The Day of 'Arafah, one of the holiest days in Islam, holds immense significance for Muslims. It is a day of profound spiritual significance, forgiveness, and supplication. In this blog, we will explore the importance of the Day of 'Arafah and its rituals and answer some commonly asked questions.
What is the Day of ′Arafah?
The Day of 'Arafah, also known as Yawm al-'Arafah, is the second Day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. It is the Day when millions of pilgrims gather on the plains of 'Arafah, located a few miles from Mecca. Pilgrims stand in earnest supplication, seeking forgiveness, guidance, and blessings from Allah.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of 'Arafah."
What benefits can the Day of 'Arafah offer?
The Day of 'Arafah offers several significant benefits to Muslims, both those performing the Hajj pilgrimage and non-pilgrims. Some of the key benefits include:
Forgiveness of Sins: On this Day, Allah forgives the sins of those who sincerely seek His forgiveness. It is a day when believers can seek pardon for their past wrongdoings and start afresh with a clean slate.
Expiation of Sins: Fasting on the Day of 'Arafah expiates the sins of the previous year and the year to come. It is a profound benefit as it provides an opportunity for spiritual renewal and growth.
Spiritual Upliftment: Engaging in acts of worship, fasting, and supplication on the Day of 'Arafah leads to spiritual upliftment. It allows believers to draw closer to Allah and experience a deeper connection with their faith.
Acceptance of Duas (Supplications): The supplications made on this Day are readily accepted by Allah. It is a time when heartfelt prayers are answered, and believers can ask for guidance, blessings, and forgiveness.
Mercy and Grace: The Day of 'Arafah is a day of abundant mercy and grace from Allah. Believers can seek His mercy and blessings and pray for the well-being of all humanity.
A Day of Renewal: Whether a pilgrim or not, the Day of 'Arafah offers a fresh start, a chance to renew one's commitment to faith, and an opportunity to seek Allah's guidance and blessings.
What do pilgrims do on Hajj on the Day of ’Arafah?
On the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, pilgrims journey to the plains of 'Arafat, where they combine their Dhuhr and Asr prayers and then spend the entire day doing du'a. Standing with their backs to the Qiblah until dusk, they will beg for pardon for their transgressions.
As the most important ritual of the Hajj, it would be incomplete without it. The Prophet (saw) said, ’Hajj is ‘Arafah.' [Nasa’i]
Similar to how we do it today, in pre-Islamic Arabia, pilgrims would travel to the plains of 'Arafat to pray, except the Quraish.
Aishah (ra) said, ’The Quraish and those who followed their religion - and they were called Al-Hums - would stand at Al-Muzdalifah, and they would say, “We are the people of Allah.” The others would stand at ‘Arafat, so Allah (swt) revealed (in Qur’an, 2:199), “Then depart from where the people depart.”’ [Tirmidhi]
What are five recommended actions for the Day of ’Arafah?
The Day of 'Arafah is one of the most important days in Islam and holds great significance, particularly for those Muslims who are not performing the Hajj pilgrimage. Here are five recommended actions for the Day of 'Arafah, defined in detail:
Fasting on the Day of 'Arafah is highly meritorious. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Fasting on the Day of 'Arafah expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year." This fast is not obligatory for those not on Hajj, but it is highly recommended. Fasting on this Day demonstrates your commitment to seeking forgiveness and spiritual purification. It is a day of repentance, and fasting helps to achieve a sense of self-discipline and closeness to Allah. You should intend to fast from the evening before 'Arafah, known as the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, until sunset on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah.
'Arafah is known as the "Day of Supplication." It is a day when Allah's mercy and blessings are abundant. Muslims are encouraged to engage in sincere supplication. Spend time in worship, raising your hands, and pouring out your heart to Allah. Ask for His forgiveness, guidance, and blessings for yourself, your family, and all of humanity. It is believed that the prayers made on the Day of 'Arafah are readily accepted, and it's a time to seek Allah's mercy and grace.
Recitation of the Quran:
The Quran is a source of guidance and a means to draw closer to Allah. On the Day of 'Arafah, engage in the recitation of the Quran. Reflect upon its verses, ponder their meanings, and seek spiritual enlightenment. The Quran is a source of comfort and a guide for living a righteous life.
Charity and Acts of Kindness:
This is a day to be generous and charitable. Give to the poor and engage in acts of kindness and benevolence. Acts of charity, whether in the form of monetary donations, feeding the hungry, or helping those in need, are highly recommended on the Day of 'Arafah. The rewards for good deeds are multiplied on this blessed day, and it's an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Remembering Allah (Dhikr):
Engage in the remembrance of Allah (Dhikr) throughout the day. Recite words of praise, gratitude, and remembrance. Phrases like "SubhanAllah" (Glory be to Allah), "Alhamdulillah" (All praise is due to Allah), "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest), and "La ilaha illallah" (There is no god but Allah) are especially beneficial on this Day. Dhikr helps maintain a spiritual connection and mindfulness of Allah.
On the Day of 'Arafah, these actions are not only an opportunity to seek forgiveness and closeness to Allah but also a chance to cultivate self-awareness, empathy for others, and a deeper connection to the divine. It is a day of reflection, devotion, and prayer, symbolizing the essence of Islam and its emphasis on faith, worship, and compassion.