Day Of Arafat
The Day of Arafat, also known as the Day of Arafah, is an Islamic holiday that’s observed on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic Calendar. It’s the second day of the Hajj, the holiest day on the Islamic Calendar, and is the day before the holiday of Eid al-Adha. This holiday is observed by Muslims with morning prayers, and pilgrims will make their way to the hillside of Mount Arafah and the Plain of Arafah. It’s at this location that the prophet Muhammad gave one of his last sermons during the final year of his life. This day is considered to be the day that Allah finished the religion, completed his favors towards the Prophet Muhammad, and finished Islam as a way for the faithful to live.
Customs & Traditions Of The Day Of Arafat
Mount Arafat is a hill that’s approximately 12-miles southeast of Mecca in the plain of Arafah. It reaches a height of approximately 230-feet and is known as Jabal ar-Rahmah, or the Mountain of Mercy. According to some Islamic traditions, this hill is where the Prophet Muhammad stood and delivered his Farewell Sermon (the Khutbat al-Wada) to the people who had accompanied him for the Hajj near the end of his life.
On this day before noon, Muslim pilgrims will arrive at the Plain of Arafa where they will observe a vigil, offer supplications, and repent for all of their sins. As they’re seeking Allah’s mercy, they will listen to Islamic scholars that offer up sermons near Mount Arafat. These observances will last from noon that day all through sunset and the practice is known as “Standing Before God.” This is considered to be one of the most significant rites of Hajj. It’s so significant, in fact, that if a Muslim pilgrim doesn’t spend the afternoon on Arafat, then their Hajj will be considered to be invalid.
For those not participating in a Hajj, then fasting is a recommended activity. According to tradition, those Muslims who fast on this day will be forgiven not only for the sins of the past year but also for the sins of the coming year as well.
For pilgrims, it’s recommended that they not fast as this will place an undue hardship on them. Besides, Muhammad didn’t fast when he stood before Allah and offered him supplications. Those who make the pilgrimage will receive the blessing of Allah. Other traditions that are observed on this holiday include saying prayers, and people prepare for Eid ul-Adha. Shia Muslims recite the Arafah prayer until sunset and this day is known as prayer day. Those people who can’t make it to Mecca will travel to other holy places such as mosques to recite this prayer.