Thousand of Nigerian pilgrims and other Muslims climb Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia today, in commemoration of the Hajj holy rites in Makkah.
Being the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the Month of Hajj), widely known as the Day of Arafat, pilgrims of vast nationalities trooped from their previous camp in the tent city of Mina, to nearby plains of Arafat, where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave his farewell sermon, according to Islamic tenets.
On Mount Arafat, pilgrims stand in earnest supplication and devotion, praying for God’s abundant forgiveness, while clerics admonish them on issues of religious and moral importance. The day closes upon the recitation of the evening prayer of Al Maghrib.
After sunset, the pilgrims will leave for nearby Muzdalifah where they will gather pebbles to perform the symbolic “stoning of the devil”.
The ritual begins in earnest on Tuesday as Muslims observe the first day of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the hajj.
Muslims traditionally slaughter sheep for the three-day Eid al-Adha, a tribute to the prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of a lamb after God spared Ishmael, his son.
They will consume some of the meat and give the rest to poor people unable to buy food.
The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam which every Muslim is required to complete at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to do so.