The Day of Arafah: يوم عرفة: is an Islamic holiday that falls on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic Calendar.
It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the day after is the first day of the major Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.Also called ,The Day of Repentance and Acceptance of Supplications
Rituals of the Day of Arafat
The Day of Arafat falls on the second day of pilgrimage rituals. At dawn on this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from the town of Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat, which is located about 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from Mecca, the final destination for the pilgrimage.
It was from this site that Muhammad, peace be upon him, gave one of his last famous sermons in the final year of his life. Muslims hold that part of the Qur'anic verse announcing that the religion of Islam had been perfected was revealed on this day.
The hill is the place where the Islamic prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life.
Every Muslim is expected to make the pilgrimage to Mecca once during his or her lifetime; and the pilgrimage itself is not considered complete unless the stop at Mount Arafat is also made. Thus, the visit to Mount Arafat is synonymous with the Hajj itself. Completion involves arriving at Mount Arafat Before noon and spending the afternoon upon the mountain, remaining until sunset. However, individuals who are physically unable to complete this portion of the pilgrimage are allowed to observe it by fasting, which is not practiced by those making the physical visit to Arafat.
During the afternoon, from about noon until sunset, Muslim pilgrims stand in earnest supplication and devotion, praying for God's abundant forgiveness, and listening to Islamic scholars speak on issues of religious and moral importance. Tears are shed readily as those who gather make repentance and seek God's mercy, recite words of prayer and remembrance, and gather together as equals before their Lord. The day closes upon the recitation of the evening prayer of Al Maghrib.
For many Muslims, the Day of Arafat proves to be the most memorable part of the hajj pilgrimage, and one that stays with them forever.
The importance of the day of Arafah ;-
The Day of 'Arafah, since it is on this Day the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of 'Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. In fact, one hadith says that ‘Hajj is Arafah' (Abu Dawud).
This means Arafah is the sum and substance of Hajj. The day of Arafah is also significant because this amazing ayah was revealed on this day:"This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion." (Surah al Maa'idah 5:3)
Arafah was the Day on which Allah perfected His religion, completed His favours upon His beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and approved Islam as a way of life!
Imam Ibn Kathir in his tafsir says:"Imam Ahmad recorded that Tariq bin Shihab said, "A Jewish man said to `Umar bin Al-Khattab, `O Leader of the Believers! There is a verse in your 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 for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.
"Umar replied, "By Allah! I know when and where this verse was revealed to Allah's Messenger. It was the evening on the Day of `Arafah on a Friday."
The day of Arafah is also significant because Allah swore by this Day in Surah al Burooj. It is known that Allah swears by nothing except that which is great and mighty! So the Day of Arafah is great significant:"By the sky containing great stars. And [by] the promised Day. And [by] the witness and what is witnessed"(85: 1-3)
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (pbuh) said:"The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of ‘Arafaah, and the witnessing day is Friday." (Tirmidhi)
It is a recommended sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day, since the Prophet (pbuh) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah, so he said:"It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year." (Muslim)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said:"There is no day on which Allaah 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." (Muslim)
Day of Arafat for Non-Pilgrims
Muslims around the world who are not participating in the pilgrimage often spend this day in fasting and devotion. Both government offices and private businesses in Islamic nations are generally closed on the Day of Arafat to allow employees to observe it. The Day of Arafat is therefore one of the most important holidays in the entire Islamic year.
It is said to offer expiation for all sins of the prior year, as well as all sins for the upcoming year.
Things to Do on the Day of Arafah:-
Fasting on the Day of Arafah:
Fasting is highly encouraged and recommended for those not going on hajj.
"Fasting on the Day of Arafah expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year." (Muslim)
Du’aa of Arafa : The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:"The most excellent dua is the dua on the Day of Arafah, and the best of what I and the prophets before me have said, is "There is nothing that deserves to be worshiped in truth except Allaah, He is Alone and has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is All-Powerful over all things.'" (Muwatta)
لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، له الملك ، وله الحمد ، وهو على كل شيء قدير
Making Tahleel, Takbeer, Tahmeed and Tasbeeh:
Its is a sunnah of our Prophet (pbuh) to recite the Tahleel, Takbeer and Tahmeed as many times as possible on the day of Arafah, and also on the days of Tashreeq (11, 12 and 13th of Dhul Hijjah)
Tahleel is to say "Laa ilaaha il-lal-laah"
Takbeer is to say "Allahu Akbar"
Tahmeed is to say "Alhamdulillaah"
Tasbeeh is to say "Subhanallaah".
Seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah:
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:"On this day, Allah, the most Exalted, descends to the nearest heaven, and He is proud of His servants on the earth and says to those in heavens, look at My servants, they have come from far and near, with hair disheveled and faces covered with dust, to seek my Mercy. Even if their sins are as much the sand or the froth of the sea, I shall forgive them."