All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )
(O you who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]
( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )
(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you). [An-Nisa: 1].
( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )
(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].
O Muslims: It is said that when Adam and Eve peace be upon them, were sent down to the earth Adam fell in India while Eve descended in Jeddah. So each of them started searching for the other, until they met at Arafat on the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah, and they recognized each other and that day was called the day of Arafah and the spot was named Arafat.
It is said that it is because the spot was described for Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and when he saw it he recognized it, or that Jibril Allâh, peace be upon him, was carrying him about in the holy sites, and when he showed him the spot he said, I have recognized it. Some said that Ibrahim put Ismaeel and Hajar in Makkah, returned to Syria and did not meet for years and then they met on the day of Arafah at Arafat. It was also said that in the night of Tarwiyah, Ibrahim saw in a dream that he is being ordered to slaughter his son, and when it was dawn, he premeditated throughout that day and pondered over it; and so it was called the day of Tarwiyah (i.e. premeditation). Then he saw it for the second time on the night of Arafah, and so he knew that it was from Allâh, so it was called the day of Arafah.
Moreover, it is said that it was so named because people confess their sins on that day, or that Allâh the Almighty recognizes the pilgrim with forgiveness and compassion, or it so named as a derivative of Al-Araf, which is perfume. Yet others said that spot was so called Arafat because the pilgrims get to know one another there. Some said that the origin of Arafah and Arafat is patience; a man is said to be “Arif” in Arabic if he is patient and humble…
All these are explanations and interpretations of many and assumptions contained in the books of Qur’an interpretation, we do not know which of them is right and which is wrong, and we even nurse reservations about some of them. However, what we never doubt is that which Allâh has singled out that day with concerning the virtues and characteristics, which Allâh, the Most Glorified and Exalted has not made in any other day, including as follows:
The first virtue: It is a day the religion of Islam was completed and favour perfected. A man among the Jews said to Umar: O Chief of the Believers, if this verse:
( ٱلۡيَوۡمَ أَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِينَكُمۡ وَأَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعۡمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلۡإِسۡلَـٰمَ دِينً۬اۚ )
This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion [Al-Maedah: 3]
had been revealed upon us, we would have taken that day as an `eid (festival) day.” `Umar said, “I know definitely on what day this Verse was revealed; it was revealed on the day of `Arafat, on a Friday”» (Agreed upon).
The second virtue: It is the day the covenant was taken from human beings. Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said: «Allâh took a covenant from the back of Adam at Nu’man –meaning at Arafah- and pulled out of his back every posterity He has created, then He dispersed them before Him like corn and spoke to them once » saying:
( أَلَسۡتُ بِرَبِّكُمۡۖ قَالُواْ بَلَىٰۛ شَهِدۡنَآۛ )
Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify [Al-A’raf: 173] (Ahmad).
Third virtue: It is the festival day for the people of station of Arafah: It was narrated from Uqbah bin Amir that the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said: « The day of Arafah and the day of sacrifice and the day of At-Tashriq are our eid (festival), the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking » (An-Nasaei).
The day of Arafah is a festival for those who are at the plane of Arafat, because it is the day on which they have their greatest gatherings and stations, unlike the people in the cities for their gathering occurs on the day of Sacrifice (Fath Al-Bari by Ibn Rajab).
The fourth virtue: It is a day of the month of Muharram. Allâh the Most High said:
( إِنَّ عِدَّةَ ٱلشُّہُورِ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱثۡنَا عَشَرَ شَہۡرً۬ا فِى ڪِتَـٰبِ ٱللَّهِ يَوۡمَ خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ مِنۡہَآ أَرۡبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ۬ۚ ذَٲلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلۡقَيِّمُۚ فَلَا تَظۡلِمُواْ فِيہِنَّ أَنفُسَڪُمۡۚ)
Verily, the number of months with Allâh is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allâh on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred, (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islâmic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein [At-Tawbah: 36].
