Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, as is his custom every year, today arrived in Mina to join the pilgrims and ensure their comfort as they move through the Holy Sites.
Meanwhile, by 9:30 a.m. this morning all pilgrims were in place at Arafat for the Day of Standing, having arrived in an atmosphere of reverence, devotion and tranquility, beseeching God to bestow on them repentance, forgiveness, mercy and redemption on this great day. In spite of the large numbers, there was no traffic congestion or serious accidents. Noon and afternoon prayers were successfully performed.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-ash-Sheikh urged the pilgrims to fear God and thank Him for the bounties He has bestowed on them, and warned against violation of His instructions. The significance of Hajj, he declared, is to cleanse the heart and turn it towards God, and for all pilgrims to unite irrespective of nationality or language. He said: "This Day of Arafat is one of the best and greatest days, and on this day pilgrims should love and respect each other." He went on to urge all Muslim scholars to shoulder their responsibility for education, adding that this includes women, for whom Islam has high respect, in spite of propaganda to the contrary.
Earlier movements of the pilgrims towards Mina had been completed in record time and with no incidents of congestion. Yesterday's day of tarwiyah (water collection) was carried out in peace and tranquility. This great success is due to the extensive and comprehensive arrangements made by the government of Saudi Arabia under King Fahd's directives. Most notable of these is the modern highway network of tunnels, underpasses, flyovers and bridges for both vehicles and pedestrians. Security personnel have been backing the efforts of the traffic police in organizing the movement of the guests of God, guiding and helping them. In addition, water, food, medical aid and communication facilities, are available on all roads leading to and from Mina.