Hajj is the fifth and most physically and mentally demanding ritual in Islam. With Hajj 2023 just around the corner, many pilgrims are preparing to visit Makkah and embark on this spiritually rewarding journey. Hajj begins on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah and ends on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah. On the first day of Hajj, pilgrims leave Makkah and travel to Mina, where they stay the night. Hajj Day 2 involves traveling from Mina to Arafat, followed by traveling to Muzdalifah, where Pilgrims spend the night.

This article providescomprehensive information, tips, and recommendations to facilitate pilgrims and help them prepare for the second day of Hajj.

Part 1: Day of Arafah

The second day of Hajj, the 9th of Dhul-Hjjah, is also known as Yaum al-Wuquf (Day of Standing) or Yaum al-Arafat (Day of Arafat). Arafat is derived from the Arabic verb ‘Arafa,’ meaning to recognize or to know.

The Day of Arafat is considered the most significant rite of Hajj. On this day, pilgrimstravel from Mina to the plain of Arafat, where they offer Zuhr and Asr prayers together and perform Wuquf.

· Offering Fajr Prayers in Mina

After spending the previous night, i.e., the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah in Mina, pilgrims offer Fajr prayers and now have offered five obligatory prayers at Mina before leaving for Mina. To avoid crowds, perform Wudhu at least an hour before Fajr.

Immediately after offering Fajr prayers, it is mandatory to start reciting the Takbir al-Tashreeq. This dua must be recited at least once after every obligatory Salah up to and including after Asr prayers on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah:

اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْد

“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no deity besides Allah, and Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest, and all praises are for Allah only”.

The Talbiyah should be recited after Takbir al-Tashreeq. Men should recite the dua loudly, while women should recite it softly.

· Performing Ghusl and Fasting

It is Sunnah to perform Ghusl on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, either in Mina or before performing the Wuquf at Arafat. Since the camps in Arafat are more open as compared to the tents in Mina,pilgrims, especially women, may feel more comfortable performing Ghusl in Mina.However, pilgrims must abide by the restrictions of Ihram while performing Ghusl; for instance, they should avoid shaving and using scented soap or shampoo.

Although fasting on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah is extremely rewarding for non-pilgrims, the Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ)advised pilgrims to avoid fasting on the Day of Arafah. Hazrat Ikrimah (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ)narrates:

“I entered upon Abu Hurairah in his house and asked him about fasting on the Day of Arafat at Arafat. Abu Hurairah said: ‘The Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) forbade fasting the Day of Arafat at Arafat.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah: 1732)

Traveling to Arafat

According to the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ), pilgrims should leave Mina after sunrise.

· Buses to Arafat

When traveling by bus, most groups reach Arafat before Zuhr prayers. However, delays due to traffic congestion are inevitable, so expect some delays. Moreover, buses might get hot and move very slowly due to rush, so make sure you carry some snacks and cold drinking water.

· Walking to Arafat

If you choose to walk to Arafat, this will undoubtedly be challenging since the distance from Mina to Arafat is approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles). Moreover, the camps for European pilgrims are on the other side of Arafat; hence, the journey will exceed 8 miles. In addition, finding your camp in Arafat will also be difficult and involve more walking.

It is worth noting that the Prophet (ﷺ) also rode from Mina to Arafat; hence,it is not a Sunnah to travel on foot between these sites.

However, if you opt to walk to Arafat, there are benches, refreshment stalls, water taps, washing facilities, and medical facilities at regular intervals. Moreover, if a woman gets separated from her Mahram/husband, she must reach Arafat even if she has to travel alone or find a group of women.

Facilities Available at Arafat

· Accommodation

Similar to the arrangements in Mina, streets, and camps are numbered and pre-allocated to pilgrims in Arafat according to their respective countries. Remember to note down and learn your camp number to avoid inconvenience.

The facilities of your tent will depend on your Hajj package. However, the tents in Arafat are generally spacious, and some are also equipped with air coolers and fans. Nevertheless, it is advised that pilgrims carry a small portable cooling device since the evening at Arafat can get very hot.

· Meals

Depending on your Hajj package, meals will either be pre-packed in a boxor served directly to you. Moreover, there are no food shops in Arafat, so keep some nourishing snacks with you, such as dates, sweets, fruits, and biscuits, and also carry plenty of water to stay hydrated. You can stock up on snacks from Mina before leaving for Arafat.

· Sleeping

Some tents in Arafat are carpeted; however, a sleeping bag/inflatable air mattress/Hajji straw mat will come in handy during this time.

· Medical

Apart from mobile clinics, there is a large hospital near Jabal-e-Rahmat.

· Toilet, Washing, and Wudhu

All camps have showering and toilet facilities that operate 24 hours. Wudhu facilities are available next to the toilet facilities. These areas can become very crowded, so be patient.

