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MOUNT ARAFATSignificance of fasting on the Day of ‘Arafat

‘Arafat – a hillside and plain, also called the Jabl-e-Arafat is located about 12.5 miles from Makkah. It is of great significance to all Muslims across the globe. The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is regarded as the day of Arafah and is of great prominence due to multitude reasons, the prime being, the belief that on this very day at Mount Arafat our beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him), delivered his famous last sermon. The Day of Arafat falls on the second day of observance of pilgrimage to Hajj.

After the dawn of this blessed Day, millions of pilgrims set out for ‘Arafat’ from Mina. The Muslims who are not on the pilgrimage regard this blessed day to reconnect with Allah by fasting and repentance. The whole day of ‘Arafat’ from dawn till dusk has to be devoted for supplications, tilawath, prayers and seeking Allah’s forgiveness. This day is full of blessings and forgiveness in abundance from Allah.

It comes to our knowledge from a Hadith, wherein, Abu Qatadah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Arafat (9th of Dhul-Hijjah), whereupon he said: “It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year”.  —Sahih Muslim 6:2603.

The supplication to be recited on this day at ‘Arafat’ is:
Laa ilaaha ill – allahu, wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahul mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer.
Translation: There is none worthy of worship besides Allah alone, He has no partner, to Him alone belongs supreme authority and praise, and He has power over everything.  — At-Tirmidhi: 5:504

The Muslims those who are not on the pilgrimage emphasize on reciting Tasbeeh-e-Tashriq:
Allahu akbar Allahu akbar Laa ilaaha ill – allahu wallahu akbar Allahu akbar wa lillahil hamd.
Translation: Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no God but Allah. And Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.

In one another saying the Prophet’s wife Hafsah, May Allah be pleased with her, said:
Four things the Messenger of Allah never neglected. Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura, ‘Arafat, three days every month, and offering Fajr Sunnah prayers early in the morning.”  —Muslim.

This hadith states to us that fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah is Sunnah, and so it adds up to the significance of its importance. Another hadith states that our (deen) religion of Islam was perfected and completed on this very Day of ‘Arafat.

According to Islamic tradition, Reported by Tariq bin Shibab: some Jews said, “Had this verse been revealed to us, we should have taken that day as ‘Eid (festival)”.
Umar (ra) said, “What verse?
They said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”. [Quran 5.3] ‘Umar (ra) said, “I know the place where it was revealed; it was revealed while Allah’s Apostle was staying at ‘Arafat”. [Sahih Bukhari 5:59:689].

Henceforth, this article was intended to enlighten the significance of fasting on the day of ‘Arafat and devoted supplication for purging of sins. May Allah give us the ability to fast on this day, elevate our faith; accept our prayers, and also give every muslim the tawfeeq to perform Hajj in the forthcoming years. Ameen.

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