals-Significance Of Mount Arafat

Hajj is the largest pilgrimage in the world, attracting Muslim pilgrims from all quarters of the globe. It is the annual pilgrimage made to Mecca and also considered as the fifth pillar of Islam. There are numerous rituals associated with Hajj, of which the significance of climbing Mount Arafat forms the highlight.

The significance of Mount Arafat is that it is the hill on which Prophet Muhammad is believed to have delivered his last sermon. A pillar now stands there on the peak, in order to mark the spot, where Prophet Muhammad gave out his last sermon to his followers, whom he led in the Hajj pilgrimage, towards the close of his life.

As a part of the Hajj rituals, people gather in the plain of Arafat and spend the afternoon until a little after sunset. This Hajj ritual of gathering on the plain of Arafat (Mount Arafat), marks the climax or highlight of Hajj, failing of which the noble mission of undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage is considered futile. Hence the significance of ascending Mount Arafat for worship.

On the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims make their way atop the hill, Mount Arafat or otherwise known as 'Jabal Al Rahmah', the hill of forgiveness. People on the plain of Arafat, engage in contemplation and keep vigil. They offer prayers and read the Koran. This is known as Wuquf, the most significant of Hajj rituals.

There is another important significance that is associated with Mount Arafat. In accordance with the Islamic tradition, it is believed that Adam and Eve met and recoganised each other after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden on Mount Arafat. It was on this hill, that they both were reunited. It is believed that they earned the mercy of Allah on this hill. Hence it has become a practice to offer prayers of repentance during Hajj pilgrimage on Mount Arafat. It is rather the renewal of the Prayer of Repentance undertaken during the pilgrimage, forming an important part of it. The pilgrims stay on the Arafat plains offering prayers to Allah seeking His forgiveness.

At sun-set, the Hajj rituals, associated with Arafat, come to a close and pilgrims make their way to Muzdalifah for a short rest and to offer other prayers.

Millions of people flock Mount Arafat, during the Hajj pilgrimage to offer their prayers, without which the pilgrimage is considered in complete.

Read more about: islam hajj festivals priya devi r
Story first published: Monday, November 15, 2010, 17:30 [IST]
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