Hajj 2024: Date, 4 key aspects of history associated with Day of Arafah ahead of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakreid - Hindustan Times
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Hajj 2024: Date, 4 key aspects of history associated with Day of Arafah ahead of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakreid

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jun 14, 2024 03:47 PM IST

Hajj 2024: Here's all you need to know about the date and 4 key historical aspects of Day of Arafah on second day of Hajj and ahead of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakreid.

This year, Hajj started on Friday, June 14, with more than 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world having already amassed in and around Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage. While the numbers are still growing as more pilgrims from inside Saudi Arabia join, authorities expect the number of pilgrims to exceed 2 million this year. Last year more than 1.8 million Muslims took part in the hajj, according to official figures.

Muslim worshippers walk around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Hajj 2024: Date, 4 key aspects of history associated with Day of Arafah ahead of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakreid (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)
Muslim worshippers walk around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Hajj 2024: Date, 4 key aspects of history associated with Day of Arafah ahead of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakreid (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)

Date:

This year, Hajj started on June 14, 2024, after astronomical observatories spotted the crescent moon on Thursday evening, June 06, signalling the beginning of the month of Dhul Hijjah in which the annual pilgrimage falls. Accordingly, the Day of Arafah will occur on June 15 this year while the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha will fall on June 16.

Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, takes place from the 8th to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah where on 8th Dhul Hijjah (Yawm at-Tarwiyah), pilgrims begin their Hajj rituals; on 9th Dhul Hijjah (Yawm Arafat), the most significant day of Hajj, pilgrims gather on the plain of Arafat to pray and seek forgiveness while on the day of Eid ul Adha i.e. 10th Dhul Hijjah (Yawm an-Nahr), pilgrims perform the ritual of animal sacrifice (Qurbani) to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. Allah provided a ram to sacrifice instead. Finally, Hajj ends on 12th Dhul Hijjah.

Though Arafah Day falls on the ninth of Dhul Hijjah and commemorates the finality of the religion of Islam and of Divine revelation, the difference in crescent moon sighting in different regions leads to it being observed on different days across the world. Hence, countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, other Arab nations and Gulf countries along with the USA and UK are marking the Day of Arafah on June 15 this year while Muslims in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian nations will observe it on June 16, 2024.

History and significance:

While Eid-ul-Adha or Bakra Eid on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah is the second most important festival celebrated by Muslims across the world, the Day of Arafah i.e. the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah is considered as the most important day as it is the day of repentance and is the climax of Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj.

The Day of Arafah has historical and religious significance within Islam as it commemorates several important events and milestones. Here are some key historical aspects associated with the Day of Arafah -

  1. Repentance of Adam and Eve: According to Islamic tradition, it is believed that Adam and Eve, the first human beings, sought forgiveness from Allah for their disobedience and were reunited on the Day of Arafah. This event highlights the significance of repentance and seeking forgiveness on this day.
  2. Prophet Ibrahim AS (Abraham) and the Origins of Hajj: The Day of Arafah is connected to the story of Prophet Ibrahim AS (Abraham AS) and his family. It is believed that Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail (Ishmael) were instructed by Allah to build the Kaaba, the sacred house of worship in Mecca. The Day of Arafah symbolises the culmination of their journey and their steadfastness in fulfilling the divine command.
  3. Revelation of the Verse of Completion: On the Day of Arafah, in the year 10 AH (632 CE), the revelation of the final verse of the Quran took place. This verse, known as Ayat al-Deen or the Verse of Completion, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the plain of Arafat. It signifies the completion of the message of Islam and the perfection of faith.
  4. Farewell Sermon: The Day of Arafah marks the occasion when Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon during his farewell Hajj pilgrimage in the year 632 CE. The sermon took place at the Mount of Mercy (Jabal al-Rahmah) in Arafat, where the Prophet addressed a vast gathering of Muslims. The sermon covered various aspects of faith, social responsibility, and guidance for the Muslim community.

Overall, the Day of Arafah encompasses historical events related to the Prophet Muhammad and his final sermon, the completion of the Quran, the origin of the Hajj pilgrimage through Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), and the concept of repentance as exemplified by Adam and Eve. These historical elements contribute to the spiritual and historical significance of the Day of Arafah within the Islamic faith.

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