The Day of Arafah is the second day of the Hajj Pilgrimage, falling before Eid al Adha. The standing at Arafah praying and seeking forgiveness is of paramount significance, reminding us of the Day of Resurrection, of how we will all stand equal before Allah.
At dawn, the pilgrims in Makkah will make their way from Mina to gather on a hillside and plain nearby, called Mount Arafah, which is where Prophet Muhammad gave his farewell sermon in the last year of his life. Often they will set out after sunrise to attend the Khutbah of Arafat which takes place just before Dhuhr prayer.
It was on this day, referred to also as the 9th of Dhu’l-Hijja or Yawm Al-‘Arafah that the following verse was revealed to the people of Makkah, when Allah (SWT) says:
“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion” (Quran 5:3)
There are many blessings that are to be had on this day, with Muslims often fasting together and spending additional hours in supplication and contemplation, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad who was reported by Muslim to have never missed fasting on this day.
We are told in various Ahadeeths that fasting on this day expiates sins committed the year prior and the year following it:
“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year” (Reported by all except al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi)
However, fasting is prohibited by Muslims who are on the Hajj itself as a mercy to ease the difficulty of their pilgrimage.
The Day of Arafah is said to also be a day on which people are saved from the fires of Jahannam. In Sahih Muslim it was narrated from Aa’ishah that Prophet Muhammad said:
‘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 want?’
Our Prophet (SAW) mentioned that:
“The best invocation on the day of Arafah, and the best of all the invocations I ever offered or other Prophets (peace be upon them all) before me ever offered is;
“There is no god but Allah: He is Unique; He has no partner, the whole universe is for Him and for Him is the praise, and He has power over all things.”
The Day of Arafah is expected to be around October 3rd this year, subject to the lunar calendar.