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Virtues of the day of Arafaah

The day of Arafaah is the ninth of Dhul Hijjah (i.e. the day before Eid al-Adha) and has many great virtues. We mentioned the virtues of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah here and the obligation of giving the Qurbani here. We will now discuss some of the unique qualities of this great day.

1). IT IS THE DAY ON WHICH THE RELIGION WAS PERFECTED AND ALLAH FAVOUR WAS COMPLETED.

Narrated Tariq bin Shibab:  Some Jews said, “Had this Verse been revealed to us, we would have taken that day as `Eid.” `Umar said, “What Verse?” They said:– “This day I have Perfected your religion for you, Completed My Favour upon you. And have chosen for you Islam as your religion” (Quran 5.3) `Umar said, “I know the place where it was revealed; It was revealed while Allah’s Apostle was staying at `Arafaah.” (Bukhari)

“When the aayah, “This day, I have perfected your religion for you…” was revealed, during the great day of Hajj (the Day of `Arafaah) `Umar cried. The Prophet said, `What makes you cry’ He said, `What made me cry is that our religion is being perfected for us. Now it is perfect, nothing is perfect, but it is bound to deteriorate.’ The Prophet said, “You have said the truth.” (al-T̩abarī).

One of the basic principles of belief in Islam, and on which all the Muslims are agreed  is that there is no true religion on the face of the earth apart from Islam. It is the final religion which abrogates all religions and laws that came before it.  There is no religion on earth by which Allaah is to be worshipped apart from Islam.  And whoever chooses a way of life other than Islam, this will not be accepted from him. And in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.” [Quran 3:85].  Also the Holy Qur’aan, is the last of the Books to be revealed from the Lord of the Worlds. It abrogates all the Books that came before it, the Tawraat, Zaboor, Injeel and others. . So there is no longer any revealed Book which contains divine guidance apart from the Qur’aan.

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion… (Al-Ma`idah, ayah 3)    This ayah is a clear statement that the deen has been completed and thus has no need of addition or deletion.  Also the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “There is nothing that Allah ordered you with except that I have ordered you with it, and there is nothing that Allah forbade you from except that I have forbidden you from it.” [Bayhaqi]  So the Prophet, peace be upon him, fulfilled the trust placed upon him by Allah completely, explaining the religion to the people in its outward and inward form, making clear the lawful from the prohibited, the encouraged from the discouraged, to the extent that he taught us the manners of using the toilet.

Imaam Maalik said: “He who innovates an innovation in Islaam regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has betrayed his trust to deliver the message as Allaah says: This day, I have perfected your religion for you. And whatsoever was not part of the religion then, is not part of the religion today.” [al-I’tisaam]  

2) IT IS A DAY OF EID FOR THE PEOPLE WHO IN ARAFAAH

The Messenger of Allah said: “The Day of Arafaah, the Day of Nahr, and the Days of Tashreeq are Eid for us. The people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking,”[1] (Hasan Tirmidhi)

The Messenger of Allah (salalahu alaihi wa sallam) also said: “The day of Arafaah and the day of sacrifice and the day of Tashreeq are our Eid, the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking.” (Hasan Nasaa’ee)

This means that the day of Arafaah is like an Eid for those standing in the plain of Arafaah. They are not permitted to fast that day, as they are performing the difficult rites of Hajj.

3) ON THIS DAY ALLAH SWORE AN OATH.

Whenever Allah swears by something is an indication of its great status. Yawm ‘Arafaah is the “witnessed day” mentioned in the aayah.

وَالْيَوْمِ الْمَوْعُودِ وَشَاهِدٍ وَمَشْهُودٍ

“By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day [the Day of ‘Arafaah].”  (Quran: 85:3)

The Prophet ((salalahu alaihi wa sallam)) said: “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of ‘Arafaah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” (Tirmidhi)

 “And by the even and the odd” (Quran: 89: 3) Ibn al-‘Abbās said:  “The even is the Day of al-Adhaa and the odd is the day of ‘Arafaah.

4) IT IS THE DAY ON WHICH ALLAH TOOK THE COVENANT FROM THE PROGENY OF ADAM.

