Rabat – Over two million Muslim began gathering on Thursday morning on Mount Arafat, one the great stages of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
The pilgrims to Mount Arafat engaged in prayers and contemplation. On the alleys linking the plain to the mountain, pilgrims gave thanks to God with their palms facing the sky, ask for forgiveness, and redemption.
A Red Crescent official, Meshal Alanazi, noted that some 326 ambulances have been deployed on the pilgrimage route in order to take care of the sick people quickly.
Meanwhile, some 100,000 members of the security forces have been mobilized by the Saudi authorities, who said they are ready to face any eventuality.
Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) gave his final sermon on the mount, surrounded by the desert, more than 1,400 years ago.
During the sermon, the prophet called on Muslims to be beware of Satan, to repay debts, perform five daily prayers, fast Ramadan and give to charity.
He also addressed financially stable Muslims to perform the Hajj once in a lifetime, reminded believers of women’s rights, and stressed that superiority between people is not in term of ethnic groups or race but rather piety and good action.
Muslims from different walks of life and from more than 160 countries gather annually in Mecca in plain white garments, as a means of symbolizing unity, humility, and equality while worshipping God.
At sunset, crowds will go to the rocky plain of Muzdalifa to gather pebbles to throw at stone columns symbolizing the devil at another location, called Jamarat, on Friday, to mark the first day of Eid al Adha.