Muslims from all around the world gather together for the most sacred day on the Muslim calendar. Muslims are getting ready to celebrate the day of Arafat; pilgrims will come together on the desert planes of Arafat situated near Makkah where they will pray to Allah.
According to officials, this year approximately 1.5 million pilgrims are expected to arrive on the site of Mount Arafat for the special occasion.
The day will fall on the 9th Dhul Hijjah, which is the 12th month of the Islamic calendar and a crucial part of the hajj pilgrimage outlined by the 5th pillar of Islam.
The Hajj officially started on Sunday, the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah. On that day Muslims from all countries began a journey from the holy site of Makkah to Mina. The journey is about eight kilometers.
After Muslims had completed the dawn prayers in Mina, the pilgrims began a 14-kilometer journey to Arafat.
The Day of Arafat is a day when sins can be washed away and forgiven. Bilal Philips, the founder of the Islamic Online University, explains that according to the Prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h), the sacred day washes away sins of the previous and following year.
Pilgrims will spend many hours in the mountains to pray and repent. Arafat represents the essence of Hajj.
Arafat is paramount for pilgrims. In fact, if one pilgrim misses Arafat, sadly there is nothing that they can do to fix their hajj. Being present at Arafat is important to validate the entire Hajj journey. Arafat is seen as the most crucial pillar for those participating in Hajj.
For those who are less fortunate and unable to perform Hajj, they are expected to fast on the Day of Arafat. They should fast for the entire day.
Phillips explains how God gives a special reward for those that are unable to make Hajj but instead fast for the day. Muslims who fast on the day are purified of their sins of the past year and the one ahead. Given this, it is unsurprising that Arafat is regarded as the most value-loaded day of fasting.
Many people who don't know are curious as to why the Day of Arafat is so remarkable and extraordinary.
According to Mohammad al-Bukhari, the Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h) stated that there isn't another day where Allah frees people from their sins more so than on the Day of Arafat.
Also, the Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h) delivered his famous farewell speech on the Day of Arafat. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) gave his speech in 632 AD in the presence of 114,000 pilgrims, according to the Gregorian calendar. During his speech, he disclosed a verse from the Holy Qur'an. The verse stated that the Islamic religion had been completed on the day of Arafah.