ARAFAH: It stormed here on Sunday, a day for Wukuf, a rare event during the hot summer months.
The storm, accompanied by very strong winds, struck the tents of pilgrims and caused a power outage throughout the tent site. It started just before sunset around 6.30 pm (local time), and took off-guard pilgrims. However, the storm did not temper their mood.
On the contrary, the rain was considered purification.
Tabung Haji (TH) head of the Malaysian 1439H Haj delegation Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman assured that Malaysia pilgrims were safe.
However, he said that the electricity supply had to be temporarily interrupted by the Saudi authorities to ensure the safety of pilgrims during the storm from 6.30 pm to 8 pm.
"Some tents were damaged, but are currently being repaired."
Electricity supply was restored in 22.45 hours.
Malaysian pilgrims, number 30.200, had arrived in Arafah for Wukuf on Sunday in stages from the early morning. She joined nearly three million pilgrims from all corners of the world here in the valley of Mount Arafah to mark the most important day of the pilgrimage.
Malaysian pilgrims on Sunday departed from Mecca to Masyair, the most challenging phase of the haj.
Masyair refers to the massive movement of pilgrims from Mecca to Arafah for Wukuf, and then on to Muzdalifah and Mina.
Wukuf in Arafah represents the height of Hajj, a most promising day in Islam.  Much is being done to ensure that everyone, including the sick and the elderly, does it for wukuf because failure to be present in Arafah today on the ninth of Zulhijjah will invalidate the pilgrim sha.
It is said that during wukuf or the day of Arafah, heaven will open and Allah will accept sincere prayers and repentance. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd