Mount Arafat

Mount Arafat (Arabic: جَبَل عَرَفَات‎, romanizedJabal ʿArafāt), also known by its Arabic name Jabal Arafat, and by its other Arabic name, Jabal ar-Rahmah (Arabic: جبل الرحمة‎, lit. 'mountain of mercy'),[1] is a granodiorite hill[2] about 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mecca in the Makkah Province of Saudi Arabia.[3] The mountain is approximately 70 m (230 ft) in height. Its highest point sits at an elevation of 454 m (1,490 feet).

Mount Aryan
Pilgrims cover Arafat's roads, plains and mountain - Flickr - Al Jazeera English.jpg
Pilgrims atop the mountain during the Hajj
Highest point
Elevation454 m (1,490 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
CoordinatesCoordinates: 21°21′17.39″N 39°59′1.99″E / 21.3548306°N 39.9838861°E / 21.3548306; 39.9838861
Native nameجَبَل عَرَفَات  (Arabic)
Mount Aryan is located in Saudi Arabia
Mount Aryan
Mount Aryan
Location of Mount Arafat within Saudi Arabia
Locationnear Mecca, Makkah Province
 Saudi Arabia
Age of rock9.13 ± 1.05 Ma
Mountain typeGrandiorite hill

According to some Islamic traditions, the hill is the place where the Prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon, also known as the Khutbat al-Wada',[4] to his companions (sahaba) who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life. Some Muslims also believe that Mount Arafat is the place where Adam and Eve (Hawa) reunited on Earth after falling from Heaven, believing the mountain to be the place where they were forgiven, hence giving it the name Jabal ar-Rahmah, meaning 'Mountain of Mercy'. A pillar is erected on top of the mountain to show where this event is believed to have taken place.

The mountain is especially important during the Hajj, with the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, also known as the Day of 'Arafah after the mountain itself, being the day when Hajj pilgrims leave Mina for Arafat; this day is considered to be the most important day of the Hajj. The khutbah (sermon) is delivered and Zuhr and Asr prayers are prayed together in the valley. The pilgrims spend the whole day on the mountain invoking Allah to forgive their sins.[5]

Geology and radiologyEdit

A 2012 study classified Mount Arafat as a granodiorite rock which mainly consists of feldspar, quartz and muscovite, among other minerals. Using petrographic, fission track dating and γ-spectrometric (HPGe) techniques in order to study the geology, thermal history and the radiological hazards due to the presence of primordial radionuclides.[2]

The study yielded fission track age of 9.13 ± 1.05 Ma of the Mount Arafat granodiorite. In addition, the study reported that rifting, magmatism, volcanism and seafloor spreading that resulted in the formation of Red Sea seems to have altered the original age of the Arafat granodiorite under study to 9.13 ± 1.05 Ma. Measured radioactivity concentrations due to 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were found to not pose any radiological health hazard to the general public.[2]


Arafat rituals end at sunset and pilgrims then move to Muzdalifah for Maghrib prayer and a shortened Isha prayer and for a short rest.[6]

The level area surrounding the hill is called the Plain of Arafat. The term Mount Arafat is sometimes applied to this entire area. It is an important place in Islam because, during the Hajj, pilgrims spend the afternoon there on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. Failure to be present in the plain of Arafat on the required day invalidates the pilgrimage.[7]

Since late 2010, this place is served by Mecca Metro. On a normal Hajj, it would be around 21 km (13 mi) to walk.[citation needed]

In literatureEdit

The hill is referenced in James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake.[8]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Saudi Arabia Hajj: Millions at Mount Arafat for ceremonies". BBC. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
  2. ^ a b c Qureshi, A. A.; Sultan, A.; Rashid, A.; Ali, M.; Waheed, A.; Manzoor, S.; Baloch, M. A.; Matiullah; Batool, S.; Khan, H. A. (September 2012). "Geological and radiological studies of the Mount Arafat, Mekkah, Saudi Arabia". Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry. 293 (3): 955–963. doi:10.1007/s10967-012-1776-0. ISSN 0236-5731. S2CID 95942060.
  3. ^ "خرائط Google".
  4. ^ "Sea of people arrive at Mecca and Mount Arafat as Hajj pilgrimage gets underway". Metro. 2018-08-20. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
  5. ^ "More than 2 million pilgrims complete journey to Mount Arafat for second day of Hajj". Arab News. 2018-08-20. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
  6. ^ Peters, F.E., 1996. The Hajj: The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and the holy places. Princeton University Press.
  7. ^ Omar, W. (1952), "The Mecca Pilgrimage: Its Epidemiological Significance and Control", Postgraduate Medical Journal, 28 (319): 269–74, doi:10.1136/pgmj.28.319.269, PMC 2530829, PMID 14929743
  8. ^ "Finnegans Wake". Retrieved 2016-07-18.

External linksEdit