Hajj & Umra

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  2. Virtue of Day of ‘Arafah and State of Righteous Predecessors Therein

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    All praise is due to Allah only, and may His blessings and peace be upon the Messenger after whom there are no Messengers.

    The day of ‘Arafah is among the most virtuous days. On that day, supplications are answered, sins are forgiven, and Allah boasts to the angels of the people of ‘Arafat. It is a day that Allah granted a great value to and favored over other days. It is the day of perfecting the religion and completing the favor and the day of forgiveness of sins and salvation from Hell.

    You should know the virtues of this day, how Allah favored it over other days and the guidance of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) therein.

    We ask Allah to save us from Hell on that great day.

    The Virtues of the Day of ‘Arafah are:

    1)  It is the day on which the religion was perfected and the favor was completed:

    ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that a Jew once said to him, "'O Commander of the believers! There is a verse in your Book that you (Muslims) read, and had it been revealed to us, the Jews, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.' ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab asked, 'What 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….} [Quran 5:3]' ‘Umar replied, 'No doubt, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). It was Friday, and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was standing at ‘Arafah (i.e. the day of Hajj).'" [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

    2)  The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "The day of ‘Arafah, the day of Nahr (slaughtering), and the days of Tashreeq (the 3 days following the day of Nahr) are a feast for us, the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking (i.e. not fasting)." [ At-Tirmithi]

    It was also narrated that ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab said, "It (the verse (what means): {…This day I have perfected for you your religion...} [Quran 5:3]) was revealed on a Friday and on the day of ‘Arafah; both of which, all praise be to Allah, are feasts for us."

    3)  It is a day by which Allah Almighty swore:

    The Great One only swears by something great. The day of ‘Arafah is the witnessed day about which Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And [by] the witness and what is witnessed.} [Quran 85:3] Abu Hurayrah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the day of ‘Arafah and the witnessing day is Friday." [At-Tirmithi; Al-Albani: good]

    It is the odd by which Allah swore in the verse (what means): {And [by] the even [number] and the odd.} [Quran 89:3] Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him commented on this verse saying, "The even is the day of Adh-ha and the odd is the day of ‘Arafah." That was also said by ‘Ikrimah and Adh-Dhahhak.

    4)  The fasting of the day of ‘Arafah expiates two years:

    Abu Qatadah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was asked about fasting the day of ‘Arafah, whereupon he said, "It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year." [Muslim]

    This is recommended for those who are not performing Hajj. However, it is not the Sunnah for a pilgrim to fast the day of ‘Arafah, because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) abandoned fasting it, and it was narrated that he prohibited fasting the day of ‘Arafah at ‘Arafah.

    5)  It is the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Aadam:

    Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:

    Allah took the covenant from Aadam’s loin in Na’man (i.e. ‘Arafah), then Allah created from Aadam’s loin all his offspring, then Allah spread them before His Hands and then addressed them directly, Saying (what means): {…."Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we have testified." [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, "Indeed, we were of this unaware." Or [lest] you say, "It was only that our fathers associated [others in worship] with Allah before, and we were but descendants after them. Then would You destroy us for what the falsifiers have done?"} [Quran 7:172-173]" [Ahmad; Al-Albani: authentic]

    What a Great Day and What a Great Covenant!

    6) It is the day of forgiveness of sins, salvation from Hell and boasting about the people of ‘Arafah:

    ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "There is no day when Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than the day of ‘Arafah. He draws near and then boasts of them to the angels and says: What do these want?" [Muslim]

    Moreover, it was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "Allah boasts to the angels on the day of ‘Arafah of the people of ‘Arafah and says, ‘Look at My slaves, how disheveled and dusty they came to Me." [Ahmad; Al-Albani: authentic]

    The pilgrim should give due care to the reasons for which one hopes to be saved and forgiven; including:

