The Day of Arafah 17th August, 2018
The Day of Arafah (or Arafat) is one of the most revered and auspicious days in the Islamic calendar. The ninth day of the month of Dhul Hijjah, it is the day on which pilgrims during Hajj gather on the mountain plain of Arafah, just outside Mecca, to pray and seek forgiveness from their Lord.
The Day of Arafah is the second day of Hajj, with Eid-ul-Adha and Qurbani commencing the following day. It is regarded as one of the most blessed and precious days for Muslims around the world for many reasons.
The Holy Qur’an reveals that it was on this the day that Allah (SWT) completed His revelation on His Messenger (PBUH) and delivered Islam as guidance for mankind; fasting on this day is the equivalent of two years of sins being forgiven, and it is the day on which more people will be saved by their Creator from the fire of Hell than any other day.
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah have been described as the best ten days of the year on which to seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT), and the Day of Arafah is the most blessed of these.
It is not only those who are on the Hajj pilgrimage who gain immeasurable rewards on this day but Muslims around the world are encouraged to reap the benefits, by remembering their Lord.
Its importance is revealed in a verse in Surah Al-Maidah in the Qur’an, in which Allah (SWT) states:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”
Fasting on the Day of Arafah is a recommended Sunnah for those who are not on Hajj, with the Holy Prophet (PBUH) having said that it expiates the sins of two years – the year which has just passed plus the upcoming year.
The rewards of seeking forgiveness and mercy from Allah (SWT) on this special day were also emphasised in a Hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) 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?"
For those who are on pilgrimage, spending the whole of the 9th of Dhul Hijjah at Mount Arafah (also known as the Mount of Mercy) is an essential component of Hajj. A failure to be there on the day invalidates the pilgrimage.
As well as the day, it is a special location in the hearts of Muslims everywhere – Arafah is where the Holy Prophet (PBUH) delivered his final sermon to those who were with him for Hajj.
For many Muslims around the world, the Day of Arafah is also the last opportunity to ensure they can fulfil the obligation of Qurbani. The Sunnah of Ibrahim (as); the sacrifice of an animal to remember the mercy of Allah (SWT) takes place during the three days of Eid-ul-Adha, beginning after Eid prayers on the first day.
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