World Bulletin / News Center
More than two and half million Muslim pilgrims have descended from Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia after the central ritual of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. At sunset wave after wave of pilgrims, many on foot, made their way to Muzdalifah after a day of prayer and asking for forgiveness at Mount Arafat, the site where Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) delivered his final sermon 14 centuries ago.
Spending the day at Arafah is the most fundamental and important rite of Hajj for the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said, Hajj is Arafah. Staying in Arafah means physical and mental presence in any part of Arafah, providing that the Muslim is in the state of Ihram, whether standing, riding or sleeping. Staying in Arafah is accomplished so long as the Muslim is in the state of Ihram, regardless of the fact that he is full aware or ignorant that it is its time. The time to spend at 'Arafah begins from noon of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah until dawn of the 10th day - Yaum Al Nahr [the day of sacrifice]. The pilgrim may spend the day of 'Arafah anywhere within the bounds of Arafah except the bottom of the valley called 'Urnah for it is not sufficient to fulfill the condition of staying at 'Arafah. Urnah is part of Al Haram. It is preferred to spend time near the rocks where the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) stood or as close to them possible providing such that the pilgrim does not crowd or hurt others. People often make a big mistake by standing on the Mount Rahmah in the belief that it is a Sunnah, which it is not. However, it is a Sunnah, to stand riding a mount, if possible. Before standing on Arafah, it is a Sunnah to make Ghusl (complete ablution), direct his face to Qiblah say there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Great and ask Allah to shower His blessings upon Muhammad (P.B.U.H.).
The pilgrim should implore Allah for whatever he craves of the good of this world or the Hereafter. He should persist in his supplications. He should keep in mind that the day of Arafah is a blessed day for the Almighty descends to the nearest heaven and looks with pride at His slaves on earth and boasts of them before those in heaven. Allah frees from Hell more people on the day of Arafah than on any other day. Angels witness that Allah, the Most High, has forgiven those who spend the Day at Arafah. The pilgrim who chooses to spend the day time at Arafah must stay there until after sunset for this is what the Prophet did in Wada' Hajj (Farewell Pilgrimage). In this respect, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said, Follow my example in performing the rites of 'Umrah and Hajj. If the pilgrim chooses to spend the night at Arafah, he is not obligated to stay until dawn. There is no consensus among scholars as to whether it is a requisite condition or a Sunnah to extend the stay at 'Arafah until nightfall. It is commended for the pilgrim to rid himself of minor and major impurities - through ablution or Ghusl - before standing at Arafah. However if someone was impure or, in case of female pilgrims, was menstruating or suffering of post-birth bleeding, it is allowed for them to stand at Arafah. Their standing at Arafah is valid and there is no compensation.