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
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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.


US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 18 November 2018
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US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.