From the news desk

2 million hujjaaj descend on the plains of Arafah

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Approximately two million hujjaaj have descended on the plains of Arafah shortly after sunrise on Monday morning to perform the most important rites of Hajj. Hujjaaj will engage in supplication and seek forgiveness during the period of Wuquf, between Thuhr until Asr prayers. The day also holds historical significance, as the Prophet Muhamad [may peace be upon him] delivered his final sermon on Arafah.

Speaking to VOC from Arafah, pilgrims described the atmosphere on Arafah as nothing less than riveting.

“There is the word riveting and that’s exactly what it is like. We are basking in this atmosphere of electrifying energy, Alhamdulillah,” Moulana Irshaad Sedick.

“Everyone is on high spirit, everyone had their breakfast and everyone is alive again. By 06h15 everybody from Mina, who arrived in Arafah, they are all in healthy condition. Just a couple of ladies that were affected by the heat of yesterday on Mina,” secretary general of the South African Travel and Hajj Operators Association (SATHOA), Muhsin Shaik, explained.

Meanwhile, pilgrims observing the five days of hajj were last night faced with a sandstorm and moderate rainfall. While things calmed down around 21h00 Saudi Arabian time last night, the area is today expected to experience 43 degree temperature, with humidity reaching 65 percent. With humidity predicted to fall to seven kilometres.

According to the forecast of the General Authority for Meteorology and Environment Protection, sandstorm and rain are expected to hit the holy sites of hajj and Makkah until Monday evening.

In footage shared by Channel Islam International, the extent of the adverse weather can be seen as strong winds scattered debris on Arafah and Mina.

Speaking to VOC, hajj correspondent Abduragmaan Laily confirmed that South African hujjaaj were for the most part unaffected by the adverse weather conditions.

“The sandstorm is something that all hujjaaj on Mina would have experienced. Two things first are that it was extremely windy in Makkah al-Mukarramah and Makkah is some six to seven kilometres away from Mina. On the other side on Arafah, there was some rain yesterday evening and also very strong winds.

“I’m sure via social media, you have seen pictures of camps destroyed. Those are not in Mina, those are in Arafah, Laily stated.

Pilgrims stood in awe as the Kiswa of the Ka’bah was blown open, exposing the cornerstone of Muslims around the world. [Photo: CII]
According to reports, spokesman for the Civil Defense Directorate, Colonel Muhammad Al-Qamash, said last night’s sandstorm in Arafah did not affect the safety of pilgrims.VOC 91.3fm

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