Nigerian Pilgrims Begin Hajj Rites at Mount Arafat

No fewer than 65,000 Nigerian pilgrims on Saturday joined their Muslim counterparts from around the world who observe Arafat Day at Muna, Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

They converge at the plain of Arafat to perform the core hajj rite. The ritual at Mount Arafat, known as the Hill of Mercy, is considered the peak of the Hajj pilgrimage.

It is often the most memorable for pilgrims, who stand shoulder to shoulder, feet to feet, asking Almighty Allah for mercy, blessings, prosperity and good health. The mountain is about 20 kilometres southeast of Mecca.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that pilgrims marched to Arafat under comprehensive security arrangements coordinated by the officials of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and Saudi authorities.

The security personnel ensured the smooth flow of both vehicles and pedestrians by securing routes and implementing transportation and dispatching plans.

The security also provided guidance and ensured the safety of the pilgrims.

NAN reports that both officials of NAHCON and Saudi authorities provide numerous services in the Arafat area.

The services include medical, emergency, and food services, catering to the needs of pilgrims who have travelled from all corners of the world to fulfil the fifth pillar of Islam.

Addressing pilgrims in the Hajj rite, Dr Abdallah Gadonkaya, enjoined Nigerian pilgrims to use the opportunity of Arafat to seek divine forgiveness and solutions to their challenges.

The cleric also admonished pilgrims to pray for the restoration of peace and economic prosperity in some parts of Nigeria that are facing security challenges.

He emphasised the need for pilgrims to conduct themselves and exhibit good behaviour to project the image of Nigeria positively.


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