Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor

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  • Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor




    Chapter Three

    To The
    ‘Arafât Of Allah

    After entering Mecca in a state of Ihrâm,
    the pilgrims perform Tawâf and Sa‘y, and on the eighth day
    of Dhu’l–Hijjah
    [The 12th month of the year in the Muslim calendar] they head for Minâ [An area close to
    Mecca on the road to ‘Arafah where pilgrims spend the Tashreeq days. It is the
    place of throwing pebbles at Jamarat and ritual slaughter of the sacrifice]
    where they spend the night.
    Then, on the ninth day of Dhu’l–Hijjah they proceed towards ‘Arafah
    area that surrounds Mount Rahmah, southeast of Mecca; Standing at ‘Arafah on
    the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah and staying there from mid-day to sunset is the essence
    of the Hajj]

    or directly proceed from Mecca towards ‘Arafah.

    As well known amidst the rituals, ‘Arafah is
    not located inside the Sanctuary but outside it. Therefore, the mind paused
    meditatively before it for long. Whenever Allah reveals a secret to a faithful
    mind, He causes it to pause before another so that the Unseen remains
    non-submitting to the mechanism of legislation but to the absolute power of The

    Hajj involves many stages beginning first with the
    choice of having faith and pronouncing the Testimony of Faith (As-Shahadah

    ilâh illâ Allah wanâ Muhammadan rasûl Allah
    There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is
    the Messenger of Allah]. By choosing belief man enters into the sphere of being
    assigned duties shared by all the believers in Allah and His Messenger (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace), which include performing the daily
    prayers (Salah), fasting during the month of Ramadan (Saum),
    paying the alms tax (Zakâh), and performing the major pilgrimage to
    Mecca by whoever can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and


    We have aforesaid that the Hajj rituals moves us
    outside the sphere of general free choice to that of special assignments, so
    none should pass beyond the Mîqat
    [The place where pilgrims declare their
    intentions to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah and assume the state of Ihrâm]
    at the bordering limits of
    the Sanctuary without being in a state of Ihrâm, nor enters the Ka‘bah
    without performing the rites enjoined on him from Tawâf and Sa‘y
    and when the time of Standing at ‘Arafât is due he must set out from
    Mecca towards Mount ‘Arafât.

    By embracing Islam man commits himself to duties
    and when he wants to perform Hajj he commits himself to another enjoined
    duties peculiar to Hajj. If he wants to complete the Hajj – and Hajj is
    ‘Arafah – he should move out of the Meccan Sanctuary to an area lying
    outside its borders.

    If we want to specify the sacred precincts of Hajj
    we will find them four places: Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (the Sacred Meccan
    Masjid), Al-Baitul-Harâm (the Sacred House, i.e., the Ka‘bah), Al-Baladul-Harâm
    (the Sacred City), Al-Mash‘ar Al-Haram (the Sacred Monument)
    [The hill in
    Muzdalifah where pilgrims should supplicate Allah after they have spent the
    night at Muzdalifah, and after which they should go to Mecca to throw Jamarat
    Al-‘Aqabah (the closest stone pillar to Mecca) on the morning of the tenth of
    Al-Muzdalifah the place between ‘Arafât and Minâ
    where pilgrims stop on their return from ‘Arafât to collect the pebbles
    with which they will stone the devil. There they offer the Maghrib
    (Sunset) and ‘Ishâ’ (Evening) prayers together in the time of the latter
    (‘Ishâ’ Prayer), before proceeding towards Minâ for spending the night
    and preparing themselves for throwing the pebbles. Then they go to Mecca to
    perform Ifadah Tawâf
    [Pilgrims’ circumambulation of the Ka‘bah
    upon their return from Muzdalifah].

    in ‘Arafah

    In Arafât many Bestowments of Allah on His
    servants are divinely manifested. They are endless, countless bestowments, for
    Divine Manifestation with forgiveness to all people happens in that place, why?
    To mind that when Allah manifests Himself with forgiveness in a place other
    than the Sanctuary, then such a Divine manifestation has its reasons. In ‘Arafah
    you have restricted your choice completely; you have no choice neither in
    time nor place. All those present in ‘Arafah on that day, standing in
    that vast domain are bound to be in that place at a set time. The sun must go
    down on them while in ‘Arafât.

