More than two million Hajj pilgrims stay at Arafat as main rituals begin

MOUNT ARAFAT: Around two million pilgrims from around the world converged in Arafat on Saturday to perform the main ritual of Hajj “Waqoof-e-Arafat”.

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They listened sermon delivered at Namira Mosque and then performed Zuhr and Asr prayers combined and are spending time in Arafat with prayers for acceptance of their pilgrimage and recitation of Quranic verses until sunset.

After sunset, the pilgrims will head to Muzdalifah, where they will stay until midnight, engaged in prayers after performing Maghrib and Isha prayers combined.

The ritual of changing Ghilaf-e-Kaaba was held at night, at Masjid al-Haram in Saudi Arabia where millions of Muslims have gathered to perform Hajj.

The new Ghilaf was prepared at a cost of seven million Riyal. It comprises 670kg pure silk, 120kg gold and 100kg silver.

The covering cloth of the Kaaba, known as Kiswa, is changed on 9th Zilhaj every year on the day of Arafat.

The scale of the pilgrimage presents vast security and logistical challenges, with tens of thousands of safety officers deployed.

The Hajj, one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, is one of Islam’s five pillars and must be undertaken by all Muslims with the means at least once in their lives.

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