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Three million stand at Arafat in Haj climax
In an atmosphere filled with spirituality and serenity, nearly 3 million pilgrims yesterday performed the most important rite of the Haj as they stood in prayer from dawn to dusk in the plains of Arafat, 15 kilometers east of Makkah. The ritual is commonly called as Wuqoof-e-Arafat.
A white sea of faithful surged to Mount Arafat as dawn broke on the second day of the five-day event. Waves of men in seamless white robes and veiled women in long dresses joined voices in a crescendo chanting “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik” (Here I am O God, answering your call).
Thousands of police were stationed along the routes to Arafat and helicopters hovered overhead. Many faithful carried umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun in temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius. Sprinklers intermittently sprayed them with water.
The pilgrimage proceeded without incident under the watchful eyes of thousands of police and troops. Police patrols organized traffic and the movement of pilgrims as helicopters hovered above.
Medical teams dealt with emergencies but doctors said the general health of pilgrims was fine with no contagious diseases reported.
The faithful spent the day praying for mercy and forgiveness. ARAB NEWS ONLINE (Saudi Arabia)