    Allah wants to invite our attention that the
    greater the restriction imposed on man the higher the reward. As aforesaid, all
    the acts of worship have been restricted timewise, as offering Salah
    (Prayers) and paying the Zakâh (obligatory charity), except the Standing
    at ‘Arafât, which has been restricted by both time and place.

    Regarding the state to which the pilgrim should adhere
    while performing the Hajj rituals Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, says
    (what means):

    “The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the
    well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the
    first ten days of the 12th month of the Islâmic calendar, i.e. two months and
    ten days). So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein by assuming Ihrâm),
    then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor
    dispute unjustly during the Hajj.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 197)

    Allah has bound the Hajj rites timewise; you cannot
    perform Hajj on any day of the year, and has also bound it by place in Mecca, ‘Arafât
    and Minâ; because if you miss going to any of the three your Hajj
    will not be complete. But Hajj includes other rituals in which compensation is
    accepted, which we shall discuss in the next chapters.

    Allah, praise and glory be to Him, wants to train
    you on how you may restrain yourself and bind it by His Commands, to be worthy
    of the blessings He showers upon you on that honorable day. He bestows on you
    endless forgiveness and good pleasure, endless to the extent that it is stated
    in the tradition that Iblis (the devil) is seen in no other time or place more
    exasperated than in that Standing, why? Because the satisfaction and happiness
    of Iblis is in having man a sinner. Iblis disobeyed his Lord by refusing to
    prostrate himself before Âdam (peace be upon him); therefore he wants all
    mankind sinners. When Iblis senses that the inner self of man is talking him
    into committing a misdeed, he hastens to tempt him and endear it to him until
    he falls into sin, which fills Iblis with great joy because people have
    disobeyed as he did. But the Power and Might of Allah, praise and glory be to
    Him, willed to make the Day of ‘Arafah a day on which all the handiworks
    of Iblis are vainly wasted, and Allah showers His Mercy, Good Pleasure,
    Forgiveness and full Pardon on all the people of ‘Arafah, a reward
    offered for binding the movement of their lives on that day according to the
    Will of Allah, praise and glory be to Him.

    The Day
    of forgiving sins

    About this day, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace) said, “Verily, Allah has manifested
    Himself to the people of the Standing (meaning ‘Arafah) and He forgave the
    people of ‘Arafah and He forgave the people of Al-Mash‘ar Al-Haram (the Sacred
    Monument) and Allah bore on behalf of all the consequences of what they
    committed against the servants.”
    Therefore, it is said that Al-Hajj
    [Hajj performed in accordance with the Prophet’s tradition and is
    accepted by Allah]

    erases whatever precedes it, causing the forgiveness of all the sins that were
    committed before the Hajj, so man returns as his mother gave birth to him

    But religious scholars differ in opinion regarding the
    following question: Whether Hajj causes the forgiveness of all the sins, those
    having to do with Allah and with people, or does it only cause the forgiveness
    of the sins transgressed against Allah, meaning those between you and your
    Lord? As for the remission of the sins between you and the servants, it
    stipulates to hand back their rights and to beg the forgiveness of those whom
    you have wronged.

    There is another opinion that says, ‘When Allah
    manifests Himself with His endless Mercy on the Day of ‘Arafah to the
    people of ‘Arafât, He forgives all the sins; whatever is between you and
    Allah, He forgives and whatever is between you and the servants, He bears on
    your behalf. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant
    him peace) used to invoke Allah saying, “O
    Allah! Forgive my sins; those sinned against you forgive them for me, and those
    sinned against others than You, bear them on my behalf.”

