Why Is the Day of Arafah So Special?
We are often told about the blessings of the Night of Decree, known as Lailatul Qadr during Ramadan. Lailatul Qadr is the one night that is more powerful than a thousand months.
But that is best night – what about the best day? The day of Arafah is the most powerful day out of the entire Islamic calendar.
The day of Arafah falls on the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhul al Hijjah. It is on this day that Hajj pilgrims will make their way from the town of Mina to gather at a hillside and plain called Mount Arafah to pray and seek mercy from Allah SWT.
It is believed that Mount Arafah is where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave his Farewell Sermon to the fellow Muslims during his farewell pilgrimage to Mecca.
It was narrated by Abu Dawud that the Prophet Muhammad said: “Hajj is Arafah.” In other words, it means that Arafah is the sum and substance of Hajj.
Arafah was the day which Islam was perfected as a religion too. It was the day when Allah completed His favours upon His beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Prophet Muhammad (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?”
FASTING ON THE DAY OF ARAFAH
The virtues of the day of Arafah are not just reserved for pilgrims performing the Hajj. For the non-hajj pilgrims, the sunnah is to fast on this special day and seek forgiveness from Allah S.W.T in many other ways.
“Try no to miss that fast because the hadith says it forgives and expiates the sins of the previous year and the current year,” said Mufti Menk in a video.
“If you are in Hajj, it’s not a sunnah to fast on that day because it’s a day of action and it’s a day when you are actually going to be in Arafah.”
“It’s a beautiful deed and Allah says you know what I love the good deeds the most during this season so much that if you are to fast on that day, I’m going to forgive all your sins. I’m sure we all want a new beginning, I’m sure we all want redemption,” he said.
Sh. Omar Suleiman, the founder and president of Yaqeen Institute discussed on Instagram about how the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions did not always fast the days of Ramadan while they were traveling, but they always fasted the Day of Arafah, even while traveling.
Allah S.W.T says that on the days whoever travels during Ramadan and does not fast, can make up for it on other days.
“But there is no like expiation or making up for the days of not fasting on Arafah and Ashura.
“There are days that are limited and timings that are specific. If a person is traveling and they can fast on the days of Arafah and Ashura, they should,” he said.
But what about sisters who particularly cannot fast on those days, or if someone who is unable to fast due to being permanently ill?
“The Prophet S.A.W said: “Whoever misses a good deed that they would have done, but they miss it due to sickness or travel or something out of their hands, Allah S.W.T would give them the reward for it fully without taking anything away from it.
“If a person would have fasted on those days, had they not been restrained due to a circumstance – Allah knows that and Allah would give you the full reward. So do the other good deeds that you’re not restricted from and count on Allah S.W.T to give you the good deed of fasting because Allah knows that you would have fasted, had you been able to,” he said.