    * Preserving his body against forbidden acts on that day. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that Al-Fadhl ibn ‘Abbaas was sitting behind the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) on the day of ‘Arafah. The young man kept looking at women, and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) kept changing the direction of his face, and the young man would still look at them. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "My nephew, on this day, whoever controls his hearing, eyesight, and tongue will be forgiven." [Ahmad]

    * Frequently reciting Tahleel (There is none worthy of worship except Allah), Tasbeeh (Glory be to Allah) and Takbeer (Allah is the Greatest) on that day. Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said, “We were along with the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) in the morning of ‘Arafah. Some of us pronounced Takbeer and some of us Tahleel.” [Muslim]

    * Frequently supplicating for forgiveness and salvation from Hell on that day as supplication is more likely to be answered on that day. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:

    The best supplication is that of the day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing that I and other Prophets before me said, is, "La Ilaaha Illallah, wahdahu laa Shareeka lah. Lahul mulk wa lahul Hamd wa Huwa ‘alaa kull Shay’in Qadeer." (There is no god but Allah, the only true God, Who has no partner. To Him belongs the dominion (of the universe) and to Him all praises are due. And He has the power to do everything).” [At-Tirmithi; Al-Albani: good]

    On that great day, the Muslim should devote himself to Thikr (remembrance of Allah), supplication, and seeking forgiveness. One should supplicate for himself, his parents, his family, and all Muslims. He should not be excessive in supplicating against his enemies nor feel that the answer to his supplications is late or delayed. He should also supplicate persistently. Blessed is the slave who knows how to supplicate on the day of supplication.

    * Beware, dear pilgrim, of the sins that hinder forgiveness on that day, such as persistence in grave, major sins such as arrogance, lying, backbiting, tale bearing, and other sins; how come you hope to be saved from Hell while you persist in grave major sins and misdeeds? How do you hope to be forgiven while you are challenging Allah with acts of disobedience on that great day?

    * From among the manners of supplication on that day is that the pilgrim should face the Qiblah (the prayer direction), humbly raise his hands to his Lord, admit his shortcomings with regards to the Right of Allah, and with sincere repentance.

    The guidance of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) on the day of ‘Arafah:

    Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

    When the sun of the ninth day rose, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) proceeded from Mina to ‘Arafah, accompanied by his Companions. Some of them recited Talbiyah and others recited Takbeer. He heard this and did not prohibit any of them. He stayed at Namirah until shortly after the sun declined from the mid of the sky when he ordered his she-camel, named Al-Qaswa’, to be saddled. Then he proceeded to the middle of the valley in the land of ‘Uranah. He then delivered a great Khutbah (sermon) while sitting upon his camel. Therein, he established the basics of Islam and abolished the basics of Shirk (polytheism) and the pre-Islamic days of ignorance. He also confirmed the forbidden issues that all religions forbade.

    The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) delivered one Khutbah, not two. When he completed it, he ordered Bilaal, so he called for the prayer, then he pronounced the Iqaamah (second, small call for prayer). Thus, he prayed two Rak’ahs (units of prayer) for Thuhr with silent recitation. Bilaal made a second Iqaamah and he led the ‘Asr prayer as two Rak’ahs also. The inhabitants of Mecca, no doubt, performed the shortened and combined prayer with him. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) did not tell them to perform the prayer in full and did not forbid them from combining the two prayers.

    When he finished his prayer, he drove till he reached the place of standing. He stood at the foot of the mountain on the rocks, faced the Qiblah, and made the majority of the people walk on foot before his hands. He was on his camel. He kept supplicating, humbling himself, and sincerely invocating till sunset. He commanded the people to stay above the middle of the valley of ‘Uranah and said that ‘Arafah is not exclusive to his place of standing; rather, he said, "I am standing here, but all of ‘Arafah is a place of standing."