    The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and
    grant him peace) informs us that Allah forgave the people of ‘Arafah and
    He forgave the people of Al-Mash‘ar Al-Haram (the Sacred Monument) and
    He, glory be to Him, bore the burdens committed in violation of the servants’


    We have to clarify that ‘Arafât has two
    pronunciations: in the first we say ‘Arafât, as stated in the
    Noble Qur’an and in the second we say ‘Arafah, as stated in the
    hadith of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
    saying, “Hajj is ‘Arafah.”


    ‘Arafât became a proper noun indicating a spacious place
    wherein pilgrims gather on the ninth of Dhu’l–Hijjah. ‘Arafât is
    not a mount; if you heard what people usually call (Mount ‘Arafât),
    learn that what is meant is the mount ascribed to ‘Arafât area but the
    mount itself is not ‘Arafât.

    Many people think that the completion of Hajj is in
    ascending the mount called Rahmah, on which the Messenger of Allah (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood in the Farewell Hajj and if the
    pilgrim did not ascend it, as though he did not perform Hajj!! We say that this
    is untrue, ‘Arafah is the spacious valley that the mount overlooks. The
    name of the mount is derived from its proximity to this valley; the mount is
    ascribed to ‘Arafât area not the opposite.

    Many opinions were stated regarding the
    significance of the word ‘Arafah. There is a difference between an
    attributive name that becomes a name afterwards and a proper noun. If the name
    is a proper noun from the beginning, it does not necessitate standing for a
    meaning. A man’s name could be ‘Happy’ when he is most miserable; this is a
    proper name unrelated to a certain denotation.

    In fact, some people like to choose names inspiring
    good omen, as some used to name their sons ‘Sa‘d’ (i.e., Good Fortune)
    hoping that he becomes fortunate. The Arab used to choose names of good omen;
    they used to name ‘Sakhr’ (i.e., Rock) so that the person may grow to be
    rocklike in the face of his enemies or name him ‘Kalb’ (i.e., Hound) so
    that none would dare defy him.

    It was said to the Arab that they well choose the
    names of their slaves by calling them, ‘Sa‘îd’ (i.e., Happy), ‘Sa‘d’
    (i.e., Good Fortune) and ‘Fadl’ (i.e., Grace) but choose improper
    names for their sons calling them ‘Sakhr’ (i.e., Rock) and ‘Kalb’ (i.e.,
    Dog), and they answered, ‘Yes, because we name our sons for our enemies and
    name our slaves for ourselves!’

    of naming

    ‘Arafah now became a proper noun but the reason of being
    named thus has more than a story. It was narrated that when Âdam and Hawwâ’
    (Adam and Eve, may Allah be pleased with them) descended from Paradise in
    obedience to the Command of Allah, Âdam (may Allah be pleased with him)
    descended in a place and Hawwâ’ (may Allah be pleased with her) in

    Each of them descended in a separate place and both kept
    looking for the other until they met at that place, therefore it was named ‘Arafah

    Discussing Âdam and Hawwâ’ and their forgathering
    in ‘Arafah demands an explanation. Just try to imagine the state of Âdam
    descending in a wide strange world all by himself, looking around him and
    finding no human. If he were to see a human, he would surely meet him with
    strong longing. For that purpose Allah set apart Âdam and Hawwâ’ so that
    each of them would look for the other longingly and when they meet each would
    hold on to the other, never to let go. Another narration tells that the angels
    said to Âdam after he came down to earth at that place, ‘Confess your sins and
    turn in repentance to your Lord.’ So he said as the Noble Qur’an relates to us
    (what means):

    “They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If
    You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of
    the losers.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 23)

    Bearing on that, the meaning would be (admitting) his sins
    and (knowing) how to repent. Now we shall move back to the Khalîl (the close
    servant) of Allah, Ibrâhîm (Abraham, peace be upon him), and how did Allah
    inform him about the place of ‘Arafah.

    Ibrâhîm (peace be upon him) saw in the vision he had that
    he was slaughtering his son Ismâ‘îl (Ishmael, peace be upon him), a hard deed
    on the soul being his only son whom he should slaughter with his very hands.
    Ibrâhîm sat at that place thinking over and mediating, therefore the day of ‘Arafah
    was known as the Day of Tarwaiyah (Deliberation). On becoming
    certain that the vision is true and knowing that he must slaughter his son, the
    place wherein he learned the truth of the vision was named ‘Arafah
    (Seeing the truth).

