The Day of Arafah: Why Is It Important to Muslims?

Here’s everything you need to know about the Day of Arafah and why it’s so important to Muslims.

What is the Day of Arafah?

The Day of Arafah falls on the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah in the Islamic calendar and it is considered of the most important and holiest rituals of Hajj. During this time, the pilgrims (or Hujjaj) will travel to the plains of Arafah in Mecca where they would combine the Dhuhr and Asr prayers and spend the rest of the day until evening facing towards the Kaaba in supplication.

The momentous occasion is also known for being a way to gain ‘freedom from fire’. Muslims are taught that this is a day of immense blessings, forgiveness and rewards as it was narrated by Aaisha (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the fire than the Day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying ‘What do these people want?’ [Sahih Muslim]

What’s the meaning behind it?

As some might be aware, Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power) is seen as one the holiest nights because this is when the first verses of the Qur’an were sent down to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Similarly, the Day of Arafah was the day when Allah (SWT) perfected Islam and His favour was completed by sending down the following ayah:

“Today I have perfected for you your religion and completed upon you My blessing and I have chosen for you Islam as [your] religion.” [Quran (5:3)]

During this time, if sought after, Muslims can earn virtuous rewards and seek forgiveness. It isn’t recommended for the Hujjaj to fast due to it causing unnecessary hardship but for those who don’t have the privilege of attending Hajj, they are recommended to fast as the Prophet (PBUH) said that “it expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.”

This is why it is encouraged to reap all the benefits from the special day, which is set to fall on July 8th this year. This is followed by Eid-ul-Adha celebrations a day later.

How does it link to Hajj?

The historic and religious significance of Hajj dates back to Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail (AS), who were trialed by Allah (SWT) with a great test. After waking up from a dream where he was ordered to sacrifice his son, Ibrahim (AS) soon learned that is was a message and command by Allah so he must follow through with it. Without hesitation, he took Ismail (AS) to Mount Arafat, while explaining to him the ordeal, to which Ismail (AS) obliged.

As Ibrahim (AS) prepared for the sacrifice, Allah (SWT) replaced his son with a ram, leaving Ismail unharmed as a test to see his dedication and trust in his Creator.

During Hajj, Muslims follow in the same footsteps as the Prophet Ibrahim (AS), serving as a reminder of his pure devotion and submission to Allah and how we should all strive to do the same.

Credit: Unsplash

Now, millions of pilgrims flock to the plains of Arafah on the 3rd day of Hajj to commemorate the occasion and after spending the whole day there in prayer, deep contemplation and supplication, they will depart at sunset and travel to Muzdhalifah, where they will pray Maghrib and Isha and sleep beneath the night sky with no tents or shelter.

This type of bonding is meant to symbolise equality between all.

Dua for Arafah:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “The best supplication is that which is made on the day of Arafah. The best of it is what was said by myself and the prophets before me…”

“لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ ، وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ ، وهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”

“laa ilaaha ill-allaahu, waḥdahu laa shareeka lah, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu, wa huwa ‛alaa kulli shay’in qadeer.”

“None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner. To Him belongs sovereignty and all praise and He is over all things omnipotent.” [Tirmidhi]

Important things to do on the Day of Arafah:

Here are a few other things to remember to do on the blessed day including:

  • Make ghusl
  • Fast!
  • Give salaam and salawat on the Prophet ﷺ constantly throughout the day
  • Remember the dhikr of Arafah
  • Qurbani (a sacrifice)
  • Offer salah (prayer) in the mosque
  • Avoid gossiping and idle chit chat
  • Make your dua list throughout today so you can repeat them throughout
  • Dhikr rotation
  • Make dua for at least an hour if you can before Maghrib
  • Recite and listen to more Qur’an
  • Give extra to charity

These are just a few little additions to add to your day to make the most of the occasion. If you want to get involved in the conversation, head over to our Instagram account by clicking here.

May Allah accept all of our efforts.