The fifth virtue: It is among the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. What will inform you of what these days are! These are days in which the reward for good deeds are multiplied. Ibn Abbas said: The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said: «There are no days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allâh than these days,” meaning the (first) ten days of Dhul- Hijjah. They said: “O Messenger of Allâh! Not even Jihad in the cause of Allâh?” He said: “Not even Jihad in the cause of Allâh, unless a man goes out with himself and his wealth and does not bring anything back » (Transmitted by Ibn Majah, but its origin is in Sahih Al-Bukhari).
Moreover, they are the days that Allâh swore by when He said:
( وَلَيَالٍ عَشۡرٍ )
By the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hîjjah) [Al-Fajr: 2].
Arafah day is the last of these days.
The sixth virtue: It contains the great pillar of Hajj. When the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) was asked: How is the pilgrimage done? He replied: «Hajj is [standing at] Arafah» (Ibn Majah).
No one who does not witness the Day of Arafah at Arafat plane will have gotten the Hajj.
The seventh virtue: Allâh’s pride with the people of Arafah. It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas that the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), used to say: «Indeed Allâh, the Most Glorified and Exalted praises the people of Arafah to His angels on the evening of Arafah, and he would say: Look at My slaves, they have come to Me disheveled dusty» (Ahmad). Lo, for him with whose deed Allâh is pleased to the extent that He even boasts about him before the angels!
The eighth virtue: that one’s fast on this day expiates the sins of two years. Abu Qatada al-Ansari narrated that when the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) was asked about the observance of Saum (fasting) on the day of ‘Arafah. He said, « “It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year and the current year » (Muslim).
This is desirable for non-pilgrims. As for the pilgrim, it is not an act of Sunnah for him to fast; because it is a holiday for him. Ummu Al-Fadhl said: « The people doubted whether the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) was observing the fast on the Day of `Arafah, so I sent something for him to drink and he drank it» (Agreed upon).
The ninth virtue: It is the day in which Allâh sets free more people from Hellfire than any other day. Aisha narrated that the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said: « There is no day on which Allâh sets free more slaves from Hell than He does on the Day of ‘Arafah» (Muslim).
Slaves of Allâh! It behooves the pilgrim then to investigate the reasons that will lead him to emancipation and forgiveness, including the following:
The first: Distancing oneself from sin. This day has some sanctity that must be preserved, because the ugliness of sins increase in the virtuous place and time. Likewise, sins prevent the descent of compassion upon its perpetrator, and how does one who perpetrates transgressions or persists in them covet emancipation from the hellfire?! And how does one who challenges Allâh by committing sins on this great day hope for the mercy of Allâh?!
Who is the first and most worthy and entitled to the forgiveness of Allâh? The obedient or the sinner? And Allâh, the Most High, has said:
( وَرَحۡمَتِى وَسِعَتۡ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ۬ۚ فَسَأَكۡتُبُہَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ )
And My Mercy embraces all things. That (Mercy) I shall ordain for those who are the pious [Al-A’raf: 156].
He also said and said:
( إِنَّ رَحۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ )
Verily the mercy of Allâh is nigh unto the well doers [Al-A’raf: 56].
Be among them and you will attain the mercy and forgiveness of Allâh.
The first thing a pilgrim should do on the day of Arafah is to repent from all sins, and determine not to go back to them forever.
Two: Making frequent tahleel and takbeer (i.e. proclaiming La ilaaha illallaah and Allâhu Akbar). Similar to these is praising Allâh and doing dhikr in general, because this was the practice of the companions of the Prophet, May Allâh be pleased with them in front of the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). On the authority of Abdullah bin Umar: «We went along with Allâh’s Messenger (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) in the morning of ‘Arafah (9th of Dhu’l-Hijja). Some of us proclaimed Takbir and some of us Tahlil La ilaha ill-Allâh) » (Muslim).
Third: Making a lot of supplication and pleading to Allâh. The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) has said, «The best of supplication is the supplication of the Day of `Arafah» (At-Tirmidhi).
In the transmission of Ahmad he said: «The most frequent supplication of the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) on the day of Arafah was: (Lā ilāha illallāh, waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu, wa huwa `alā kulli shai’in qadīr) – None has the right to be worshipped but Allâh, Alone, without partner, to Him belongs all that exists, and to Him belongs the Praise, and He is powerful over all things ».
Moreover, the du’a made on the day of Arafah is more likely to be answered.
