Hajj - the Pilgrimage - is one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar and it is a duty on every well-bodied Muslim man and woman to perform at least once in their lifetime, economic circumstances permitting. For fourteen centuries, Muslims have been assembling in Makkah and following the example of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, reliving the story of Abraham and Ismail. For many, the journey to Makkah is the fulfilment of a life-long ambition. On the day known as Yawm al-Arafat (9 Dhu al-Hijjah ) all the pilgrims assemble about 6 miles outside Makkah in the plain of Arafah in a day of prayer and supplication to God. The following day is the day of sacrifice, Eid ul-Adha, a day of celebration throughout the Muslim world.
As pilgrims converge from all parts of the world there is one supplication on their lips:
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Labbayka, allahuma labbayk
I stand before you,
Labbayka la sharika laka, labbayk
Inna al hamda wan an-ni'mata laka wa l-mulk
La sharika lak
O Allah, here I stand before You,
there is no other god but You,
here I stand before
this is all the praise,
the grace and the power;
there is no other god but You.