Sheikh Maher Al-Muaiqly, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday urged Hajj pilgrims to pray for Palestinians enduring Israeli brutality since 7 October.

In a demonstration of unity and faith, over 1.5 million Muslims ascended Mount Arafat on Saturday, enduring the heat to partake in the Hajj pilgrimage rite. Clad in white, symbolising purity and equality, the worshippers began their day at dawn, congregating at the site where the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) delivered his final sermon.

Sheikh Maher Al-Muaiqly’s sermon at Masjid-e-Nimrah was a reflection on the Israeli military aggression in Gaza, focusing on the suffering of the Palestinian people. “Pray for our brothers and sisters in Palestine who have been touched by harm and have suffered from harm,” Sheikh Al-Muaiqly implored, describing the violence, disruption, and deprivation faced by Palestinians.

Highlighting the circumstances in Gaza, Sheikh Al-Muaiqly emphasised the scarcity of necessities, stating, “The most deserving of prayer are the people of Palestine, where there is not even food and water.” His call to the global Muslim community was clear: remembering their suffering brethren in their prayers.

Throughout his sermon, Sheikh Al-Muaiqly revisited the tenets of Islam, advocating for taqwa (piety), righteousness, and trust in Almighty Allah’s mercy and provision. He underscored the importance of justice, integrity, and the rejection of corruption and indecency, urging Muslims to embody these values.

The sermon concluded with an appeal for peace, compassion, and solidarity, particularly with the oppressed in Gaza. Israeli occupational forces have killed at least 37,296 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and have wounded 85,197 others since 7 October, according to the health ministry in Gaza.