I wouldn't blame you for feeling a little nervous today.  I know I was.  In some ways it feels like you're about to meet Allah and I suppose it really is a little bit like that.  Today is the day that you're going to be standing there in the plain of Arafat and everything you say is going to be between you and Him.  And everyone is in the same boat as you.  Your purpose is to please Allah alone and ask for forgiveness along with so much more.

I could say don't be nervous but it's only natural as it's going to be a very emotional day for you.  What I will say is, relax.  You'll be fine.  Remember to take with you everything you're going to need as you won't be coming back to Mina to spend the night there.  You'll be sleeping under the stars in Muzdalifah tonight.  Make sure you don't leave any valuables behind either.

If you get to Arafat early then take some time to rest a little as the time there starts from Zawwal.  It'll be very hot there and with no air conditioned tents you'll feel sleepy if you aren't well rested.  Try to stay well hydrated too.  Your tent may not be very spacious and depending on the number of people in your group you may not have enough room so be aware of that too.

Today, you'll notice a peaceful atmosphere around you as everyone's busy engaging in their own Ibadah and duas.  It's time to make the most of it and go home with your duas accepted Inshallah.

When in Arafat you can feel this silence around you, it's hard to describe.  I guess you have to be there to understand what I'm saying.  It makes you think about the Day of Qiyamat and the Hereafter when everyone will be in their own world.  I don't know if that's the right word, but you know what I mean.

I can remember sitting in the tent with the sandy rug and the red glow from the colours of the tent.  A small fan in the corner which didn't really do much in terms of keeping us cool.  It's boiling hot and you can really feel the heat and the beads of sweat trickling down your back.  Patient, is all you can be, because this day will be over before you know it.

Walking outside on my own looking for a spot to stand before my lord to make my dua, I see so many others doing the same thing.  I can hear people crying and so deep in conversation with Allah that it makes you wonder how much we need Allah in our lives.  That we can't ever be without him.  That life without him is nothing.  And that if we have him, then we have everything.

This moment might never come again so you have to grasp it with both hands and pray like you've never prayed before and Allah is listening to everything you have to say.  He is always there for you.  And as the time ticks away and the sun begins to set you start to feel a sense of calm and you feel ready to take on the next part of your journey.

It's almost time to head to Muzdalifah but you might have to wait for a while or longer for your bus to arrive.  As expected, there'll be a lot of traffic so use this time to do zikr and also rest a little too if you can.      

Muzdalifah, here we come.

 *tent image taken from Algerian Blarney