    Another says that Jibrîl (Angel Gabriel) used to teach
    Ibrâhîm (peace be upon him) the Hajj rituals at that place and used to ask him,
    ‘Do you now know?’ And Ibrâhîm answered, ‘Yes, I do.’ And perhaps it means that
    man knows his Lord in that place and comes to it confessing his sins and
    begging for the Forgiveness of Allah in humility and submission.

    However, the different meanings and circumstances that led
    to assigning the name of ‘Arafah or At-Tarwaiyah to that day are
    not in opposition. Indeed, on that blessed Day Allah boasts of His servants

    “See My servants, they have forsaken all what they possess
    and came to Me disheveled and dust covered begging for My Forgiveness and
    Mercy. I call you to bear witness that I have forgiven them.”  

    In ‘Arafât we notice absolute equality and full
    presence of all the hajjis to the Sacred House of Allah without the absence of
    anyone. All present at one time that ends with the setting of the sun of ‘Arafah
    Day, which is the only place on earth wherein people gather that way at
    such perfect timing.

    We go to Mecca on different journeys arriving at different
    times, each according to the time of his trip. One group may arrive before the
    Hajj by two weeks, whereas another by one day only and in back home journeys we
    return separately, each according to the time of his trip. Even when lodging in
    Mecca the means of people vary; some may lodge in a luxurious apartment, others
    in a room or part of a room, others lodge in a hotel, others lie down on the
    floor to the end of what people’s capabilities may afford them.

    But in ‘Arafât the situation completely differs;
    the place holds all races, all nationalities, all languages, all ranks and all
    fates. Equality is the distinctive feature amongst them all, all are disheveled
    and dust covered. No difference between the rich and the poor, the masters and
    the humble folk; all have an untidy disordered appearance, weary and fatigued.
    All are equal with regard to humility and submission; none is superior or
    higher in rank.

    You will never find a bragger in ‘Arafah, boasting
    of his worldly status, but all are showing submission and humility to Allah, be
    He highly blessed and exalted. Each is rivaling to declare his submissiveness
    and fear of Him. As if goodness only prevails among people when they become
    even in submission and servility shown to Allah, and none of them daresay that
    he is better than another.

    That day, on which we shake off pride and unjustness,
    Allah, praise and glory be to Him, manifests Himself to us with forgiveness, because
    obduracy is what set a barrier between us and Allah. That is to say, living in
    one community where each of us regards himself better than the other, sees his
    merits and fails to see his demerits! On that great day we learn that what
    distinguishes us is not self-given but from our Creator. Thereon, servility is
    forged within us and only then The Truth, praise and glory be to Him, says:

    “They are a congregation who
    deserve My Forgiveness and Mercy.”

    Obduracy, vanity and attempts of claiming superiority and
    assuming airs of haughtiness are the withholders of the Mercy of Allah, and
    nothing is more indicative of it than what happened when the Messenger of Allah
    (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) went out to tell his companions about
    the Lailatul-Qadr [The night of Al-Qadr is either indicative of the honor and station of
    that night, thus meaning ‘An honorable night’, or the word ‘Al-Qadr’ may also
    refer to the ordainment and disposal of affairs. So it would mean ‘the night in
    which all that will occur in the following year will be decreed,’ following the
    Qur’anic Statement of Allah saying (what means), ‘Therein (on that night) is
    decreed every matter of ordainment.’ 
    (Ad-Dukhân, 44: 4) Lailatul-Qadr is concealed in one of the odd nights
    in the last ten days of Ramadan; the Noble Qur’an was sent down in the Night of
    Al-Qadr and the Qur ‘an itself describes as ‘Better than a thousand months’].

    On finding two quarrelling persons he forgot it, thereby the Companions were
    deprived of knowing its exact day. Following upon, disputation, dissension and
    quarrelling prohibit the bestowment of boons on the community. An assembly that
    wishes to receive the Bestowments of Allah must enjoy absolute serenity
    together, having all their faculties congruous and each is in the right state
    to be instructed by his Lord.

