The day of ʿArafah is the greatest day of ḥajj: the day on which sins are forgiven, souls are released from the Hell-fire, and duʿās are readily accepted.

This day is also special because it was the day Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) bestowed upon us our Ummah’s greatest gift: He perfected the religion of Islam and completed His favour upon us.

ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu) narrated: ‘Once a Jew said to me: “O leader of the believers! There is a verse in your (Holy) Book which you all read; had it been revealed to us Jews, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.”’ ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu) asked him: “Which verse?”

The Jew replied:

ٱلْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلْإِسْلَـٰمَ دِينًا
“Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed My blessing upon you, and chosen Islam as your religion.” (5:3)

ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu) replied: “No doubt, we know the day and the place when this verse was revealed to the Prophet ﷺ. It was Friday and the Prophet ﷺ was standing at ʿArafah (i.e. the Day of ḥajj).” (Bukhārī)

Freedom from Hell-fire

The Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no day wherein Allah sets free more slaves from Hell-fire than the day of ʿArafah. Indeed, He draws near, and He then boasts about them to the angels and says: ‘What do these (slaves of mine) want?’” (Muslim)

On this day, Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) frees a huge number of His servants from the Hell-fire. This is Shayṭān’s worst day in the year. In the space of a few hours, Shayṭān’s years of effort to mislead man comes to naught. What enrages him even more is that

“Allah does not only free the pilgrims from the Hell-fire, but the non-pilgrims too. Allah frees from the Fire even those who are not physically in ʿArafāt, therefore the next day is ʿEīd and a celebration for the pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike.” (Ibn Rajab (raḥimahullāh))

ʿAbdullāh b. al-Mubārak approached Sufyān al-Thawrī on the evening of ʿArafah. Sufyān al-Thawrī was sitting on his knees and weeping bitterly. ʿAbdullāh b. al-Mubārak asked him: “Who is in the worst situation amongst these masses?” He replied: “The one who thinks that Allah will not forgive him.”

Ḥakīm b. Ḥizām (raḥimahullāh) would stand in ʿArafah with 100 camels and 100 slaves. He would then free the slaves for the sake of Allah. The people would then start crying loudly, saying: “O Allah! Your slave freed his slaves, and we too are Your slaves, so free us (from the Hellfire).”

The Day of Duʿa

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The best duʿā’ is the duʿā’ of the day of ʿArafah. The best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is:

لَا إِلهَ إلاَّ اللَّه وَحْدهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لهُ، لَهُ المُلْكُ، ولَهُ الحمْدُ، وَهُو عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَدِيرٌ

There is no god worthy of worship but Allah. He is Alone and He has no partner whatsoever. To Him Alone belong all sovereignty and all praise. He is over all things All-Powerful.” (Tirmidhī)

Imām al-Nawawī (raḥimahullāh) said: “It is mustaḥabb to perform dhikr and duʿā’ in abundance, and to exert oneself in this. This is the best day of the year for duʿā’…It is essential that one devotes every effort to doing dhikr, making duʿā’, reciting Qur’ān, supplicating with various supplications and performing a variety of adhkār… He should make duʿā’ for himself, his parents, his relatives, his teachers, his companions, friends and beloved ones, all those who have done good to him, and all the Muslims. He should be extremely careful not to neglect any of these, because he will not be able to make amends for it, unlike other acts.”

One of the pious predecessors said: “I have been making duʿā’ on the Day of ʿArafah for the last 50 years, and not a year passes by except that I see them (answered) as clearly as the light of the morning.”

“I came across people who would conceal their needs until the Day of ‘Arafah, so that they could ask Allah for them (on this day).” (al-Awzāʿī (raḥimahullāh))

Try to precede your duʿā’ with a good deed (e.g. by giving charity or visiting the sick). Go to Allah as a humble beggar, lengthen your duʿā’ and have firm conviction that Allah will accept it.

Fasting

If you have been unable to fast for the first eight days of Dhul Ḥijjah, do not miss out on the amazing reward of fasting on this special day.

When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about the fast of the day of ʿArafah, he said: “It wipes away the (sins) of the past and upcoming year.” (Muslim)

Sufyān b. ʿUyaynah (raḥimahullāh) was fortunate to perform ḥajj 70 times. Each year in ʿArafah, he would longingly and lovingly plead to Allah: “O Allah! Do not let this be the last time with you (in ʿArafah)!” In the year which he passed away, he did not supplicate with this duʿā’. When he was asked about this, he said: “I felt shy of Allah, the Exalted.”

From His mercy, Allah placed the Night of Qadr at the end of Ramaḍān; the best days of the year at the end of the year (Dhul Ḥijjah); and the Day of ʿArafah at the end of these best days, to give you a chance to make up for your shortcomings. Make the most of this day.

Action items for the day of Arafah

Set apart this day for the worship of Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā). Take time off work if you must. And ensure all your ʿEīd preparations are done beforehand, leaving the day free for worship. Do not waste this day in elaborate ʿEīd preparations and miss out on one of the most important days in the entire year.

1. Fast on the day.

2. Make lots of du‘a.
This is the ultimate day for duʿā’. Prepare a collection of duʿās, along with the Qur’ānic and Prophetic duʿās beforehand so you are prepared for this great act of worship. Make duʿā’ during the day, and especially in between ʿAṣr and Maghrib.

3. Keep repeating:
لَا إِلهَ إلاَّ اللَّه وَحْدهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لهُ، لَهُ المُلْكُ، ولَهُ الحمْدُ، وَهُو عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَدِيرٌ

4. Ask for forgiveness and seek protection from Hell-fire.

If you are able to seculde yourself (in worship) towards the latter part of the Day of ‘Arafah, then do so! -ʿAṭā’ (raḥimahullāh)

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