Saudi authorities sight crescent moon, fix August 10 as Arafat Day
By Kayode Sanni-Arewa from Madinnah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Supreme Court has announced August 10 as the day pilgrims, the world over, currently in the holy land, will ascend Mount Arafat following the sighting of the crescent moon of Dhu Al-Hijjah on Thursday, August 1.
On this day, Pilgrims will converge from dawn on the Mount Arafat plain and the hill known as Jabal Al-Rahman (Mount of Mercy) dedicated for prayers and reflection as part of the five days Hajj Ritual which starts on August 9.
Vanguard learnt that this exercise will, however, pave way for Eid Al-Adha (festival of the sacrifice), which starts a day after Arafat Day, according to Islamic lunar calendar.
Meanwhile, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Thursday, warned Nigeria Pilgrims in the holy land against flouting rules and regulations of their host country.
The commission specifically cautioned the pilgrims from joining any group or organisation from any part of the world that might want to hold political/religious demonstrations.
NAHCON, in a statement by Fatima Sanda Usara, head of its public affairs unit, however, admonished them to concentrate on acts of worship, which it said was their primary objective in the holy land.
The statement in part says; “it is pertinent to remember that displaying banners or pamphlets with political undertones whether on Muna tents, buses, pilgrims’ accommodations is not allowed.
“Only Islamic literature is to be carried along. Islamic scholars are urged to please guide pilgrims elaborately on this matter.
“This warning has become necessary considering that Hajj season is approaching its peak, a time when pilgrims from several nations of the world converge to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam.”