The Blessed Days: Day of ‘Arafah

The Blessed Days: Day of ‘Arafah
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The Day of ‘Arafah (the 9th day of Thul-Hijjah):

This day surpasses other days in virtue and merit and therefore it is worth being discussed independently in order to clarify the aspects of its excellence and honor:

Firstly: It is the day of Allah The Almighty perfected the religion and completed His favor:

It was narrated that the Jews said to ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him "Indeed you recite a verse which if had been revealed to us we would have taken that day as a day of celebration." ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said, "Indeed I know where and when it was revealed, and where the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was when it was revealed! [It was revealed] on the Day of ‘Arafah, while we were, by Allah, on ‘Arafah."

Sufyaan said, "I doubt whether it was a Friday or not." Allah The Exalted Says (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] [Al-Bukhari]

Indeed, the Islamic religion was perfected on that day because Muslims did not perform the obligatory Hajj before that day. Consequently, their religion was perfected by completing all the pillars of Islam. Also, Hajj was performed according to the methodology of Ibraaheem (Abraham)  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention and polytheism and polytheists were excluded. On that day, none of the polytheists joined the Muslims.

As for completing the favor of Allah The Almighty, this was attained by the forgiving of the pilgrims' sins by Allah The Almighty. The favor is not completed unless sins are forgiven, as Allah The Exalted Said to His Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) (what means): {That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path.} [Quran 48:2]

Secondly: It is a day of ‘Eed (Islamic festival):

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Umaamah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "The day of ‘Arafah, the day of Nahr and the days of Tashreeq are our ‘Eeds, for us Muslims. They are days for eating and drinking."

Thirdly: Fasting the day expiates the sins of two years:

In a Hadeeth (narration), the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said about the virtue of fasting the day of ‘Arafah (for non-pilgrims): "It expiates (the sins of) the past year and the coming (year)."

Fourthly: It is the day of forgiving sins and exemption from Hell:

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  her that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Allah exempts more of His slaves from Hell on the Day of ‘Arafah than on any other day, and Allah draws near and proudly says to the angels, 'What do these people want and seek?'" [Muslim]

Commenting on the Hadeeth, Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "This indicates that their sins have been forgiven, as Allah would not boast of sinful and wrongdoing people unless after their repentance and His Forgiveness. Allah knows best."

The prescribed deeds on the Day of ‘Arafah:

Firstly: Fasting

In a Hadeeth, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "…I hope Allah that fasting the day of ‘Arafah expiates sins of the past year as well as the next year…." [Muslim] Fasting during that day is prescribed only for those who are not pilgrims, as it is not permitted for pilgrims to observe fasting on that day. Controlling one's bodily organs from doing prohibited matters is asserted on that day. In a Hadeeth narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "On this day (i.e. the day of ‘Arafah) a whoever guards his hearing, seeing and tongue will be forgiven."

It is known that guarding the body’s organs preserves one’s fasting and Hajj. Consequently, many factors which enjoin towards obedience and abandoning disobedience are collected.

Secondly: Frequent remembrance of Allah and supplication

In a Hadeeth, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "The best supplication is that of the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing that I and other Prophets before me said, is: 'Laa ilaaha illallaahu wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul mulk wa lahul hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is none worthy of worship except Allah Alone and He has no partners, dominion and praise belong to Him, and He is over all things Omnipotent)."

Commenting on the Hadeeth, Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "The Hadeeth stands as evidence that the supplications on the Day of ‘Arafah are most probably answered and that the best of remembrance of Allah is to say, 'There is none worthy of worship except Allah.’"

Al-Khattaabi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "The Hadeeth means that the most frequent words with which the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to commence his supplication and give it precedence over his request is praising Allah The Almighty. One who supplicates Allah starts with praising Allah The Almighty and says it before asking Allah for anything, and therefore praising in this Hadeeth was called supplication."

Thirdly: Takbeer (saying Allahu-Akbar)

As it is mentioned in the deeds of the ten days of Thul-Hijjah, it is recommended to repeat Takbeer in all times and at every place where it is permissible to mention the Name of Allah The Almighty. The scholars said that there are two types of Takbeer:

First: The Takbeer which is not restricted to a specific time, which is prescribed in every time during the night and day. It starts with the start of the month of Thul-Hijjah and lasts until the last day of the Days of Tashreeq.

Second: The Takbeer restricted to a specific time, which is prescribed after prayers. According to the chosen opinion, Takbeer is said after all prayers, whether obligatory or voluntary. It is starts from Fajr (Dawn) prayer of the Day of ‘Arafah and lasts until the last day of the Days of Tashreeq.

To sum up, repeating Takbeer on the Day of ‘Arafah, the Day of ‘Eed as well as the Days of Tashreeq is both prescribed at all times, and this is the type which is not restricted to a specific time, and it is also prescribed after prayers and this is the type which is restricted to a specific time.

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