· Communication

Public telephones are available, but they are mostly overcrowded. We recommend using your own mobile/cellular phones with sims and data purchased from Saudi Network providers. You can easily purchase a sim at the airport when you land in Saudi Arabia.

Rituals Performed at Arafat

For Hajj to be considered complete and valid, pilgrims must perform Wuquf al-Arafat. This involves spending some time between midday and the start of Fajr in Arafat.

If you reach Arafat early, get some rest; some people begin their dua for Arafat before midday and rest during the evening, which is incorrect. Instead, you should spend most of the day doing Zikr and Ibadat.

The rituals to be offered at Arafah are as follows:

1. Offering Zuhr and Asr Prayers

Pilgrims go to Masjid al-Namirah and offer Zuhr and Asr prayers together in Qasr mode. This is where the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) delivered his final sermon during Hajj.

According to the Hanafi school of thought, Zuhr and Asr should be combined only if pilgrims offer them in Masjid al-Namirah in congregation. If the Masjid is not accessible, the two prayers must be offered separately at their respective times in tents.However, the other three Sunni schools of thought say combining Zuhr and Asr prayers in tents is acceptable.

Before the Salah, there is a Khutbah (sermon) in Arabic. Pilgrims offering prayers in the Masjid or those within hearing range must listen to this sermon carefully and preferably find someone to translate it for them. Moreover, pilgrims far from the Masjid can listen to the Khutbah on the radio.

Lunch is oftengiven after Salah; however, don’t spend a lot of time eating, and don’t eat too heavily since maximum time should be spent in Ibadat.

2. Wuquf al-Arafat

After offering Zuhr and AsrSalah, pilgrims must remain in Arafat till sunset. Large yellow signposts indicate the boundaries for Arafat.

Then, late in the afternoon, pilgrims should stand in the open (ideally at the foot of Jabal-e-Rehmat (Mount of Mercy), raise their hands, and earnestly pray to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى)‎. This is known as Wuquf (standing) and is in remembrance of how the Prophet (ﷺ) prayed in front of the Ka’bah for himself and his Ummah.

During Wuquf, duas are readily accepted, so it is suggested that pilgrims make a list of duas beforehand. Duas can be made in any language; however, Masnoon Duas (Duas of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) verified by Sunnah) are ideal for this rite. Amr ibn Shu’aib (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) narrated from his father from his grandfather that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:

“The best of supplication is the supplication of the Day of Arafat. And the best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

None has the right to be worshipped, but Allah is alone without a partner. To Him belongs all that exists, and to Him is the praise, and He is powerful over all things.”

(Jami`at-Tirmidhi: 3585)

Other things to do doing Wuquf include recitation of the Holy Quran, reciting Talbiyah, and reciting Darood. If it gets too hot, pilgrims can make dua from inside their tents and lower their hands if they feel tired. Moreover, menstruating women can make dua and recite verses from the Holy Quran/Dua book but without touching the verses.

It is Wajib (mandatory) to remain in Arafat until sunset; leaving before sunset imposes a penalty.

Part 2: Leaving Arafat for Muzdalifah

Immediately after sunset, pilgrims leave Arafat to travel to Muzdalifah.

The word Muzdalifah is derived from the Arabic verb ‘Izdalafa’, meaning ‘to come near’ or ‘to approach’. Moreover, Muzdalifah is known as al-Mashar al-Haram because of a mosque of the same name on the site of a mountain and is also mentioned in the Holy Quran:

فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ عِندَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ ۖ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِن كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّالِّينَ

“But when you depart from Arafat, remember Allah at al-Mashar al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray”.

[Surah al-Baqarah 2:198]

Before leaving for Muzdalifah, it is advised that pilgrims use the toilets and perform Wudhu since toilets at Muzdalifah tend to get very crowded, and they will be offering Maghrib prayer in Muzdalifah.If Maghrib prayer is offered at Arafat, it must be offered again at Muzdalifah.

During the journey, pilgrims should continue reciting Talbiyah and other duas and prayers.

· Buses to Muzdalifah

Buses usually board pilgrims and begin their journey toward Muzdalifah shortly before sunset. However, rest assured that they will only cross the boundary of Arafat after sunset.

· Walking to Muzdalifa

Most pilgrims chose to walk to Muzdalifah from Arafat. The journey is approximately two hours on foot, and the distance between the two sites is about 8 kilometers (5 miles). Large purple signposts indicate the boundaries for Muzdalifah.

Facilities Available at Muzdalifah

· Accommodation

At Muzdalifah, pilgrims must spend the night under the open sky. Hence, there are no tents or camps available. Despite many lights, it can get relatively dark, so carry a flashlight with you and stay near your group/Mahram.

· Sleeping

When you find a reasonable space (ideally close to your group), lay down your sleeping bag/Inflatable mattress/Hajji straw mat and lay down. Make sure to keep your belongings with you at all times.

