Arafah Day and its merits


By Kabeer Yousuf    12 Oct 2013

Believers across the globe, and more so with the pilgrims at the holy city of Mecca are preparing themselves for yet another auspicious day called Arafah Day which falls on 9th of the month of Dul Hajja, tomorrow. The Day of Arafah is the culminating event of Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. This is the day when about 2.5 million pilgrims from all over the world converge in the plains of Mount Arafat to mark the climax of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj. Arafah is a day of Forgiveness from sins, freedom from the hell-fire for the people who are present in the plains of Arafat. Aa’ishah narrated the Messenger of Allah saying: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people (the Hajis) want?’” [Courtesy: Saheeh Muslim]

Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah had said: “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of An-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, as Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) had said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of An-Nahr, then the day of Al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina)”. On the other side, believers across the world will observe Arafah fasting and devotion as way of safeguarding from the torment of fire for the sins of life. Its religious significance is that when asked about fasting on the day of Arafah, Prophet Mohammed, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied: “It expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year”. This day’s fasting is recommended only for the non-pilgrims and not for the Hajjis.

As sun rises tomorrow, the day of Arafah which is the second day of pilgrimage rituals, the Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mecca to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plains of Arafat. It was from this site that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life. During the entire day, from dawn until sunset, Muslim pilgrims stand in earnest supplication and devotion, praying for God’s abundant forgiveness. Tears are shed readily as those who gather make repentance and seek God’s mercy, recite words of prayer and remembrance, and gather together as equals before their Lord. The importance of Arafah Day is associated with the verse of the Holy Qur’an which was revealed and explained that the religion had been perfected.

As is reported in the Saheehayn (Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab that a Jewish man said to him: “O Ameer al-Mumineen (O head of the Muslims)! There is a verse in the Holy Qur’an, which if it was revealed on us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival).” Umar asked: “Which verse?” He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surah Al Maidah, 5:3] Umar  said: “We know on which day and in which place was this verse revealed to Allah’s Messenger. It was when he was standing in Arafah on a Friday”. This day happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadhan. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the day after is the first day of the major Islamic Holiday of Eid-ul-Adha.


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