And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware [al-A`raaf (7):172]

Allah took a covenant with all of mankind with the fact that He is their Lord and that they have no other lord or deity but Him. This covenant took place in Arafaah: They said, “Yes, we have testified.” Every human being has been created with the inclination to affirm that Allah is their Lord. This knowledge is instilled in the heart of every person. The Prophet said: ”Every child is born on a Fitrah, but his parents convert them him to Judaism, Christianity or Magianism?’’  Every child is born free of any false belief and will has an inclination towards the sound and correct aqeedah.  The defects in aqeedah come later on due to the influence of our environment.

Therefore, it is no longer acceptable to say on the Day of Judgment that they forgot and were unaware of the covenant or to claim that their fathers associated other partners with Allah and they thus followed them because they are their descendants. The polytheism of one’s fathers is not an excuse for the offspring to deviate from the covenant of the fitrah because it is a covenant between them and Allah, and their fathers have nothing to do with it.  However, it is out of the Mercy of Allah that He does not bring people to account by virtue of the covenant of the fitrah alone but after sending Messengers to invite them to Allah. Allah Almighty says: “[We Sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warmers so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Quran: 4:165]

The Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa sallam), said: «It will be said to a man from the people of the Hell-Fire on the Day of Resurrection: “If you owned all that is upon the earth, would you give it as a ransom (i.e. save yourself from this Fire)?’ He will say: ‘Yes.’ Allah will then say: ‘While you were in the loins of Aadam, I asked you much less than this – not to worship others besides Me, but you insisted on associating others in worship with Me.’» [Bukhari]

5) THE STANDING ON ‘ARAFAAT IN THE HAJJ.

Abdur Rahman bin Yamur said: “I saw the Prophet in Arafaah when some people from Najd came to him. They told a man to ask him about Hajj. He said: “Hajj is Arafaah. Whoever comes on the night of Jam (Al-Muzdalifah) before Subh (Fajr) prayer, then he has caught up with Hajj.” (Nasaa’ee).

The meaning of the statement “Hajj is ‘Arafaah” is that in Hajj it is essential to stand in ‘Arafaah. Whoever does not stand in ‘Arafaah has missed out on Hajj. It does not mean that the one who stands in ‘Arafaah no longer has to do any of the actions of Hajj.

6) IT IS THE DAY OF FORGIVENESS OF SINS, FREEDOM FROM THE FIRE.

‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah’s Messenger (salalahu alaihi wa sallam) as saying: There is no day when God sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of ‘Arafaah. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want? (Muslim)

7) ALLAH EXPRESSES HIS PRIDE TO HIS ANGELS ON THIS DAY.

The Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allaah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of ‘Ishaa’ on the Day of ‘Arafaah, about the people of ‘Arafaah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” (Musnad Aḥmad)

8) FASTING ON THIS DAY IS AN EXPIATION FOR TWO YEARS.

Fasting on the day of ‘Arafaah is a Sunnah for those who are not performing Hajj. The Messenger of Allaah ((salalahu alaihi wa sallam)) was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Arafaah (9th of Dhu’I-Hijja), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year. (Muslim). As for the pilgrim, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the day of ‘Arafah, because the Prophet (sa) did not fast on the day of ‘Arafah during the Farewell Pilgrimage.

9) RULING ON FASTING ON THE FIRST EIGHTS DAYS OF DHUL-HIJJAH

Fasting on the first eight days of Dhu’l-Hijjah is strongly recommended because the Prophet said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijja).” Then some companions of the Prophet said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.” (Bukhari).

10) The Best day for Du`a is the day of Arafaah and the Best Du’a of the prophets is …

The Messenger of Allah (salalahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The best supplication offered is on day of ‘Arafah. And the best that I and the Prophets before me uttered is Laa Ilaaha Ilal-llaah, Wahdahu Laa Shareeka Lahu, Lahul-Mulk Wa Lahul-Hamd Wa Huwa ‘Alaa Kulli Shay’in Qadeer”. (Tirmithee and Al-Albaanee graded it as sound). The Arabic text is below.

We should also make the takbeer on this day.

الله أكبر الله أكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولله الحمد

Allaahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Laa Ilaha Illa-Allaah; Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Wa Lillaahil-Hamd

or

الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر، ولله الحمد

Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Laa Ilaha Illa-Allaah; Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Wa Lillaahil-Hamd.

The takbeer is not specific for the Day of Arafaah but should be said from the first of Dhul Hijjah until sunset of the thirteenth of Dhul Hijjah. Special effort should be made to say it during the morning of Eid, until the Eid prayer.


[1] Nahr is the day of Eid al-Adha. The days of Tashreeq are the three days after this Eid.