HajWithKT: Heaven opens up as Hajis weep for forgiveness

arafat, thunderstorm, arafat rain, haj rain, saudi, eid al adha

As the world celebrates Eid Al Adha today, things get busy for the Haj pilgrims.

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By Sahim Salim (Reporting from Makkah)

Published: Sat 10 Aug 2019, 4:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Aug 2019, 10:31 AM

I had heard about people breaking down while praying in the shade of Mount Arafat, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight I witnessed on day two of Haj. Men and women sobbed uncontrollably as they prayed at the very site where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had delivered his final sermon 14 centuries ago.
And it was as if God answered their prayers, for the heavens suddenly opened up. Most of the pilgrims stayed put and continued supplicating as a heavy thunderstorm lashed Arafat.
It was a very hot and humid day till about 2.30pm. Suddenly, dark clouds hovered over the city. Within minutes, heavy rains lashed the city, even as pilgrims supplicated more determinedly.

Unlike usual Islamic rituals, the Arafat repentance is not led by an Imam (priest). Yet, over 2 million Hajis (pilgrims) had their hands
raised towards the heavens as they sought deliverance from their sins.

The compulsory Haj ritual of 'standing before God' lasts from noon to sunset. Though tents have been set up across the area for Hajis to pray, many braved the extreme heat - before the rain - to find their own spot out in the open. Sweat mixed with their tears as they supplicated and repented.
Afterwards, the rain-soaked streets were lined with the faithful. Some climbed the many hills in the area, while others squatted on the roadside. Yet others found a shade under a tree, and some chose the tents.
As dusk fell, there was a look of contentment on the Hajis' faces for hey had witnessed what many others hadn't in Arafat in the last several years: Rain.

What happens today
»As the world celebrates Eid Al Adha today, things get busy for the Haj pilgrims
»First they will go to Jamrat Al Aqabah, where they will pelt stones at the 'devil'
»Male Muslims will then shave their heads and females will cut a part of their hair.
»They will head to the Holy Kaaba and circumambulate the structure seven times in a process called 'Tawaf'.
»Then comes the 'Sa'ee' ritual that will see the pilgrims walk/run between two hills called Al Safa and Al Marwa

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