The Best Day of the Year: the Day of Arafah

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.

Please find below beneficial pointers and a collection of  adhkar and supplications to be read on this blessed day.

We ask Allah Most High to accept our worship and good deeds performed during these magnificent ten days, and to forgive our sins and shortcomings. We ask Him to grant the pilgrims an accepted and well-rewarded Hajj, and to grant them a safe return.

We would also like to wish everyone a blessed Eid and the best ending to this hijri year.

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 قَدِيرٍ

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.

 


[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

 

Weekly Salawat: Salat of Dhu'l-Hijjah

In these days we want true prayer, true fasting, true recitation of the Qur’an and a true connection to the blessed Prophet ﷺ so that we can be close to him on the Day of Gathering, so that we can be with the best of people who come to drink from his pure Pool. O Allah, allow us to drink from his Pool, O Loving One, O Most Generous, O Most Merciful!

~ Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him)

Sayyidi Habib Umar and many of the pious read the following prayer during these blessed days. They ask for their prayers to be multiplied by the number of people performing hajj and by the actions they are performing:


اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ مَا اتَّصَلتِ العُيُونُ بِالنَّظَر وَتَزْخَرَفَتِ الأَرَضُونَ بِالْمَطَر، وَحَجَّ حَاجٌّ واعْتَمَر وَلَـبَّى وَحَلَقَ وَنَحَرَ وَطَافَ بَالبِيْتِ العَتِيقِ وَقَبَّلَ الْحَجَر وَعَلَى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ

Allahumma salli `ala sayyidina Muhammad ma’ttasalati’l-`uyunu bi-nnazar wa tazakhrafat al-araduna bi’l-matar wa hajj hajjun w’a`tamar wa labba wa halaqa wa nahar wa tafa bi’l-bayti’l-`atiqi wa qabbala’l-hajar wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

O Allah, bestow prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions as much as the eyes see, as much as the earth becomes verdant after rainfall and equal to the number of people making Hajj and `Umrah, saying “labbayk,” shaving their heads, making tawaf around the Ancient House and kissing the Stone.

 

Dhikr for Dhu’l-Hijjah

Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) recommends reciting the following 30,000 times in Dhu’l-Hijjah.

The Prophet said that in the blessed Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah we should make abundant tahlil (saying la ilaha ill’Allah), takbir (saying Allahu akbar) and tahmid (saying alhamdulillah).

سُبْحَانَ اللهِ والحَمْدُ للهِ وَلا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ واللهُ أَكْبَرُ ولا حَوْلَ ولا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللهِ العَلِيِّ العَظِيْمِ

Subhanallah wa’l-hamdulillah wa la ilaha ill’allah wa’llahu akbar wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahi’l-`aliyyi’l-`azim

Transcendent is Allah; all praise belongs to Allah; there is no deity save Allah; Allah is most great; there is no strength or power save by Allah, the Most High, the Almighty.

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The First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah

Kaabah

We are about to enter the blessed month of Dhu`l-Hijjah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ informed us that there are no days in which righteous actions are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of this month.1 For that reason some scholars have ruled that these days are better than the final ten days of Ramadan, although the nights of Ramadan are superior to these nights. Allah Himself swears by “the Ten Nights” in Surat al-Fajr, which is sufficient evidence of their greatness. Most of the scholars say that these are the first ten nights (and days) of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said that the reason that these days have been accorded such merit is that it is only in these days that all the most important of acts of worship are performed: prayer, fasting, giving charity and hajj.

The Prophet ﷺ said that fasting one of these days is equal to the reward of fasting for a whole year and standing in one of these nights in prayer is equal to standing in prayer on Laylat al-Qadr.2 It has also been narrated that the reward for actions in these days is multiplied seven hundred times.

This is not to mention the Day of Arafah (the 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah) which is the greatest day of the year. Fasting that day wipes out the sins of the previous year and the year to come. Read more about the Day of Arafah here.
If we are unable to fast the first nine days of the month, we should at least fast the Day of Arafah. If we are able to fast two or three days then by fasting Monday or Thursday or both we will gain the reward of following the Sunnah. Likewise by fasting three of these days we will have performed the Sunnah of fasting three days in every month.

These are days in which we should remember Allah abundantly. Allah says that they remember the name of Allah on well-known days.3 These “well-known days” according to the majority of scholars are the ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. This is why the Prophet said ﷺ that in these days we should make abundant tahlil (saying la ilaha ill’Allah), takbir (saying Allahu akbar) and tahmid (saying alhamdulillah).4 Sayyiduna `Abdullah Ibn `Umar and Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah would go into the marketplace in Madinah in these days and raise their voices with the takbir. The people in the marketplace would then raise their voices with the takbir in response. Thus the most hated place to Allah, a place where most people are heedless of Him, was filled with His remembrance.

Whether it be prayer, fasting, charity, remembrance, seeking knowledge, helping people, any righteous actions we do will be greatly rewarded and beyond that are beloved to Allah. This is also a time when prayers are answered by Allah.

Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) reminds us that the linguistic meaning of hajj is seeking or intending. Thus the people of Allah are constantly performing hajj because they are constantly seeking Allah. Just as their whole year is Ramadan, likewise their whole year is hajj. Just as those performing hajj respond to the call of Allah by saying “labbayk”, they are swift to respond to the call of Allah. They take themselves to account and leave that which is disliked and dubious in all their states and actions. They reject the desires of their lower selves and they are the furthest of people from that which is prohibited. They constantly receive new blessings from their Lord so they constantly renew their ihram.5 Day and night they make tawaf around the House of their Lord, the One to Whom they turn themselves with absolute sincerity until nothing remains in them which is directed to other than Allah.

 

Actions that Carry the Reward of Hajj

Nothing of course can equal actually performing the hajj and worshipping Allah in those blessed places. Allah knows that many people long to make hajj every year but are unable to do so. Out of His generosity, He made the reward for certain actions similar to the reward of a supererogatory hajj.

  1. Remembering Allah from Fajr until Ishraq. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever prays Subh (Fajr) in congregation and then sits in the place where he prayed remembering Allah until the sun rises and then prays two rakats has the reward of a complete hajj and `umrah.” He repeated “complete” three times.6
  2. Attending a gathering of knowledge. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The one who goes out to the mosque wanting only to learn good or teach it has the reward of a complete hajj.”7
  3. Going to the mosque for the congregational prayer. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever performs ablution in his house and then goes out to perform the obligatory prayer in the mosque has a reward similar to a person performing hajj. Whoever goes out to perform the mid-morning prayer (Duha) has a reward similar to the reward of a person performing `umrah.”8
  4. Performing the Friday Prayer. Sayyiduna Sa`id Ibn al-Musayyib said performing the Friday Prayer is “more beloved to me than a supererogatory hajj.”
  5. Performing the Eid Prayer. One of the Companions said: “Going out to pray Eid al-Fitr is equal to performing `umrah and going out to pray Eid al-Adha is equal to performing hajj.”
  6. Fulfilling the needs of your brother or sister. Sayyiduna Hasan al-Basri said: “Going to fulfill the need of your brother is better for you than performing one hajj after another.”
  7. Being good to your parents. The Prophet ﷺ commanded one of the Companions to be good to his mother. If you do so, he said: “You are someone performing hajj, someone performing `umrah and someone striving for the sake of Allah (mujahid).”
  8. Performing obligatory actions. The slave can only draw near to Allah by performing supererogatory actions after first having performed that which is obligatory. This includes purifying one’s heart from forbidden attributes and safeguarding one’s tongue and limbs from committing forbidden actions. All of this is much harder on the lower self than many supererogatory acts of worship.

Finally there is no action more beloved to Allah on the Day of Eid than making a sacrifice. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ told his beloved daughter Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra’ that she would be forgiven for her previous wrongdoings with the first drop of blood to be shed from the sacrificed animal. She asked if this reward was specifically for the household of the Prophet and he replied: “For us and for all the Muslims.”

Rafah Foundation is performing qurbani/udhiyah in Tarim. The meat will be distributed to poor people in Tarim and the surrounding area and refugees who have fled their homes in other parts of Yemen due to conflict.

Read more here

These are adhkar that many of the pious people would recite during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Habib Umar recommends reciting them.

Download here

 —

1 Narrated by al-Bukhari, Abu Da'ud, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah

2 Narrated al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah

3 Al-Hajj, 22:28

4 Narrated by Ahmad

5 The state of sanctity in which the pilgrim approaches Allah

6 Narrated by al-Tirmidhi

7 Narrated by al-Tabarani

8 Narrated by Abu Daud

Advice for Those Not on Hajj

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What can we do at this time if we are unable to go on Hajj?

  • We should focus on the objectives of Hajj and seek to realise them. For example, we should seek to attain humility before Allah and servitude to Him.
  • On Hajj we leave behind some of the things which we are accustomed to. Those who are not performing Hajj should try to do the same by, for example, performing different types of worship.
  • We should try to strengthen love and brotherhood between ourselves.
  • We should try to assist the poor and perform the sacrifice (udhiyah/qurbani).
  • We should take advantage of the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah by fasting as many days as we can and by standing in prayer during its nights. We should encourage our family members to do the same.
  • We should try to assist and support those going on Hajj and their families who are left behind. The Prophet ﷺ said that the one who assists someone going out for the sake of Allah has the same reward as that person.
  • We should pray for those performing Hajj and thereby receive a portion of the reward which they are receiving.
  • We should try to gather together when everyone is gathered together at Arafat to pray to Allah and seek to receive the mercy which is descending there. We should gather together on that day even if it is not the Day of Arafat (9th Dhu’l-Hijjah) where we are.

The Days of Tashrīq

The three days following `Īd al-Aḍḥā are the Days of Tashrīq (the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah). These days are mentioned by Allah when He says: Remember Allah during the Appointed Days.[1] The Messenger of Allah ﷺ described them as days of eating and drinking and remembrance of Allah.[2] Fasting is thus forbidden on `Īd and the Days of Tashrīq. Just as we tried to draw close to Allah by fasting before `Īd, we now draw close to Him by enjoying that which He has bestowed us with. All that the slave must do is obey the order of his Lord, knowing that therein is His pleasure and safety from following his own caprice.

Anyone who wishes to fast the White Days must not fast on the 13th of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah. They can fast the 14th, 15th and 16th instead.



[1] Al-Baqarah, 2:203

[2] Narrated by Muslim, Aḥmad and al-Nasā’ī