The Best Day of the Year: the Day of Arafah

The magnificent ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are almost over and we are approaching their climax, which is the Day of Arafah (9th Dhu’l-Hijjah). On this day there is an immense outpouring of divine mercy and bounty and it is considered by many scholars to be the best day of the year.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said there is no day in which Allah saves more people from the fire than the Day of Arafah.[1] It has also been narrated that anyone who has an atom’s weight of faith in their heart will be forgiven by Allah on this day, whether or not they actually stand at Arafah.[2]

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ taught those not on hajj to fast on this day with the promise that this would wipe away the wrongdoings of the previous year and the wrongdoings of the year to come.[3] What is meant by the wrongdoings of the coming year being wiped out? The scholars mention that it is either protection from falling into them in the coming year or that if we fall into them, we will be forgiven. The wrongdoings mentioned are “minor” sins between a person and Allah, not cases where one person has wronged another. This is an immense gift from Allah to the Ummah of His Beloved ﷺ.

We should also turn to Allah to ask for forgiveness and for our needs to be answered, especially in the afternoon of this day. In doing so we imitate the people standing at `Arafah, to whom forgiveness is guaranteed, and we ask Allah to give to us what He is giving to them. As the Prophet ﷺ said: “The one who imitates a people is one of them.”[4]

We should apportion some time to recitation of the Qur’an. It has been narrated that whoever reads Surat al-Ikhlas one thousand times will be given whatever they ask for.[5] We should also bestow prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ, and spend time in other forms of remembrance, particularly tahlil, or proclaiming the oneness of Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best prayer is the prayer of the Day of `Arafah. The best thing which I and the Prophets before me have said is:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَ هَو عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَدِيرٌ

La ilaha ill’Allahu wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahu’l-mulku wa lahu’l-hamdu wa `ala kulli shayin qadir

[“There is no deity save Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belongs the dominion and all praise and He has power over all things.”[6]]

Another narration contains the following addition to the previous prayer:

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ في قَلْبي نُوراً و في سَمْعِي نوراً و في بَصَري نوراً ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْرِحْ لي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لي أَمْرِي

Allahumma’j`al fī qalbi nuran wa fī sam`i nuran wa fī basari nuran. Allahumma’shrah li sadri wa yassir li amri

[“O Allah, place light in my heart, my hearing and my sight. O Allah, My Lord bring tranquillity to my heart and give me ease in my affair.”[7]]

Sayyiduna Ali narrates that the supplication that the Prophet made most on the Day of Arafah was:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الحَمْدُ كَالَّذي نَقُولُ وخَيْراً مِمَّا نَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ صَلاتِي ونُسُكِي ومَحْيَايَ ومَمَاتِي وإِلَيْكَ مَآبِي ولَكَ رَبِّ تُرَاثِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذابِ القَبْرِ ووَسْوَسَةِ الصَّدْرِ وشَتَاتِ الأَمْرِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِن شَرِّ ما تَهُبُّ بِهِ الرِّيحُ

Allahumma laka’l-hamdu kalladhi naqulu wa kharyan mimma naqulu. Allahumma laka salati wa nusukī wa mahyaya mamati wa ilayka ma`abi wa laka rabbi turathi. Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min `adhabi’l-qabri wa waswasati’l-sadri wa shatat al-amr. Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min sharri ma tahubbu bihi’rrih.

[“O Allah, to You belongs all praise, as we praise You and better than that. O Allah, my prayer, worship, life and death are for You, and to You is my return. Everything I possess, my Lord, returns to You. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the grave, the whispering of the devil and from my affairs being in disarray. O Allah I seek refuge in You from the evil which the wind carries”[8]]

If it is possible to gather with a group of people at this time then the reward is greater and the chance of acceptance is higher. This was the way of Sayyiduna `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas and other companions and it is a tradition in Tarim, where hundreds gather in an open square after `Asr to remember Allah and make dua’ until Maghrib.


These are  adhkar and supplications to be read on this blessed day.

[1] Narrated by Muslim, al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah

[2] Narrated by Abu Daud

[3] Narrated by Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud and al-Nasa’i

[4] Narrated by Abu Daud and Ahmad

[5] Narrated by al-Hindi in Kanz al-`Ummal

[6] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi

[7] Narrated by al-Bayhaqi

[8] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi