MAKKAH: Pakistani pilgrims offered Friday prayers at Saudi Arabia’s Masjid-e-Nimrah located in Arafat on Friday, where the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) delivered his Farewell Sermon while performing the pilgrimage centuries ago.
More than 83,000 Pakistani pilgrims along with hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims from around the world offered prayers of repentance on the sacred hill of Mount Arafat.
Pilgrims set out for Arafat before dawn and will remain there until nightfall in deep worship.
All pilgrims selected to perform the Hajj this year are under the age of 65 and have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Saudi authorities had initially allocated a quota of 81,132 pilgrims for Pakistan but later allowed 2,000 more people from the South Asian nation to perform Hajj this year, taking the total number of pilgrims to 83,132.
All Pakistani pilgrims had reached Mina on Thursday to formally begin the Hajj. Mina, which is known as the “city of tents,” shelters pilgrims from all nations during their spiritual journey.
“All Pakistani pilgrims under the government [Hajj] scheme have arrived in Arafat,” Ibrar Mirza, director general of Hajj in Makkah, told Arab News. “A majority of those who were facilitated by private tour operators have also arrived in the area and the rest will soon be here.”
On Thursday, several pilgrims at a Pakistani camp in Mina told Arab News the cooling system was not working in their tents.
However, Mirza said such glitches were not confined to Pakistani camps and were expected since it was after two years that pilgrims had arrived in such large numbers in Mina.
“The system in Mina has remained locked for nearly three years,” he said. “So, we were facing some issues of electricity in different places ... But these problems were also being fixed.”
Speaking to Arab News, a Pakistani pilgrim from Islamabad, Munir Hussain, said he had reached Masjid-e-Nimrah in the early hours of the day along with some of his fellow pilgrims.
“We are in Arafat now where we arrived at night,” he said. “The tents here are very comfortable and the cooling system is working perfectly well. In fact, we have been sitting in Masjid-e-Nimrah for nearly an hour and will hear the [Hajj] sermon and say our prayers in the next few hours.”
Saudi Arabia has allowed up to one million Muslims — both from within the kingdom and countries around the world — to perform Hajj after two years of coronavirus restrictions. All pilgrims need to be vaccinated, however, and be under 65 years of age.