Haj 2018: What is the Day of Arafat?
More than 20 lakh Muslim pilgrims from around the world are in Saudi Arabia for annual haj pilgrimage. Today is the Day of Arafat, technically the second day of the haj pilgrimage. Pilgrims gather on this day every year in the valley of the Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia's Mecca.
Muslims believe that it was on the Day of Arafat that Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon at Mount Arafat. Prophet Mohammad, in his final sermon, called for equality and asked Muslims to unite. The day is decided as per the lunar calendar and that's why falls on different dates as per most commonly used Gregorian one.
For those undertaking annual haj pilgrimage and reach the valley of Mount Arafat, it is the time for celebrations and feasting. But a fast is recommended, as per Islamic belief, for those not on haj pilgrimage on the Day of Arafat as means of deliverance from their past sins.
Muslims believe that as per the command from Allah, Prophet Muhammad undertook the mission to restore monotheism at Kaaba in Mecca. Prophet Muhammad set out to restore religious purity at Kaaba in the year 628. This is considered as the first pilgrimage in Islam. During this pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon at Mount Arafat.