Islamic scholars and pilgrims from Nigeria spent a significant part of Arafat day, the most important day in the hajj ritual, to pray for peace, national unity and economic prosperity.
A team of clerics, under the umbrella of Ulama committee of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), took turns to offer prayers at a special session organised by NAHCON.
The scholars called for repentance, emphasising that Nigeria is in need of prayers to confront its challenges.
In his special sermon for the day, the Chief Imam of Alfurqan Mosque in Kano, Bashir Umar, outlined the significance of the day.
Recalling a sermon delivered by Prophet Muhammad at the Mount Arafat 1,430 years ago, the cleric said Muslims must stay united and be their brother’s keepers.
He said Islam does not confer preferences based on creed or social standing, except for those who are pious.
Mr Bashir said the prophet also sermonised about the need to treat women with equity and fairness, in addition to paying attention to the economic prosperity of the society.
He urged Muslims to eschew tribal and clannish strife, in line with the admonition of the prophet.
In his remarks, NAHCON’s acting chairman, Abdullahi Muhammad, called on the Ulamaa and pilgrims not to relent in praying for the well being of the Nigerian nation.
He emphasised the importance of supplication to Allah for the guidance of the Nigerian youth, unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse people of our nation.
Abdullahi Mukhtar, a barrister, further called for prayers for the unity of Nigeria and the entire Muslim Ummah, and for Allah’s guidance to our leaders at all levels.
The Chairman also requested for special prayers for the Saudi nation for its sacrifices to ease religious rites of the guests of Allah, who come visiting the country on pilgrimage, lesser Hajj and other religious activities.
Mr Mukhtar, who sought for forgiveness over any shortcomings of the entire staff of the commission and other stakeholders, also called for prayers for a successful conclusion of the entire Hajj exercise and a hitch-free; smooth return journey back to Nigeria after the pilgrimage.
Different scholars offered prayers at the occasion in different Nigerian languages.