    On the Day of ‘Arafah people supplicate much; each
    on that great Day, be it hot or rainy, stands earnestly supplicating. All are
    standing, all are submissive and all are humble before the Lord of the Worlds.

    In that Standing, mercy is sent down and Allah manifests
    Himself with forgiveness to the people of ‘Arafah, and by the grace of
    Allah they become sinless because Hajj erases whatever precedes it, as
    aforesaid. Since you have been successfully guided to that endless goodness and
    since Allah has manifested Himself to you with forgiveness, after ‘Arafât you
    should never revert to what incurs the Wrath of Allah, The Most Exalted. You do
    not guarantee that The Almighty will keep you in this world and destine another
    Hajj for you in the coming years. Since you do not guarantee that, you must
    strive for your hereafter and hold fast to the righteous path for the sake of
    meeting Allah at any time with your sins forgiven.

    Seize the opportunity of Hajj for it purges you of sins
    and never listen to the whispers of the devil, and enough of the Mercy of Allah
    that you conquered him. If he sneaked in your soul at a time of weakness and
    you fell into sin, Allah has forgiven you by virtue of a day in which you
    showed your sorrow, submissiveness and awe, that is the Day of ‘Arafah.

    But keep in mind that the devil will never leave you
    alone, because the stronger you grow in faith the more effort the devil exerts
    to tempt you into sin. Either it is Satan who disturbs the peace of the human
    conscience in its beliefs, for being the summit of faith; a task needing Satan
    who devotes himself to the purpose of tempting people to disbelieve, Allah


    Or the offspring of Satan, the devils of jinn along with the devils of humankind, who devote
    themselves to what is ranked below the supreme faith: temptation of people to
    commit other sins like adultery, bribery, stealing and others. That is the work
    of the offspring of Satan. As for Satan himself, as aforesaid, he barges, into your
    highest beliefs and tries to arise doubts within you, with respect to the
    existence of Allah, His Oneness and His Might and Power and he keeps
    insinuating evil to man.

    down from ‘Arafât

    The Truth, praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):

    “Then when you pour down
    from (mount) Arafat
    , remember Allâh (by glorifying His Praises, i.e. prayers and
    invocations, etc.) at the
    Sacred Monument.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 198)

    But what is the significance of pouring down? When you
    fill a cup to the brim the surplus must overflow on the sides. Hence, the
    surplus is something beyond the capacity that got separated from an existing

    The Qur’anic verse saying (what means), Then when you pour down from (mount) Arafat,’
    is a forejudgment
    on departing ‘Arafât it will be filled in a way that
    surpasses its specified capacity as though overflowing. That is the Judgment of
    Allah in Hajj. If you witnessed that scene and saw the pilgrims overflowing
    from ‘Arafât, as though you are seeing a cup that was filled and started
    to overflow, knowing not wherefrom these multitudes have emerged and whereto
    they are heading.


    Whoever beholds the Muslims in ‘Arafât, would find
    them an endless mass of humans. When they overflow on the eve of that day and
    they descend ‘Arafât, you somehow feel while looking at them as though
    they were a flood pouring down. Human masses impossible to be differentiated,
    wearing the same clothes, thus you get the impression that they have the same
    traits, as if they were one running flood. That is the picture of pouring down
    from ‘Arafât.

