1.8 million Hajj pilgrims to climb Mount Arafat

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About 1.8 million pilgrims from across nations of the world are expected to climb and stay on the Mountain Arafat to pray for three days, asking for forgiveness of sin, among other rites.

Therefore, Nigerian pilgrims in Makkah were already warming up to begin their last and critical segment of the annual religious rites on Friday in Muna.

They said they were prepared, spiritually and psychologically, to accomplish acceptable Hajj.

The pilgrims, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makkah on Wednesday, said they had been enlightened on the do’s and don’ts of performing Hajj while at Muna.

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Muna is a suburb of Makkah where mount Arafat is located.

Messrs Abdullahi Shehu, Mohammed Bawa, AbdulKadir Ahmad, Najeem Olawale among other pilgrims, told NAN that they could not wait to move to Arafat.

“By His grace, I am hoping to carry out the remaining religious rites in Muna and pray close to Arafat.

“I believe that prayer offered, with sincerity of purpose close to Arafat has much potency of being accepted by almighty Allah,” Bawa said.

“Besides using the golden opportunity to pray for myself and my family, I will also pray for peace and development in Nigeria,” Ahmad said.

Contributing, a cleric, Alhaji Tajudeen Omotola, one of the religious leaders guiding the pilgrims, admonished them to address their minds squarely to the significance of the last aspect of their religious rites in Muna.

He said this could be done by engaging in constant prayers and getting closer to almighty Allah.

“As mortals, we have all sinned in one way or the other, therefore, it becomes incumbent on us as pilgrims at Arafat to ask for forgiveness of sin, Allah’s mercy, peace and development of Nigeria.

He promised continued preaching to the pilgrims at Muna on the need to be God-fearing and allow the lessons of Hajj permeate their lives when they returned to Nigeria.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and the Saudi authorities are reported to have been up and doing to ensure a hitch-free Hajj.

The commission has transported over 44,000 pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, in addition to 18,000 pilgrims who came to the holy land through tour operators.

Saudi authorities have also introduced electronic system in Muna to monitor movement to ensure safety of pilgrims.

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