Since morning, the congregation had prepared for wukuf. They woke up in the morning, performing the Fajr prayer in congregation, taking a bath and having breakfast.
Ilham Khoiri reporting from Mecca
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ARAFAH, KOMPAS — Wukuf (compulsory stay) in Arafah, as the peak of the Hajj pilgrimage, was held on Friday (8/7/2022). In addition to praising God, the congregation also prayed for a more peaceful life.
About 1 million pilgrims from a number of countries, including Indonesia, had gathered for wukuf in Arafah (also known as Arafat) since Thursday afternoon (7/7). On Friday afternoon, they attended sermons in their respective tents and performed Zuhr (noon prayer) and the Asr (afternoon prayer) in congregation. The preachers called for the spirit to build a more peaceful civilization.
Since morning, the congregation had prepared for wukuf. They woke up in the morning, performing the Fajr prayer in congregation, taking a bath and having breakfast. The congregation chanted talbiah (praise to God) and shalawat (praise to the Prophet Muhammad). During the day, they gathered in tents for the sermon.
Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, was also present.
In the main tent of the Indonesian Pilgrims, a wukuf sermon was delivered by the rector of the State Islamic University (UIN) of Raden Intan, Lampung, Moh Mukri Wiryosumarto. The Indonesian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Ahmad, and the head of the Indonesian hajj mission, Habib Hilal Al Aidid also gave a speech for the occasion. Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, was also present.
In his sermon, Moh Mukri called on Muslims to use wukuf at Arafah as an opportunity to promote brotherhood and peace. This principle was exemplified by Prophet Muhammad SAW when reconciling the dispute between the Aus and the Khazraj tribes. From being enemies of each other, the two tribes later became brothers and loved each other.
Kindness and mutual respect for unity and brotherhood must be maintained. "Let's spread a cool aura and put forward a cool-headed discussion to solve various problems in realizing the common good," he said.
It is human nature to have differences with various ethnic groups. All the differences should not be contradicted. They should, instead, get to know each other and communicate, so that harmony is built in the midst of life. "Especially in our country, Indonesia, which is very diverse in culture and religion, togetherness needs special care so that there is always peace and harmony in the life of religion, nation and state," said Moh Mukri.
In order to realize a peaceful life, he continued, it is necessary to prioritize a moderate attitude in religion. Moderation is needed to protect human dignity and to work for the good of mankind, with fair and balanced principles in line with the Constitution as a national agreement.
Religious moderation should be promoted in order to build world peace. "From Arafah, let's knock on heaven's door, hopefully world peace is not just a dream, and tolerance and mutual respect always blossom," he said.
In his speech before the sermon, Habib Hilal Al Aidid conveyed the advice of the Prophet SAW when carrying out the wada (farewell) pilgrimage in the 9th century under Hijri calendar. The Prophet said that fellow Muslims are brothers. So, hostility should be avoided and always look for a peaceful way in solving differences. "Let's say the best prayer for the good of the nation," he said.
This year, international pilgrims perform the annual Hajj for the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Two years earlier, Hajj was held in a limited number. The number of pilgrims was only 58,745 people in 2021, while in 2020 the total number was just about 1,000 people.
There was also an additional 2004 hajj officer. The number is just half of the usual quota before the pandemic.
Saudi Arabia raised the number of Hajj pilgrims for 2022 to 1 million from inside and outside the Kingdom amid the significant decline in Covid-19 cases. Indonesia received a quota of 100,051 people, consisting of 92,825 regular pilgrims and 7,226 special pilgrims. There was also an additional 2004 hajj officer. The number is just half of the usual quota before the pandemic.
To anticipate the spread of Covid-19, Saudi Arabia has tightened the Hajj requirements. Pilgrims should be under 65 years old and fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure to the Kingdom.
According to Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, so far the Hajj has been running smoothly thanks to cooperation involving many parties. "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Indonesian government continue to encourage pilgrims to apply health protocols in all Hajj rituals, even though the number of Covid-19 cases has declined," he said.
Some pilgrims still wore masks when praying, both in the area of the Grand Mosque and in Arafah. However, some others had taken off their masks when they were outside. This is in line with the decision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to relax the requirement to wear masks in public spaces.
Until Friday afternoon Saudi Arabian time, pilgrims still stayed in Arafah's tents. Hasan Basri (36), a pilgrim from Pamekasan, Madura, East Java, said he did not stop praying while listening to the wukuf sermon or after. “During wukuf, prayers will be easily answered. I'm a bit nervous because I have so many requests," he said.
On Friday evening, pilgrims moved to Muzdalifah to collect pebbles. They then stayed at Mina and threw pebbles at three walls (formerly pillars), called jamarat. The same practice is repeated on the following day.
(This article was translated by Hendarsyah Tarmizi)