The Day of ‘Arafah

Wednesday 24/10/2012
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The blessed ten days of Thul-Hijjah are honored and distinguished with the Day of ‘Arafah. Indeed the Day of ‘Arafah is one of the greatest days in the sight of Allah The Exalted, a day when Allah The Almighty forgives sins and wrongdoings, fulfills supplications and boasts of His slaves to the inhabitants of Heaven.

Additionally, the blessed Day of ‘Arafah is the day when the religion of Islam was perfected and when Allah The Almighty completed His favor upon Muslims. It was narrated that a Jew once asked ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, "‘O Commander of the Believers, there is a verse in your Book, which you (Muslims) read. Had it been revealed to us, the Jews, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.’‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab asked him, ‘Which verse is that?’ The Jew replied, 'The verse that reads (what means):{This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.}[Quran 5:3] ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, replied, ‘Indeed, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). It was a Friday when he was standing at ‘Arafah[during the Farewell Hajj].’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The Day of ‘Arafah is a source of pride to all Muslims and one of the ‘Eeds in Islam. Hence, the Prophet, sallallaahu‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The Day of ‘Arafah, the Day of An-Nahr (the 10th day of Thul-Hijjah) and the Days of Tashreeq are our feasts, the people of Islam. They are days of eating and drinking.” [At-Tirmithi]
Moreover, the Day of ‘Arafah is a day when Allah The Exalted boasts about His slaves, who are worshipping Him duly [on that blessed day] to the angels; a day when Allah The Almighty forgives their sins and emancipates them from the fire of Hell. What a great and a blessed day it is!
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “There is no day on which Allah frees a greater number of His slaves from Hellfire than the Day of ‘Arafah. Allah comes close then boasts about them to the angels, then asks [a rhetorical question], ‘What do these want?’” [Muslim]
Moreover, it was narrated that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: "Allah The Exalted boasts of His slaves standing at ‘Arafaat to the inhabitants of Heaven as He tells them, 'See how My slaves have come to Me dusty and with tousled hair.’" [Ahmad]
Allah The Almighty made that day an introduction to the Day of An-Nahr (the 10th day of Thul-Hijjah). On the Day of ‘Arafah, pilgrims stand humbly beseeching Allah The Almighty in supplication to grant them forgiveness and accept their repentance. Hence, the obligatory Tawaaf (circumambulation) that pilgrims should perform on the Day of An-Nahr is called Tawaaf Az-Ziyaarah; after having their sins forgiven on the Day of ‘Arafah, Allah The Exalted grants them the permission to come to His House on the Day of An-Nahr. In fact, the Day of ‘Arafah can be likened to a purification process [from sins]; a preparation procedure for the Day of An-Nahr.
It was narrated that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), commanded Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him, to silence the people on the Day of ‘Arafah. Then, he said:"Allah The Exalted has been so generous with you on the Day of ‘Arafah; He forgave the sinners among you for the sake of the doers of good among you, and He granted the doers of good what they have asked for, proceed to Mina in the Name of Allah." [Ibn Majah, it was authenticated by some scholars]
Therefore, whoever wants his sins to be forgiven and wishes to be saved from Hellfire on that blessed Day of ‘Arafah, should firmly adhere to fulfilling the due reasons that are more likely to incur forgiveness and emancipation from the fire of Hell, which entails the following:
1- Shielding one's organs from committing all that is forbidden: Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "So-and-so [one of the Companions] was the co rider of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) the one riding behind him on the Day of ‘Arafah. This young man kept looking at womenrepeatedly and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) kept moving that man’s head away so as to avert his eyes from these women. Then, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to him: ‘O nephew, whoever protects his hearing, sight and tongue against what is prohibited on this day, would certainly be granted forgiveness." [Ahmad] Scholars said that its chain of narrators is weak.
2- Fasting:
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “I seek from Allah The Almighty that fasting the Day of ‘Arafah would expiate the sins of two years; the previous year and the year to come.” [Muslim]