    When you contemplate the people heading for Al-Muzdalifah
    you wonder where have been all these multitudes. You see the valleys streaming
    with people exactly as a vehement flood, moving as a single mass. After pouring
    down from ‘Arafât comes the second overflow, proceeding from Al-Muzdalifah
    to Minâ, which is stated in the Qur’anic verse saying (what

    “Then hasten onward from the place whence all the people
    hasten onward and ask Allâh for His Forgiveness. Truly, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving,
    Most-Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 199)

    A pilgrim must celebrate the Praises of Allah time and
    again for the grace He conferred upon him by easing that blessed journey. He
    brought you – faithful believers – to His Sacred House then would make you
    return, which is a matter that deserves expressing thankfulness and gratitude
    and keeping on remembering Him. The Qur’anic verse says (what means), ‘And remember Him (by invoking Allâh for
    all good, etc.) as He has guided you,’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 198)
    . Through
    His Guidance you were shown the shortest path to goodness and the path to
    forgiveness was smoothed to you by money, health and ability. Surely, such
    Guidance from Allah deserves engaging oneself in His Remembrance and expressing

    Afterwards, The Almighty says (what means), ‘And verily, you were, before, of those
    who were astray.’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 198)
    , meaning before Islam, because
    during the Pre-Islamic era they used to circumambulate the House naked doing
    nothing but clapping and whistling, but Allah, be He highly blessed and
    exalted, guided them to the right Hajj that forgives the sins.

    the privileges of the Quraish

    The Truth, gloried ever be His Majesty and Might, says
    (what means), “Then hasten onward from the place whence all the people hasten onward.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 199),
    where ‘then’ denotes consecutiveness, but does it here means to hasten
    after standing at ‘Arafat? Or is it after spending the night at Muzdalifah?
    ‘Then hasten onward,’ is a
    retort to all who say that spending the night at Muzdalifah is a must.

    This noble verse was revealed with regard to the leaders
    of the Quraish who considered themselves the people of the Meccan Sanctuary,
    trying to have privileges distinguishing them from the rest of the people.
    Therefore, they used to depart first from ‘Arafat then
    people follow them. In the Farewell Hajj [the first and the last Hajj performed
    by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace], the Messenger of
    Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said,
    “You all belong to Âdam and Âdam is of dust. Verily
    the most honored among you, in the Sight of Allah, is he who is the most
    righteous of you.”
    Allah thus barred the behavior the
    Quraish comported itself with in trying to be distinguished from people, by
    abolishing whatever advantages the Quraish had over other Arabs.


    interpreters say that the noble Qur’anic verse saying (what means),
    From the place whence
    all the people hasten onward
    ,” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 199) signifies the place
    wherefrom Ibrâhîm (peace be upon him) has hastened onward, because Allah taught
    Ibrâhîm all the Hajj rituals, which he in turn taught to people.

    There is no ambiguity in the Qur’anic verse saying (what means), From the place whence all the people hasten onward,” because
    Allah has portrayed Ibrâhîm (peace be upon him) in words as a nation.

    The word ‘people’ here is used to describe someone
    who combines many attributes. Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, has
    portrayed our Messenger, Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in
    words with the Qur’anic verse saying (what means):

    Or do they envy mankind
    for what Allah hath given them of his Bounty
    (An-Nisâ’, 4: 54)

    Further, the man who went to the believers to warn them
    against the nonbelievers who were preparing themselves to fight them, was
    expressed as follows in the Qur’anic verse saying (what means):

    “Those unto whom the people said, ‘Verily, the people
    (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.’”
     (Âl-‘Imrân, 3: 173)

    Subsequently, ‘The people’ is used in the Qur’anic
    verse to describe a person (the Prophet Ibrâhîm, peace be upon him) in whom
    good morals were gathered.

    Afterwards, The Truth, gloried ever be His Majesty and
    Might, says (what means), “Ask Allâh for His Forgiveness,” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 198)
    a proof that no matter how hard man tries to guard the due Rights of Allah,
    still he may mistake. Therefore, begging forgiveness is required. “Truly, Allâh
    is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful,” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 199)
    that you will find Allah Most Forgiving, Most Merciful and will answer your
    supplication and forgive you. He will bring you back from Hajj purely white of
    all sins.

    On that night the pilgrims gather the pebbles with which
    they will stone Iblis (the devil) from Al-Muzdalifah and offer the
    Maghrib (Sunset) and ‘Ishâ’ (Evening) Prayers together in the time of the
    latter (‘Ishâ’ Prayer). Afterwards, they head towards Minâ to stone the
    devil, which has a story to tell apart in the next chapter.



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