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Pilgrims pray on the rocky slopes of the Mount of Mercy on the Plain of Arafat where, in the final year of his life, the Prophet Mohammed gave his famed Farewell Sermon in which he spoke about the equality of mankind, the rights of women and denounced extremism. Amr Nabil / AP Photo
Pilgrims pray on the rocky slopes of the Mount of Mercy on the Plain of Arafat where, in the final year of his life, the Prophet Mohammed gave his famed Farewell Sermon in which he spoke about the equality of mankind, the rights of women and denounced extremism. Amr Nabil / AP Photo
A scene from the Mount of Mercy yesterday, the second day of the Haj, where pilgrims spent the day praying for Allah’s forgiveness and the start of a new spiritual life once the pilgrimage has been completed. Amr Nabil / AP Photo
A scene from the Mount of Mercy yesterday, the second day of the Haj, where pilgrims spent the day praying for Allah’s forgiveness and the start of a new spiritual life once the pilgrimage has been completed. Amr Nabil / AP Photo

Prayers for a fresh spiritual start

The Day of Arafat, the second day of pilgrimage rituals, sees millions of pilgrims standing, from dawn until sunset, praying for Allah’s forgiveness and asking for a new spiritual start once the Haj journey is finished.

The Day of Arafat, the second day of pilgrimage rituals, sees millions of pilgrims standing, from dawn until sunset, praying for Allah’s forgiveness and asking for a new spiritual start once the Haj journey is finished.

After the pre-dawn trip from Mina, on the ninth day of Dhull-Hijja, the men and women pilgrims climb the large boulders to reach the summit of Mount Arafat, also known as the Mount of Mercy.

It was from this site that the Prophet Mohammed gave his Farewell Sermon in the last year of his life. The Hujjat al wada’, in which the Prophet talked about the euquality of mankind, the rights of women and spoke against religious extremism, became one of his most famous sermons.

Not all pilgrims climb to the summit. Others choose to stand or sit on the sides, and some remain at the base, all deep in conversation with their Lord.

It is tradition for pilgrims to buy bottles of water or fruit juice that are then distributed to other pilgrims. This act is one of the most favoured good deeds to be performed today, the second day of Haj.

After sunset the pilgrims set off for Muzdalifah, which is in the desert between Mina and Arafat, where they will sleep under the stars and collect the stones for the Stoning of the Devil ritual in the days to follow.

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