Actually, fasting the Day of ‘Arafah is only for Muslims who are not performing Hajj as the pilgrims should not fast that day imitating the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). He drank on the Day of ‘Arafah while the people were looking at him. The wisdom behind that is to make the pilgrim strong enough to recite the due supplications and Thikr (remembrance) on the eve of ‘Arafah.
Another means of attaining mercy on that blessed day, is reciting more and more of Thikr and supplications especially those declaring the Oneness of Allah The Almighty; as it is the essence of Islam that was perfected on that particular day. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “The best supplication is that made on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing that I have ever said along with all the previous prophets is ‘La ilaaha illa Allah wahdahu la sharika lah, lahul mulk wa lahul hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (None is worthy of worship but Allah, The Exalted Alone, without any partners. All sovereignty and praise belongs to Him and He is over all things Omnipotent).’” [At-Tirmithi]
Moreover, thepilgrims should recite Thikr and supplicate Allah The Exalted frequently to grant them forgiveness and free them from Hell. It is the situation wherein one’s supplications are more likely to be answered. Additionally, pilgrims should adhere to the due manners during supplication such as facing the Qiblah, raising the hands up to the shoulder [with palms open facing up] and showing helplessness, weakness and need before Allah The Almighty. They should follow on the footsteps of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), who, after finishing his prayers on the Day of ‘Arafah, stood at the rocks down the mountain of ‘Arafah, faced the Qiblah and kept supplicating Allah The Exalted until sunset.
Dear pilgrim, beware of sins and wrongdoings that might hinder forgiveness such as arrogance, vanity and insistence on committing grave major sins. Furthermore, the pilgrim should come to his Creator with a humble and submissive heart showing his helplessness and humility before Him; indeed He is The Best to be asked and The Most Generous to grant you whatever you request and accept your supplication.
Dear pilgrim, standing at ‘Arafah is an august and dignified stance; therein the feelings of the pilgrims differ. Some might feel mostly bashful and afraid [of Allah The Exalted] such as Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Ash-Shikhkheer and Bakr Al-Muzani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. When they stood at ‘Arafah one of them said, "O Allah, do not withhold Your mercy and forgiveness from all the pilgrims because of me." Whereas, the other said, "What an honored and blessed Day it is, had it not been for me being here.”
Moreover, when Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stood at ‘Arafah and while other pilgrims invoking Allah The Almighty, he was crying like the bereaved [of a child] and could not even supplicate Allah The Almighty. It was almost sunset when he raised his sight to the sky and said, "O Allah, How ashamed I am of my sins before You, even if You have forgiven me!”
Others sought refuge in the mercy and generosity of Allah The Exalted. Ibn Al-Mubaarak  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “I came to Sufyaan Ath-Thawri on the eve of ‘Arafah and he was on his knees crying and weeping. When I asked him about the worst person in this gathering, he answered, ‘He who doubts that Allah The Exalted might not forgive his sins today.’”
Moreover, Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him looked at the pilgrims on the eve of ‘Arafah crying and mentioning Allah The Exalted and wondered, “Do you think that if these pilgrims asked a man for one sixth of a Dirham, he would turn them down?” They answered, “No, he would not.” Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said to them, “Indeed, it is easier for Allah The Exalted to grant them His forgiveness than this man to give them one sixth of a Dirham.”
Dear pilgrim, you should remain in a state between hope and fear on that great day. You should fear the punishment of Allah The Almighty and at the same time hope for His forgiveness and reward.
Furthermore, on the Day of ‘Arafah among this great gathering of pilgrims, you should remember the momentuous Day of Judgment when all human beings shall stand before Allah The Almighty. The Day of ‘Arafah should remind you of that difficult Day when you will be held accountable before Allah The Exalted. It is a Day that renders the children gray-haired due to its gravity. On the Day of Judgment, when people will be gathered barefoot, naked and not circumcised so as to reap what they had sowed; every soul will be recompensed [in full for] for what it had earned and no one shall be wronged. 
Dear pilgrim, do more righteous deeds that might save you on that august Day while you still can and before it is too late.


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