Worshippers gather on Mount Arafat on the second day of Hajj

1 / 4
The second day of Hajj is known as the Day of Arafat when the pilgrims travel to the mountain. (Arab News/ Ali Khamg)
2 / 4
An emotional woman looks up to the sky as she prays at Mount Arafat. (Arab News/ Ali Khamg)
3 / 4
Arafat day when the pilgrims revisit the site hill where the Prophet Mohammad delivered his final sermon some 1,400 years ago, calling for equality and unity among Muslims.(Arab News/ Ali Khamg)
4 / 4
It is not required to climb the hill, but many still do. (Arab News/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 10 August 2019
0

Worshippers gather on Mount Arafat on the second day of Hajj

  • Heavy rain drenched pilgrims and provided respite from the summer heat
  • Hajj pilgrims arrived at Mina on Friday where they remained in the city until sunrise

ARAFAT: Over two million pilgrims arrived at Mount Arafat on Saturday as Hajj approached its peak.

Some of the pilgrims had tears streaming down their faces as the men and women raised their hands in worship on the slopes of the rocky hill.

Many walked through the pre-dawn darkness early Saturday to the hill where the Prophet Mohammad delivered his final sermon some 1,400 years ago, calling for equality and unity among Muslims.

Security authorities organized the roads and guided pilgrims in order to ensure their safe passage. The various government sectors have also offered hair, catering and medical services to worshippers.

One of the largest religious gatherings on earth, the second day of the hajj is often the most memorable for pilgrims.

Hajj pilgrims arrived at Mina on Friday where they remained in the city until sunrise on the second day of Hajj and then travelled to Mount Arafat.

They stand shoulder to shoulder with Muslims from around the world seeking God's mercy and blessings.

Later in the day the skies turned grey as they filled with heavy rain clouds and spilled open, drenching everyone below.

But the turn in conditions did not dampen spirits and many of the pilgrims could be seen praying during the storm, expressing their joy for rain.

“I feel so happy, I feel as if my Hajj has received more mercy from Allah,” one pilgrim told Arab News in reference to the rain.




Pilgrims caught in the rain, stopped and prayed, expressing their gratefulness of the sudden downpour. (Huda Bashatah/Arab News) 


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 10 min 38 sec ago
0

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

JEDDAH: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the Kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, where an Arab coalition has been fighting to restore the internationally recognized government.
But the Wall Street Journal reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Kuwait says it is increasing security across the state and is investigating the sighting of a drone over its territory and is coordinating with Saudi Arabia and other countries, the cabinet said on Sunday.
“The security leadership has started the necessary investigations over the sighting of a drone over the coastline of Kuwait City and what measures were taken to confront it,” the cabinet said on its Twitter account.
It said Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah directed military and security officers to tighten security at vital installations in the OPEC producer and to take all necessary measures “to protect Kuwait’s security.”
Separately, state-run KUNA news agency said authorities would investigate reports of drones flying over Kuwait. It did not elaborate.
Local Kuwaiti media has reported that witnesses say they saw a drone near a presidential palace on Saturday morning, around the same time of the attacks in Saudi Arabia.
Some Iraqi media outlets have said Saturday’s attack on Saudi oil facilities came from Iraq, which borders Kuwait. But Baghdad denied this on Sunday and vowed to punish anyone using Iraq as a launch pad for attacks in the region. 
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.