*You will note the different spellings of Arafah/t in this article. This is intentional as ‘‘Arafah’ is the singular, referring to the Day of Arafah and ‘‘Arafat’ is the plural, referring to the Plains of ‘Arafat.
The day of ‘Arafah is the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah, and it holds many blessings. On this day, pilgrims gather at the plains of ‘Arafat, praying and making du’as for forgiveness. This is the most important ritual of Hajj, so much so that Hajj is deemed incomplete without it.
‘There is no day on which Allah (swt) frees people from the fire more so than on the day of ‘Arafah’ (Muslim)
‘Hajj is ‘Arafah’ (Nasa’i)
It is on this day that Allah (swt) frees slaves from the fire more than any other day. It is also one of the greatest days to ask for forgiveness. For the people who stay in ‘Arafat, Allah (swt) descends to the sky and says to the angels:
‘My slaves have come to me, looking rough, from every deep valley hoping for my mercy, so if their sins are equivalent to the amount of sand or the drops of rain or like the foam on the sea I will forgive them. So go forth my slaves! Having forgiveness for what and who you have interceded for’. (Tabarani)
The day of ‘Arafah is the day on which the religion was perfected:
‘Today I have perfected for you your religion and completed upon you My blessing and I have chosen for you Islam as [your] religion’. [Qur’an, 5:3]
‘It was reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) that a Jewish man said to him, “O Commander of the Faithful! There is an ayah in your Book, which you recite; if it had come to us the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival)”. Umar (ra) said, “Which ayah?” He said, “Today I have perfected for you your religion and completed upon you My blessing and I have chosen for you Islam as [your] religion”. ‘Umar (ra) replied, “We surely know that day and the place where it was revealed upon the Prophet (saw). He was standing at ‘Arafah on a Friday”’. (Bukhari)
Making the Most of the Day of ‘Arafah
For those of us who are not able to make Hajj, we still have plenty of opportunities to reap the rewards of this blessed day:
It is highly recommended for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day as the Prophet (saw) said, ‘It (fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah) expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year’ (Muslim). The pilgrims at Hajj do not generally fast as the most important worship on this day are their prayers, the remembrance of Allah (swt) and begging for His forgiveness. Imam at-Tirmidhi (rh) said, ‘The people of knowledge consider it recommended to fast on the day of ‘Arafah, except for those at Arafat’.
The Best Du’a to make on the Day of ‘Arafah is the Du’a of our beloved Prophet (saw) who said:
‘The best supplication is the supplication on the Day of ‘Arafah and the best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is:
La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul-mulku walahul-hamdu wahuwa ’ala kuli shay-in qadeer
« لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ »
There is absolutely no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah, Alone, without any partner. To Him belongs the Kingdom, and all praise is due to Him, and He is Powerful over everything’. (Tirmidhi)
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
'The Lord, Blessed and Most High is He, says: ‘Whoever is occupied with the Qur'an and My remembrance from asking Me, then I shall give him better than what I give to those who ask’. And the virtue of Allah’s Speech over all other speech is like the virtue of Allah over His creation'. (Tirmidhi)
Follow the Sunnah
It is Sunnah to recite tahleel (La ilaha ill-Allah), takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and tahmeed tahmeed (Al-Hamdu lillah) during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah with the intention of remembering and glorifying the name of Allah (swt).
‘The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “There are no days more honourable in Allah’s sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days. So say tahleel (La ilaha ill-Allah: There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah), takbeer (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest) and tahmeed (Al-Hamdu lillah: All praise is due to Allah) a lot [on those days]”’. (Ahmad)
If you intend to fast, follow the Sunnah of fasting. Eat at Suhur time and use the third portion of the night to pray Tahajjud.
Another forgotten Sunnah you can revive on the day of ‘Arafah, when all righteous deeds are rewarded abundantly, is that of the Prophetic Qurbani:
‘The Prophet (saw) sacrificed for the one who could not sacrifice from his ummah, one who bore witness to the Oneness of Allah and [his] Prophethood’.
(Tabarani and Ahmad)
Give an extra Qurbani from as little as £35 and revive this beautiful Sunnah today.