The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are finally upon us. And amongst those last ten days is a day that holds extreme significance for each and every Muslim: the day of Arafah.
Arafah is actually a place southwest of the Ka’bah in Makkah. It is a vast plain where pilgrims performing Hajj spend a day, completing the most important ritual of Hajj. In Arafah, there is a mountain called Jabal Arafah or Jabal-ur-Rahmah (Mountain of Mercy). There are even stories of the plains of Arafah being significant to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Prophet Adam (AS) and Prophet Ibrahim (AS.)
Similar to the way Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is one of the most blessed nights of the year, the Day of Arafah. It is one of the most blessed days of the year. But why is it such a blessed day? What is the true significance behind the Day of Arafah?
Allah (SWT) swears by Arafah
In the Quran, in Surah Al-Burooj, Ayah 1-3, Allah (SWT) says:
“By the sky containing constellations. And by the promised day. And by a witness and one witnessed.”
In a hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says about the above three verses: “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, and the one witnessed is the Day of Arafah, and the witness is Friday. The sun does not rise or set upon a day that is more virtuous that the Day of Arafah” (Tirmidhi.)
a day of forgiveness
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said “There is no day on which Allah (SWT) frees people from the Fire of Jahannam more so than on the Day of Arafah. Indeed, He draws near and then boasts of them to the angels then says, “What do these want?” (Muslim.)
We know Allah (SWT) is the most merciful and forgiving but there are certain days or nights during the year where He forgives even more than usual. It is said that whoever asks the Almighty for forgiveness on the Day of Arafah, and Allah (SWT) accepts that forgiveness, his or her sins of the past year and the coming year will be completely forgiven. SubhanAllah!
the day islam was perfected
On the day of Arafah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stood before his Ummah and gave his farewell address. He stood before his Ummah and spoke about several things including racism and the five pillars of Islam. He also bore witness before Allah (SWT) and his people that he had completed the mission Allah (SWT) had given him, the mission of conveying Allah’s (SWT) message and Islam to the world.
On that same day, Allah (SWT) revealed the following ayah which directly correlates with what the Prophet (PBUH) said during his final address.
“Today I have perfected for you your religion, and completed upon you My blessing, and I have chosen for you Islam as (your) religion,” (Surah Maidah, Ayah 3.)
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and is a holy pilgrimage that every able Muslim must embark on once in their lives. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said that Arafah is Hajj, meaning that without the Day of Arafah and the rituals pilgrims perform on that day, the Hajj is invalid.
On the Day of Arafah, pilgrims take a stand and worship Allah (SWT) from dusk to dawn. They ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness and stand before him as one Ummah.
what to do on the day of arafah?
A majority of the Muslims around the world aren’t performing Hajj this year but the blessings and benefits of the Day of Arafah can be gained just the same. By making as much Dhikr as we can, reading Quran, praying Salah on time, and fasting, Allah (SWT) will reward us immensely.
May Allah (SWT) accept our efforts, erase and pardon all our sins and bless us for the upcoming year. Ameen.