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Symbolism of Yawm ut Tarwiyah

The official day of Hajj is the 8th day, known in Arabic as Yawm at-Tarwiyah or “the day of fetching water and quenching the thirst.”

Arafah is the main day of Hajj, in which the pilgrims spend a whole day from forenoon until sunset and then spend the night, between Arafah and Mina, on the plain of Muzdalifah.

Back in the days before the establishment of the modern facilities in Arafah and Muzdalifah, there was no source of water available on the actual plains of Arafah and Muzdalifah. As a matter of fact, the plains there are until this day wide open valleys, dry and barren except for few shrubs and desert trees. Because of the scarcity of water in the area, the pilgrims were instructed to get ready for this long day and night by feeding their animals and making sure their camels had enough water for the long journey ahead. The pilgrims would also fetch water for themselves and fill their containers and waterskin bags. It is for this reason the day was given the name Yawm at-Tarwiyah or “the day of fetching water and quenching thirst.”

Yawm at-Tarwiyah is the official day of commencing the actual rituals of Hajj. Those who have already arrived to Makkah prior to this day most likely had performed the Tamattu’ form of Hajj in which they offer Umrah upon their arrival to the Holy Sites and come out of the state of Ihram back to the regular clothes. They would live in their hotels in Makkah or wherever their camps might be until the official start of Hajj. Now that Yawm at-Tarwiyah has arrived the pilgrims are now required to get back into the state of Ihram and start their sacred journey.

Yawm-ut-Tarwiyah is a preparation for the days to follow and in particular the 9th day — the anticipated day on which The King of the Worlds, Forgives. The pilgrim looks forward to and hopes for that meeting. He is eager to meet Allah and is rewarded with the like. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah will love to meet him, and whoever dislikes to meet Allah, Allah will dislike to meet him.” [Bukhari]

What do the pilgrims do on the 1st day of Hajj?

1. Regardless of their location, whether they are in a hotel, in Mina or at Makkah, the hujjaj (pilgrims) prepare themselves to enter the state of ihraam: taking a thorough shower. Men put on perfume and wear the two white garments. As for women then they wear their regular clothes.

2. Once they are ready to travel to Mina, they pronounce the words of ihraam, “Labbayk Allahumma Hajj,” which epitomizes the purpose of this journey, “Here I am O Allah, for the Hajj.”

3. In Mina, the pilgrims generally remain there for the entire day and night until after Fajr the next day.

 

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