Category: Holidays » Islamic holidays
The Day of 'Arafah (Arabic: يوم عرفة) is an Islamic Holy Day that falls on the 9th day of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic Calendar. This happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the day after is the first day of the major Islamic Holiday of Eid ul-Adha. At dawn of this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of `Arafah. It was from this site that Prophet Muhammad gave one of his last famous sermons in the final year of his life. Sunni Muslims hold that part of the Qur'anic verse announcing that the religion of Islam had been perfected was revealed on this day.
There are numerous virtues claimed for the 9th of Dhu ’l-Hijjah which is known as yawm al-‘Arafah. This is the day where the pilgrims assemble on the plain of ‘Arafah to complete one of the essential rituals of the Hajj. The completion of Allah’s blessing refers to forgiveness for ones sins by Allah, as without it the blessings of Allah cannot be complete. This brings to light the importance of being forgiven by Allah. Those not performing pilgrimage are recommended to fast on 'Arafah day. It is expected that Allah will expiate the small sins committed in the previous two years. There are also many prayers in Shia literature, including the famous supplication known as "Du'a 'Arafah" ascribed to Imam Husayn ibn Ali, that are to be recited on this day.
Abu Qatada al-Ansari reported that Muhammad was asked about his fasting. He was asked about perpetual fasting, whereupon he said: He neither fasted nor did he break it, or he did not fast and he did not break it. He was then asked about fasting for two days and breaking one day. He (Muhammad) said: And who is strong enough to do it? He was asked about fasting for a day and breaking for two days, whereupon he said: May Allah bestow upon us strength to do it. He was then asked about fasting for a day and breaking on the other, whereupon he said: That is the fasting of my brother David.
He was then asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: It was the day on which I was born and on which I was commissioned with prophethood or revelation was sent to me, (and he further said): Three days' fasting every month and during the whole of Ramadan every year is a perpetual fast. He was asked about fasting on the day of 'Arafah (9th of Dhu'I-Hijja), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year. He was asked about fasting on the day of 'Ashura (10th of Muharram), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year. The Book of Fasting (Kitab Al-Sawm) Muslim :: Book 6 : Hadith 2603
In Sahih Muslim it was narrated from 'Āishah that Muhammad ﷺ said:
'There is no day on which Allaah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafaah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, 'What do these people want?'
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