Among the etiquette of dua on that day is that the pilgrim should stand facing the direction of the Qiblah with his hands up, beseeching his Lord and professing his negligence towards Him, and determined to make true and sincere repentance.
Fourth: Freeing the heart of the world’s concerns, bringing all one’s affairs before his Lord and making his main concern is to get close to Him, the Most Purified and Exalted. Therefore, the Muslim should devote himself to do dhikr, du’a, and seek forgiveness in this great day, and should not worry about any other thing. O Muslims! Whatever we say about the duties of Hajj at Arafah, you will never find anyone performing them better than the teachings of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). What did you think was the practice of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) on the day of Arafah? When it was sunrise on the day of Arafah, the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) along with his companions walked from Mina to Arafah, among them are those who proclaimed Takbir and some of them proclaimed Talbiyah. Then he settled at Namirah until when the sun reached its meridian, he ordered his camel known as Al-Qaswa to move. He then walked up to the depth of the valley on the land of Uranah. He gave an exhaustive and comprehensive sermon to the people while he was on his camel. When he had finished, he ordered Bilal to make the call to prayer. He established the prayer and observed the Dhuhr prayer two rak’ahs reciting in silence. Then he said the Iqamah and prayed Asr two rak’ahs as well, and the people of Makkah were with him and they prayed behind him all these prayers shortened and combined. When he had finished his prayers, he rode until he came to the plane of Arafah, stood at the bottom of the mountain where there are rocks, faced the direction of Qiblah, and placed all the pedestrian in front of him while he was on his camel. He began to make du’a, supplication and invocation until sunset. Moreover, he ordered the people to rise above the depth of Uranah valley, and told them that Arafat is not limited to the spot where he stood, and said: «I stood here and the whole of Arafah is a mawqif “place for standing” » (Abu Dawud).
He sent a message to the people to protect their Hajj rites and stand there. Furthermore, when the people asked him concerning Hajj, he said: «Hajj is “standing at” Arafah. Whoever comes before Fajr prayer on the night of Jam’, he has completed his Hajj. The days at Mina are three. ‘But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him.’ Then he seated a man behind him on his mount and he started calling out these words’”». (Ibn Majah). During his supplication, he raised his hands to his chest, and told them that the best supplication is the supplication made on the day Arafah.
When the sun had set and had perfectly set whereby the yellowish glow had disappeared, he moved to Muzdalifah with tranquility while making the talbiyah, almost embracing the reins of his camel, to the extent that its head nearly touched the front of the saddle, and he was saying: ‘O people, you must be tranquil and dignified, for righteousness does not come by making camels hurry (Al-Bukhari), i.e.: it is not by speeding. On his way, he (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) descended, relieved himself and performed a light, but he did not offer Maghrib prayer until when he reached to Muzdalifah. Then he prayed Isha with one Iqamah but without Adhan. He did not offer any supererogatory prayer (nafilah) between these prayers. Then he slept until it was dawn. However, he did not stay awake throughout that night, nor was it truly reported from him that he ever stayed awake throughout the nights of the two Eids. (Zaad Al-Ma’ad by Ibn Al-Qayyim).
All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone, and may the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the last Prophet.
O believers! As for the rightly guided predecessors (Salaf) at Arafah, some of them were overwhelmed by fear and shame, such as Mutarrif bin Abdullah and Bakr Al-Muzani. When they stood at Arafah, one of them said: «O Allâh! Do not turn down the people of Arafah because of me», and the other said: «What a honorable place and more worthy of hopefulness from God had I not been among them »!. Some of them were dominated by hopefulness, such as Sufyan At-Thawri, who was asked on the evening of Arafah: Whose condition is the worst in this plane? He replied: «He who thinks that Allâh will not forgive him» .
Therefore, the pilgrim should be on this day between sincere fear of Allâh, which will prevent him from committing sins, and praiseworthy hope that will spur him to humble and surrender to Allâh, so that He may grant him of His mercy.
Invoke prayers and blessings of Allâh upon the one Allâh, the Most Exalted and Glorified, has commanded you to do so when He said,
( إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا )
Allâh sends His Salâh (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salâh on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].