By Norhafazah Rashid
We are now in the first 10 days of DhulHijjah, and in this month, there is one day Allah has blessed us all with.
That is, the day of Arafah, a beautiful gift Allah granted exclusively for us Muslims. This is stated in the Tafseer by Imam Ibn Kathir: “Imam Ahmad recorded that Tariq bin Shihab said, “A Jewish man said to `Umar bin Al-Khattab (R.A), `O Leader of the Believers! There is a verse in your Book, which is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.’
`Umar bin Al-Khattab (R.A) asked, `Which is that verse?’ The Jew replied: “This day I have perfected for you, your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”
Umar (R.A) replied, “By Allah! I know when and where this verse was revealed to Allah’s Messenger. It was the evening on the Day of `Arafah on a Friday.”
On this day, the pilgrims will gather at the hill, this vast plain is known as Mount Arafah, praying and supplicating to Allah. You can almost picture this situation as if we are gathering at Mashar, not knowing what awaits us and all we can do is pray and supplicate to our Lord. SubhanAllah, La hawla wala quwwata illa billah.
This day is also special for us Muslims because this was the day Allah has perfected Islam, completed His favors upon the beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and approved Islam as a way of life!
On the day of Arafah, this beautiful verse was revealed: “This day I have perfected for you, your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (Surah al Maa’idah 5:3)
This is the day Allah frees slaves from the hellfire, more than any other day.
It was narrated on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ stood at Arafah and the sun was about to set, so he said, “O Bilaal, call the people.”
Bilaal (R.A) stood up and asked the people to listen to the Prophet ﷺ so they listened.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “O people, Jibreel came to a while ago, delivered the greetings of Allah to me and said, ‘Allah has forgiven the people of Arafah and the people of the Mash’ar [a place in Muzdalifah].’”
‘Umar (R.A) got up and asked the Prophet ﷺ “Is this specific to us?” The Prophet ﷺ said: “This is for you and all the people who come after you until the Day of Judgement.” ‘Umar (R.A), replied, “The goodness of Allah is plentiful and wonderful.” [Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr]
It is also stated that on this blessed day, Allah Al-Ghafur extends His forgiveness to His slaves, even if they are like the foam on the sea, and He will express His pride (on His slaves) to His angels.
As for you staying until the evening in Arafah, then Allah descends to the sky of the Dunya and He boasts about you to the Angels, and says: ‘My slaves have come to Me, looking rough, from every deep valley hoping for My mercy, so if your sins were equivalent to the amount of sand or the drops of rain or like the foam on the sea I will forgive them. So go forth My slaves! Having forgiveness and for what or who you have interceded for.’
[Reported by at-Tabarani in his book “al-Kabeer” and by al-Bazaar. Shaykh Al-Albani graded it Hassan. Taken from ‘Saheeh al-Targheeb wa Tarheeb’. Volume 2, Page 9-10, hadeeth no. 1112]
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah (R.A) that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of Arafah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” (Tirmidhi)
It is a recommended sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ for those are not in pilgrimage to fast on this day. The Prophet ﷺ said, “It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.” (Muslim)
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ‘Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ‘Arafah), and then He reveals before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” (Muslim)
My dear brothers and sisters, don’t despair if you are not going for pilgrimage this time around. We can still get the reward from this blessed day, for Allah will not abandon His servants.
These are the things recommended for us to do during the Day of Arafah:
1) Fasting on the Day of Arafah:
It is highly encouraged for those not going on hajj.
“Fasting on the Day of Arafah expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.” (Muslim)
2) Reciting this dua of Arafah often:
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The most excellent du’a is the du’a on the Day of Arafah, and the best of what I and the prophets before me have said, is
“There is nothing that deserves to be worshiped in truth except Allaah, He is Alone and has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is All-Powerful over all things.'” (Muwatta)
3) Reciting Tahleel, Takbeer, Tahmeed, and Tasbeeh:
It is a sunnah of our Prophet ﷺ to recite the Tahleel, Takbeer and Tahmeed as many times as possible on the day of Arafah, and also on the days of Tashreeq (11, 12 and 13th of Dhul Hijjah)
Tahleel is to say “Laa ilaaha il-lal-laah” (There is no God but Allah)
Takbeer is to say “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great)
Tahmeed is to say “Alhamdulillaah” (All praise is to Allah)
Tasbeeh is to say “Subhanallaah” (Glorify be to Allah)
4) Seek forgiveness from Allah:
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
“On this day, Allah, the most Exalted, descends to the nearest heaven, and He is proud of His servants on the earth and says to those in heavens, look at My servants, they have come from far and near, with hair dishevelled and faces covered with dust, to seek my Mercy. Even if their sins are as much the sand or the froth of the sea, I shall forgive them.”
I hope Allah will grant us the will to make us strive our hardest to make the best out of this day, and may Allah keep us under His blessings, always keep us on the straight path and grant us the highest level of Jannah, Amiin!
I know sometimes it will be hard for us to do the things stated above because we are busy working, or studying or doing anything for our worldly affairs. But remember Allah says:
“O mankind, indeed you are labouring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet it.” (Surah Al-Inshiqaq 84:6)
Our lives here are not going to be a smooth sailing. We will meet the storm along the way, it will sometimes be smooth, and will sometimes be rough. But always remember that once we reach our ultimate destination, that is Jannah, we will be in the happiest place where everything is perfect, back to our home, closer to Al-Wadood the One who Loves us the most.