· Toilet, Washing, and Wudhu

Toilets and Wudhu facilities are available in Muzdalifah but are very crowded. Pilgrims must be prepared to relieve themselves in the bushes/mountains if the queues are very long.

Rituals Performed at Muzdalifah

These are the rituals pilgrims must perform during their stay in Muzdalifah:

1. Offering Maghrib and Isha Prayer (combined)

Maghrib and Isha prayer are offered together in Qasr form at the time of Isha prayer at Muzdalifah. Pilgrims who arrive in Muzdalifah early must wait for the time of Isha to offer both prayers together.

If you fear you will not reach Muzdalifah in time of Isha prayers due to traffic or large crowds, or exhaustion (if you are walking), you can combine and offer the Maghrib and Isha prayers on your way to Muzdalifah.

2. Collecting Pebbles for Rami

Pilgrims must collect 49 pebbles from Muzdalifah for the rite of Rami (stoning the Jamarat), performed during the next three days of Hajj. However, it is suggested to collect an additional 21 pebbles and make the total 70 since some pebbles might be misplaced or miss the target while throwing.

The Prophet (ﷺ) collected pebbles in the morning; however, collecting pebbles at night is perfectly acceptable.

Here are a few tips for collecting pebbles:

  • Look for pebbles at the foot of nearby hills
  • Try to find clean pebbles. If they are visibly dirty, you can wash them.
  • Use your flashlight (if it is night-time)
  • The pebbles must ideally be pea-sized. Anything bigger or smaller than this size is not desirable but is acceptable.
  • You can ask for help and assist other pilgrims in finding pebbles
  • Keep your pebbles in your pebble bag. You can use a small, clean, empty water bottle if you haven’t purchased one.

3. Spending the Night

Our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) made concessions for the weak, elderly, women, and children to leave Muzdalifah and travel back to Mina between moonset and dawn. However, this applies strictly to the four categories mentioned, and all healthy and able individuals must spend the night at Muzdalifah.

As for healthy and able women, they should stay the night in Muzdalifah, especially if their husband/Mahram is also staying.

During the stay, make sure to engage in supplication, recite the Holy Quran, and seek forgiveness from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى)‎‎. Furthermore, get some rest for the next three days of Hajj, as is also the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ).

4. Fajr Prayer

It is Sunnah to offer Fajr prayer at the earliest while it is still dark. You may also hear the Azanfrom the Mashar al-Haram.

Since the toilets will inevitably become overcrowded or you might not be close to them, keep some extra water with you for Wudhu.

5. Wuquf

It is also Sunnah to perform Wuquf after Fajr prayer, even if only for a moment due to time constraints. This rite is the same as Arafat – make dua facing the Ka’bah while standing and keeping your hands raised. Ideally, you shouldn’t leave Muzdalifahwithout Wuquf.

Leaving for Mina

The distance from Muzdalifah to your camp in Mina is approximately 3 miles (5 kilometers) which on foot can last for over two hours. Since the previous night has been exhausting and the upcoming day is also hectic, it is advised that pilgrims make the journey back on some conveyance. Remember to be patient in case of crowds and delays.

Following the Sunnah, ensure that you exit the boundary of Muzdalifah before sunrise. Moreover, the sooner you start making your way back to Mina, the more likely you are to avoid traffic hurdles;continue reciting Talbiyah during the journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens on the second day of Hajj?

The second day of Hajj involves pilgrims traveling from Mina to Arafat, performing Wuquf al-Arafah, and going to Muzdalifah, where they spend the night.

Hajj is how many days?

Hajj begins on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah and ends on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah, i.e., 5 days.

When is Hajj Day 2023?

Hajj 2023 will fall on the evening of June 26th, 2023.

Is Arafat fast compulsory?

No. The Prophet (ﷺ) advised pilgrims not to fast on the Day of Arafah. However, non-pilgrims should fast since it is a day of great reward and significance.

Why is Arafat the most important part of Hajj?

Arafat holds importance in Hajj because it is the site where the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) delivered his last Hajj sermon (Khutbah Hajjat al-Wada’). Wuquf al-Arafah is also the time when duas are readily accepted.

What do you do at Muzdalifah in Hajj?

At Muzdalifah, pilgrims must offer Maghrib and Isha prayers (combined), collect pebbles for Rami, spend the night praying and resting, and offer Fajr prayers.

Conclusion for Day of Arafah: Hajj Day 2 – 9th of Dhul-Hijjah

Hajj Day 2, the 9th of Dhul-Hjjah, is when the most important rite of Hajj is performed – Yaum al-Wuquf (Day of Standing) or Yaum al-Arafat (Day of Arafat). It is a day when prayers are readily answered, and pilgrims can seek forgiveness for their wrongdoings. If you’re performing Hajj this year, we hope this article helps you perform these rituals with ease and better understanding.