On the 2nd day of Hajj, the 9th Dhul Hijjah, The Day of Arafat, millions of pilgrims set out for the plains of Arafat after sunrise to attend the Khutba of Arafat and prayer their Zuhr & Asr salat combined as was the Sunnah of Rasool Allah ﷺ. Thereafter they engage in supplication to Allah سبحانه وتعالى from Zuhr to Magrib, seeking forgiveness of their Lord before setting off for Muzdhalifah.
And what is the day of Arafat?
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have been classified as the best 10 days of the year, and the Day of ‘Arafat, on which Allah perfected His religion has been classified as the best day of the year according to some scholars
Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said: “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).” [(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Irwa al-Ghaleel (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawood no: 1765].” [Majmoo al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]
Nevertheless, the month of Dhul-Hijjah is a season of worship, and seasons of worship bring along blessings, benefits and opportunities to correct one’s faith and make up for shortcoming. Every one of these special opportunities involves some kind of worship, which brings the slave closer to his Lord. And Allah bestows His blessings and Favours on whom He wills. The fortunate person is he who makes good use of these special months, days, and hours, while worshiping Allah. He is most likely to be touched by the blessings of Allah. Rewards of good deeds are multiplied in these days [Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if pp. 8]
Supplication to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for Forgiveness of Sins
The Noble Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has said, “The greatest sin of a person who goes to Arafat and then leaves is to think that he has not been forgiven of his sins.”
Arafat is a day of Forgiveness from sins, freedom from the Hell-Fire for the people who are present in the plain of Arafat. Aa’ishah (ra) narrated the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people (the Hajis) want?'” [Saheeh Muslim]
Not only should you fast this day, but make sure to ask Allah for all of your prayers. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best dua is the dua of Arafat.” (Tirmidhi)
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The best invocation on the day of Arafat, and the best of all the invocations I ever offered or other holy Prophets before me ever offered is: “There is no god but Allah: He is Unique ; He hath no partner, the whole universe is for Him and for Him is the praise, and He hath power over all things.”
It is a brief invocation, but powerful and the Sunnah of all the Prophets. It should be repeated again and again.Fasting on Day of Arafat
“Fasting the day of ‘Arafat expiates the sins of two years: a past one and a coming one. And, fasting the day of ‘Aashura’ (the tenth of the lunar month of Muharram) expiates the sins of the past year.” (Reported by Muslim.)
This fasting is Mustahabb only for the non-pilgrims and not for the Hajis (the pilgrims) because it was not the practice of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ to fast on the day of Arafat during pilgrimage and in a narration he also forbade doing so. Imaam at-Tirmidhee (ra) (d. 275H) said: “The People of Knowledge consider it recommended (Mustahabb) to fast on the day of Arafat, except for those at Arafat.” [Jaami’ut-Tirmidhee (3/377)
Perfection of Islam
The day of Arafat holds great importance in Islam since this is the Day when Allah completed his revelation on His Messenger ﷺ. It is reported in the Saheehayn (i.e. Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (ra) that a Jewish man said to him: “O Ameer al-Mumineen (O head of the Muslims)! There is a verse in the Qur’aan, which if it was revealed on us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival).” Umar asked: “Which verse?” He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maidah, 5:3] Umar (ra) said: “We know on which day and in which place was this verse revealed to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. It was when he was standing in Arafat on a Friday.”
This is the day on which Allah completed His Religion and perfected His Favour. It was on this very day that the Prophet ﷺ performed his pilgrimage and while he ﷺ was standing on Arafat Mountain, Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed to Him the verse:
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”
Arafat is the day on which Allah سبحانه وتعالى took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (as), it was reported that Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated: The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ related: “When Allah سبحانه وتعالى created Adam (as) Allah سبحانه وتعالى took covenant from him in a place Naman on the day of Arafat, then He extracted from him all the descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying:
“Am I not your Lord?”
and they all replied: ‘Yes, we testify to it’. Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said:
“That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely, we were unaware of this. We had no idea that You, Allah, were our Lord. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship You.” (Sahîh by Shaikh al-Albanî in Silsilah al-Ahâdîth as-Sahîhah vol: 4, no: 1623]
Indeed, the day of Arafat is a blessed day and there is no other covenant greater than this covenant!