    He commanded the people to be keen on their rituals as they are the heritage of their father Ibraaheem. Thereupon, some people from Najd came and asked him about Hajj, so he answered, "Hajj is ‘Arafah. If anyone comes over there before the dawn prayer on the night of Al-Muzdalifah, then his Hajj will be complete. The days of Mina are three days. Then whoever hastens (his departure) by two days, it is no sin for him, and whoever delays it, there is no sin for him." In his supplications, he used to raise his hands to his chest, and he informed them that the best supplication is that of the day of ‘Arafah.

    When the sun had completely set, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) serenely departed from ‘Arafah with Usamah ibn Zayd riding behind him. He pulled the reins of his camel back toward him [to slow its pace] until its head touched the edge of the saddle (so it walked very slowly). He said, "O people, be calm. You will not realize righteousness through hastening."

    He continued reciting the Talbiyah along the way. At one point, he dismounted, answered the call of nature, and then performed a light ablution. Usamah said to him, "Prayer, O Messenger of Allah." Thereupon he said, "The prayer is ahead of you (at Muzdalifah)."

    He proceeded until he reached Muzdalifah, where he performed ablution for the prayer and ordered the Athaan and the Iqaamah to be called. He performed the Maghrib prayer before making camp and have the camels kneel. After making camp, he ordered a second Iqaamah, but without an Athaan. He performed the ‘Ishaa’ prayer without any prayer between Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’. He then slept until dawn and did not spend the night in worship. There are no authentic narrations about the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) offering prayer during the nights of the two ‘Eeds.

    The States of the Righteous Predecessors in ‘Arafah:

    The states of the righteous predecessors in ‘Arafah varied. Fear and modesty prevailed over some of them: Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah and Bakr Al-Muzani stood in ‘Arafah. One of them said, "O Allah, do not reject the people of ‘Arafah because of me." The other said, "What an honorable place and deserving of hope to a Lord, if only I was not with them!"

    On the other hand, hope prevailed over others. Ibn Al-Mubarak said, "I came to Sufyan Ath-Thawri on the night of ‘Arafah while he was sitting on his knees and weeping bitterly. He turned to me. I asked him, "Who is the worst in condition among this gathering?" He replied, "Whoever thinks that Allah will not forgive him."

    The Slave Between the two States

    When you consider, dear pilgrim, the states of the righteous predecessors on that day, know that yours should be between sincere fear and praised hope, as their state was.

    Sincere fear: it is that which prevents one from committing the deeds forbidden by Allah The Almighty. If it exceeds this limit, it is feared that it reaches the level of hopelessness and despair.

    Praised hope: It is the hope of a slave who obeyed Allah upon the light and insight granted to him by Allah; thus, he hopes to attain the reward of Allah. Otherwise, it is the hope of a slave who committed a sin, repented of it, and returned to Allah. Thus, he hopes to attain His forgiveness and pardon.

    Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the Cause of Allah – those expect the Mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 2:218]

    You should, dear pilgrim, in this great place and on this blessed day, gather both feelings; fear and hope. Thus, you fear the punishment and torture of Allah and hope to attain His forgiveness and reward.

    Congratulations for those who Stood at ‘Arafah:

    Congratulations for you, dear pilgrim, you whom Allah granted standing in ‘Arafah next to people who race to Allah with yearning hearts and flowing tears. Among them, there are many fearful slaves who were disturbed and worried by fear. Others are loving slaves who suffer passionate yearning. Many of them are hopeful slaves who trust the promise of Allah and its sincerity. There are also many repentant slaves who made their repentance sincere and true for the sake of Allah. There are refugees resorting to the door of Allah and knocking on it.

    Many of them deserve Hell, but Allah rescued them, saved them, and freed them from the heaviest burdens. Thereupon, the Most Merciful Lord looks at them and boasts about their gathering to the residents of heavens. Then, He comes near and says, "What do these people want? We have, upon their arrival, protected them against deprivation, and the Merciful has granted them their ultimate requests."

    May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon Muhammad and all his family and Companions.

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