Pilgrims to flock to Mount Arafat to mark most important day of Hajj

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An aerial view shows Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal Al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy), southeast of the Saudi holy city of Makkah. (File photo / AFP)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Pilgrims are welcomed with Bakhour-scented Zamzam water as they arrive in Arafat on Sunday night. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 20 August 2018

Pilgrims to flock to Mount Arafat to mark most important day of Hajj

  • Muslims believe that the Day of Arafat is when one’s sins can be forgiven
  • Muslims who are not performing Hajj observe the day by fasting from dusk till dawn

JEDDAH: Around two million pilgrims will ascend the plains of Mount Arafat shortly after sunrise on Monday for the second day of Hajj. 
Standing on Mount Arafat until the sunset on the 9th day of Dul Hijjah is the most important rituals of the Hajj pilrimage.
Pilgrims converge on the hill, dedicated to prayers and reflection, where Dhuhr and Asr prayers are prayed together.
Chanting “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk” (Here I am O Lord, answering your call), pilgrims sought blessings and mercy from God Almighty.
Muslims believe that the Day of Arafat is when one’s sins can be forgiven. It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad said the day: “Expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year.”
It is also narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the Day of Arafat,” in reference to the fires of Hell.
Muslims who are not performing Hajj observe the day by fasting from dusk till dawn.
Saudi authorities announced their optimum preparations for Hajj this year to ensure safety and create comfortable conditions for pilgrims to perform rituals.
After standing on Arafat, pilgrims head to the site of Muzdalifa to spend the night, as per Hajj obligations.
Muzadlifda is the area for performing Jamarat, the symbolic stoning of the devil.


Photo exhibition recalls 90 years of Saudi-Lebanon ties

Updated 3 min 2 sec ago

Photo exhibition recalls 90 years of Saudi-Lebanon ties

  • Thousands of photos on display
  • Ties ‘rooted’ in history, says Kingdom’s ambassador

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari and Lebanon’s Minister of Information Minister of Information Jamal Jarrah on Monday inaugurated a photography exhibition celebrating 90 years of bilateral relations.

The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives and the Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation provided the embassy in Lebanon with historical documents and photos for the exhibition, which was launched on World Photography Day. Some of the material dates back more than 90 years.

Bukhari said the exhibition’s content proved that the countries’ relations were rooted in history and recalled the words of King Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman, who said: “Lebanon is part of us. I protect its independence myself and will not allow anything to harm it.”

Jarrah, who was representing Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said: “We need this Arab embrace in light of the attacks targeting the Arab region and we still need the Kingdom’s support for Lebanon’s stability, because Lebanon is truly the center from which Arabism originated.”

The exhibition starts with a document appointing Mohammed Eid Al-Rawaf as the Kingdom’s consul in Syria and Lebanon. It was signed by King Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Faisal Al-Saud in 1930 and states that the consul’s residence is in Damascus and that his mission is to “promote Saudi merchants, care for their affairs and assist them with their legal and commercial interests.”

Black and white pictures summarize milestones in the development of bilateral relations, while others depict key visits and meetings between leaders and dignitaries.

“The exhibition demanded great efforts because the pieces were not found at one single location,” former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told Arab News. “Circulating this activity in the Kingdom’s embassies in numerous countries is a great step and has pushed the Lebanese Ministry of Information to benefit from this archive. The Lebanese people remember the important positions the Kingdom has taken over the year to support their independence and sovereignty and in hard times.”

Lebanon, particularly Beirut, is a hit with Saudi travelers although the Kingdom had been advising citizens since 2011 to avoid the country, citing Hezbollah’s influence and instability from the war in neighboring Syria. 

But the easing of restrictions since February has led to a surge in Saudis heading to Lebanon.

Riyadh earlier this year released $1 billion in funding and pledged to boost Lebanon’s struggling economy. Another sign of warming ties was an anniversary event marking the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father that featured Saudi Royal Court adviser Nizar Al-Aloula as a keynote speaker.

“The exhibition highlights the unique model of Lebanese-Arab relations that should be taught in diplomatic institutes, starting with the Lebanese Foreign Ministry,” former minister Marwan Hamadeh told Arab News. “Over the course of 90 years, we have had brotherly ties and political support for independence, freedom, growth, economy and culture and then the Taif Accord (which ended the Lebanese Civil War). Even after that, when Lebanon engaged in military adventures, the Kingdom was there to help with reconstruction and we are proud of these relations.”

Highlights include a recording of King Faisal telling President Charles Helou about the need to strengthen “brotherhood in the face of the aggression targeting our countries without respecting the sanctity of holy sites and international, human and moral norms to extend its influence not only in the region but across the world.”

There are also photos from a recent meeting that brought together King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Lebanese officials. 

An old broadcast recording can be heard saying that the “tragedy of the Lebanese civil war can only be ended by affirming the Lebanese legitimacy and preserving its independence and territorial integrity.”

The exhibition is on at Beit Beirut, which is located on what used to be the frontline that divided the city during the civil war.