The Arabian Peninsula Partnership

The Gospel for every person and a church for every people in the Arabian Peninsula amongst indigenous peoples

15 November, 2010

Hajj Day 2

Wuqoof - Standing at Arafat - Sacred Act #2

In the morning, after prayers, the pilgrims proceed to the Plain of Arafat where they perform the central ritual of the Hajj, the standing (wuqoof). In a shame and honor society (most Muslims come from this type of society), the seeking of the forgiveness of sins (shame) brings freedom. Abu Qataadah reported that Muhammad was said to say, "fasting on the Day of Arafat expiates (atone for guilt) the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.*"

The pilgrims face Mecca and pray from noon to sundown. These prayers are done in a prescribed way: they should remember God, ask for forgiveness and pray other Islamic prayers. It is believed that Muhammad delivered his final sermon from a hill above this plain, called Mount Arafat, during his last pilgrimage. Muslims believe that they leave this day cleansed of sin.

As the sun sets, the people are not required to quote any prescribed prayers. During these sacred moments, pilgrims are to be alone with God. They should ask that their sins and lifelong shortcomings be forgiven.

At sunset, a cannon sounds. Pilgrims leave Arafat going to Muzdalifah, where they sleep or stay up all night under the stars. On the way, many will pick up stones and pebbles. For Muslims not on the Hajj, many will fast on this day of wuqoof.

Key Scripture

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and all the people in your house. Acts 16:31

Going before the Father

As the pilgrims head to Muzdalifah, may what happened to Paul in Romans 7:7-13 well up in them, that theirs sins would continue to overwhelm them. Pray for conviction of sin deep in their hearts and minds. Pray that God would reveal His heart - that He is grieved by our sin, but that He offers a way to receive His forgiveness. Jesus takes guilt and shame away which brings real freedom.

Pray that God would reveal His heart of love for the people. He loves them so much. Pray that people will have encounters of God's love for them.

Pray that God will speak to them in dreams and visions, as they spend the second night of the Hajj praying for their shortcomings and needs. Ask God for an open heaven for many who are genuinely seeking an encounter with God.

Muslims pray five times a day "Show us the straight way, the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray." Pray that God will answer their prayer in such a way that they can grasp God's grace through Jesus Christ.

What does the Bible say?

* The Bible talks about sins being cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Matthew 26:28, Acts 2:38, 1 John 1:7