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Importance of the Day of Arafa

Importance of the Day of Arafa

ABOUT SERMON: Importance of the Day of Arafa

Importance of the Day of Arafa

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ. الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ وَصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ الأَنْبِيَاءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ.

All Praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, peace, and blessings on him, is His servant, and His messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters …

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

(Hajj 22:30)

That is so. And whoever honours the rituals of Allah, it is best for them in the sight of their Lord.

There are many virtues of these great days. And some of them have characteristics that others do not have, like the day of Arafat and the day of Sacrifice. And this discussion is about the day of Arafat and what it contains of virtue. So that we know its value and honour its sanctity. And so that we do not waste a moment of it.

And when Arafat is mentioned, the eyes well with tears at the sight of the pilgrims, while they are in Arafat, invoking and supplicating Allah.  Rejoicing over them, being happy for them and wishing for the sacred sites.

Indeed, the day of Arafat is from the days of the sacred months. And it is from the ten favoured days. And it is from the known days indicated in the verse:

so, they may obtain the benefits ˹in store˺ for them and pronounce the Name of Allah on appointed days over the sacrificial animals He has provided for them. So eat from their meat and feed the desperately poor. (Hajj 22:28).

And it is the day of perfecting the religion and completing the favour. As is in the Hadith of Omar bin Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) that Tariq bin Shihab narrated:

حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ الصَّبَّاحِ، سَمِعَ جَعْفَرَ بْنَ عَوْنٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْعُمَيْسِ، أَخْبَرَنَا قَيْسُ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ، عَنْ طَارِقِ بْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْن الْخَطَّابِ، أَنَّ رَجُلاً، مِنَ الْيَهُودِ قَالَ لَهُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، آيَةٌ فِي كِتَابِكُمْ تَقْرَءُونَهَا لَوْ عَلَيْنَا مَعْشَرَ الْيَهُودِ نَزَلَتْ لاَتَّخَذْنَا ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ عِيدًا‏.‏ قَالَ أَىُّ آيَةٍ قَالَ ‏{‏الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا‏}‏‏.‏ قَالَ عُمَرُ قَدْ عَرَفْنَا ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ وَالْمَكَانَ الَّذِي نَزَلَتْ فِيهِ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ بِعَرَفَةَ يَوْمَ جُمُعَةٍ‏.‏

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:  Once a Jew said to me, “O the chief of believers! There is a verse in your Holy Book Which is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed as a day of celebration.” ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab asked, “Which is that verse?” The Jew replied, “This day I have perfected your religion For you, completed My favour upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5: 3) ‘Umar replied, “No doubt, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet. It was Friday and the Prophet (ﷺ) was standing at ‘Arafat (i.e. the Day of Hajj)” Sahih al-Bukhari 45.

And it is also an Eid for the Muslims. As in the Hadith narrated by Uqbah bin Aamer (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet ﷺ said:

يَوْمُ عَرَفَةَ وَيَوْمُ النَّحْرِ, وَأَيَّامُ التَّشْرِيقِ, عِيدُنَا أَهْلَ الإِسْلَامِ, وَهِيَ أَيَّامُ أَكْلٍ وَشُرْبٍ

“The day of Arafat and the day of sacrifice and the days of At-Tashriq are our Eid, people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking.” [Sahih Al Jami Albani 8192]. Sahih Muslim 1141a.

And it is the day of bragging about the people who are at Arafat as was indicated in the Hadith of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَاهِي بِأَهْلِ عَرَفَاتٍ أَهْلَ السَّمَاءِ, فَيَقُولُ لَهُمْ: انْظُرُوا إِلَى عِبَادِي جَاءُونِي شُعْثًا غُبْرًا

Indeed, Allah brags to the occupants of the heavens about the people of Arafat. He says to them:  “Look at my servants who have come to me untidy, unkempt & dusty” Mishkat al-Masabih 2601.

قَالَ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَا مِنْ يَوْمٍ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ أَنْ يُعْتِقَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ عَبْدًا مِنَ النَّارِ مِنْ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ وَإِنَّهُ لَيَدْنُو ثُمَّ يُبَاهِي بِهِمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ فَيَقُولُ مَا أَرَادَ هَؤُلاَءِ ‏”‏‏.‏

‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of ‘Arafa. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want? Sahih Muslim 1348.

And it is the day of supplicating. And the day of moistening the tongues and hearts with the phrase of tawhid as indicated in the Hadith related by Talhah bin Ubaidulah bin Kareez that Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: [Tirmithi 3585].

أَفْضَلُ الدُّعَاءِ دُعَاءُ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ. وَأَفْضَلُ مَا قُلْتُ أَنَا وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ قَبْلِي: لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ

The best supplication is that of the Day of Arafat, and the best that anyone can say is what I and the Prophets before me have said: Lā ‘ilāha ‘illallāhu waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu wa huwa `alā kulli shay’in qadīr. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise, and He is Able to do all things.

The apparent is that the merit of supplication is not restricted to those staying in Arafat only. Acceptance is more hopeful for them than others due to them wearing Ihram and being in the purest of places. At the same time, supplicating with the phrase of Tawhid in the hadith is not specific to the people of Arafat. Rather, people throughout the land should say it a lot on that great day.

And it is as if supplicating plentifully through the phrase of tawhid on the Day of Arafat is to confirm the fulfilment of the promise that Allah Almighty took from mankind before their existence on earth.  And it is mentioned in the hadith of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet ﷺ said:

Allah took the promise from Adam’s back in Na‘man, that is Arafat, and brought forth from his loins all his offspring whom He created and scattered between His Hands like atoms. He then turned to them saying, (172) “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” (173) Or [lest] you say, “It was only that our fathers associated [others in worship] with Allah before, and we were but descendants after them. Then would You destroy us for what the falsifiers have done? (Al A’raf (7) 172-173)”

[Imam Ahmad 2455]

So it is appropriate for the tongues of believers to recite the phrase of Tawhid on that great day. Also, on Arafat, Muslims wherever they are should make plenty of remembrance and supplication.

So – servants of Allah – strive in remembrance and supplication. Perhaps the Mercy of Allah will touch you on the Day of Arafat. So, a person should not deny themselves Allah’s favour and goodness on that great day. And for those performing Hajj, is the achievement of staying in Arafat – the greatest pillar of Hajj. Nonetheless, for those not performing Hajj is fasting on that great day. And fasting it expiates the sins of two years as the Prophet ﷺ said: 

صِيَامُ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ  أَحْتَسِبُ عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ  وَالسَّنَةَ الَّتِي بَعْدَهُ

Fasting the day of Arafat, I anticipate, will expiate for the sins of the previous year and the year after it. Sahih Muslim 1162a.

Oh Muslims: The Eid of Adha is the biggest and best Eid of the Muslims. Because it is within the best and most noble days. And it contains the most and greatest devotional rites. And sacrifice is ordained in it and it among the best and most honourable of deeds. And it from the sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ as was related in the Hadith of Anes (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:

The Prophet ﷺ sacrificed two black-and-white rams and I saw him putting his foot on their sides and pronouncing the Name of Allah and proclaiming His greatness. He slaughtered them with his own hand. [Al Bukhari 5558, Sahih Muslim 1966a.

I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our Prophet as your Lord commanded:

Allahumma Sallai Al’a Muahmmad’n wa’aila Muhammad

أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ  لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ  إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

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