MECCA – Malaysian pilgrims have started boarding buses from their respective maktabs this morning to Arafah for the start of Masyair, the five-day climax of the Haj pilgrimage.
At Abraj Al-Janadriyah, Tabung Haji’s headquarters in Mecca, TH officers departed as early as 7am to occupy the pilgrim fund’s office on site, and man the checkpoints that will guide the pilgrims’ buses towards their respective camps.
The first trip of 20 pilgrims’ buses from Abraj Al-Janadriyah departed at 10am (3pm Malaysian time), and were sent off by head of the 1438H Malaysian Haj delegation Datuk Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.
The transfer of all 30,200 pilgrims will take all day, with the last bus expected to arrive later tonight in Arafah, located about 20km southeast of Mecca.
The roads leading to Arafah will likely be congested as two million pilgrims from all over the world are also travelling to the same destination.
Clad only in their ihram (two white cotton cloths for men), Haj pilgrims will spend the night in Arafah, resting for Wukuf tomorrow.
Aug 31 (9 Zulhijjah), Wukuf or the Day of Arafah, is regarded as the most auspicious day in Islam. Arafah is where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon, and where the message of Islam was completed.
A special sermon will be delivered at selected tents which can be heard through PA systems set up in the area.
For Haj pilgrims, the period between Zohor (12.23pm) and Maghrib (6.41pm) is a time to repent for their sins and supplicate to God. It is said that Allah will accept repentance for all sins and grant all sincere supplication by pilgrims on this day. – NST