Amazing! 55,000 Nigerians Among Two Million Pilgrims On Mount ArafatAbout 55, 000 thousand Nigerians have joined 1.6 million fellow Muslims on the plains of Mount Arafat today, August 20, in commemoration of the Hajj holy rites in makkah, Saudi Arabia.
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.
Before their departure for Mina, for an onward journey to Arafat, Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullah Mukhtar Muhammad, admonished the Nigerian contingent to be of sterling conduct.
Muhammad made the plea at a stakeholders/orientation meeting held a day before the pilgrims’ departed for Mina, and urged the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards and tour operators to ensure total abidance with RSA regulations and guidelines for a smooth Hajj exercise.
Counselling cooperation among officials and between pilgrims, the NAHCON boss stated that failure to comply with the rules, would bring the Nigerian contingent to disrepute and imperil the orderly system established by their host nation. This could also endanger pilgrims from other countries.
At the meeting, the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Isa Dodo, also urged the officials to ensure a smooth and successful Hajj exercise.
He urged welfare officers to guarantee the Pilgrims comfort by providing good health facilities and conducive living arrangement, particularly at the Mashaa’ir (religious) sites. He pledged to assist the Nigerian contingent in areas that they might be needing help from his office.
Nigeria on Friday, last week, concluded the transportation of pilgrims to this year’s Hajj with the arrival of about 55, 000 pilgrims. Of the figure, about 37, 000 pilgrims were airlifted by NAHCON while the remaining contingent were handled by private operators.
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.