What is the Day of Arafah?
Arafah is important because it is the holiest day in the Islamic calendar, the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah – one of four sacred months. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage where Muslims pray on the desert plains of Arafah, asking for forgiveness for sins. An important verse of the Quran was revealed this day.
Why is Arafah important?
Many important events are associated and have taken place at this time and location. Quran verses and hadith also point to its significance including:
- The Prophet’s last sermon to his nation was made here
- Islam as a religion was completed and perfected on this day
- It is said Adam (AS) and Hawa (Eve) first met here on earth
- Shaitan (the Devil) is the most humiliated on this Day due to the immense number of people forgiven by Allah.
When is the day of Arafah for next 10 years?
Day of Arafah Dua
What to recite on Arafah Day
“There is nothing that deserves to be worshiped in truth except Allah, He is Alone and has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is All-Powerful over all things.
Fasting on the day of Arafah
It is highly recommended for those not on the Hajj pilgrimage to fast on this day. The Prophet (SAW) said, ’It (fasting on this day) expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.’ (Muslim)
For those doing Hajj, it is not encouraged to fast on Arafah day because the main act of worship that derives the most benefit is their prayer and asking for forgiveness from Allah.
What to do on the day of Arafah
For those unable to go to Hajj, there are still many recommended acts of worship on this day. The main thing is to be in worship as much as possible on this day including:
7 recommended things to do on the Day of Arafah:
- Be thankful you are alive to see another auspicious day
- Sincere repentance and asking for forgiveness of one’s sins
- Make dua for any halal thing you desire
- Recite as much zikr as possible, especially the third kalimah
- Give charity in whatever form you are able to.
- Make sure you have given your Qurbani by this day
Meaning of Arafah in Islam
Ibn Kathir writes in his Tafsir, that the mount was called Arafat because ‘Allah sent Jibril (AS) to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and he performed Hajj for him (to teach him its rituals). When Ibrahim reached Arafat he said,’ I have Araftu (I know this place).’ He had come to that area before.
Arafah is also called Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram, Al-Mash’ar Al-Aqsa and Ilal. The mount that is in the middle of Arafah is called Jabal Ar-Rahmah (Mount of Mercy).
Quran verses about Arafat
‘There is no sin on you if you seek the Bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading, etc.). Then when you leave ‘Arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His Praises, i.e. prayers and invocations, etc.) at the Mash’ar-il-Haram. And remember Him (by invoking Allah for all good, etc.) as He has guided you, and verily, you were, before, of those who were astray.’ Surah Al-Baqarah 2:198
‘And by the witnessing day (Friday), and by the witnessed day (the day of ‘Arafat (Hajj) the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah)’ Surah Al-Burooj 85:3
Day of Arafah hadith
Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW), said, “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the day of Arafat, and the witnessing day is Friday. The sun does not rise or set over a day better than it. In it is a moment in which a believing servant does not supplicate to Allah for good but that Allah will answer him, and he does not seek refuge from any evil thing but that Allah will grant him refuge.” (Tirmidhi)
Abu Qatadah reported: The Prophet (SAW) was asked about fasting the day of Arafat and he said, “It will expiate the sins of the previous and upcoming years.” Then, the Prophet was asked about fasting the day of Ashura and he said, “It will expiate the sins of the past year.” (Muslim)
Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “No days are better to Allah than the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, are they better or time spent waging jihad in the way of Allah?” The Prophet said, “They are better than time spent waging jihad in the way of Allah. No day is better to Allah than the day of Arafat. Allah descends to the lowest heaven and He boasts to the inhabitants of the heavens about the inhabitants of the earth, saying: Look at My servants, appearing dishevelled and dusty. They came from every mountain pass hoping for My mercy. They do not see My punishment, yet they do not see that on no day are more saved from Hellfire than the day of Arafat.” (Ibn Hibban)
Abdu Rahman ibn Ya’mar reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The Hajj is Arafat. Whoever reaches the night of Arafat before the rising of the sun at dawn the next day, he has completed his pilgrimage.” (An-Nasai)
The Prophet’s last sermon: Mount Arafat
After praising, and thanking Allah he said:
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.
O people, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd Al-Muttalib (the Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…
Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.
O people, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.
O people, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O people, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born.
Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people”. (Bukhari, Muslim)