There he is; his face has turned black, pouring soil upon his head and crying out for his own destruction. When Satan sees the gathering of the Muslims on the day of ‘Arafah and the mercy that their Lord sends down upon them, he is bitter, enraged and feels humiliated.
Al-‘Abbaas Ibn Al-Midraas said, “The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam supplicated abundantly for the forgiveness and mercy of his Ummah on the night of ‘Arafaat … the next day he did the same in Muzdalifah. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam smiled when he finished. Some of the Sahaabah asked: “I sacrifice my father and mother for your sake, you smiled at a time which you never smiled previously, may Allaah always make you happy, what made you smile?” he said, “I smiled because of the predicament of Satan, the enemy of Allaah. After Allaah accepted my supplications for my Ummah and forgave those who transgressed against themselves. Satan started pouring soil upon his head and crying out for his own destruction, so I smiled at his grief” (Ahmad).
Iblees, The enemy of Allaah, was never seen more humiliated and enraged than on the day of the battle of Badr – except on the day of ‘Arafah. On that day he sees the mercy that Allaah sends down and His forgiveness of sins
The day of ‘Arafah is the day in which the mercy of Allaah descends, but what do we mean by mercy? Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Allaah has divided Mercy into one hundred parts, He kept ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down one part to the earth, and because of that one single part, His creatures are merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoof away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it” (Bukhaari).
If one part of the mercy Allaah guided people to Islaam, the Qur’aan, Salaah and put mercy into their hearts, then how would things be with the full hundred parts in The Hereafter – the eternal dwelling place and the home of reward?
‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “Captives were brought to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam after a battle. Among them was a woman desperately searching for something. When she laid her eyes on a baby she immediately picked it up, clutched it to her breast and started feeding it”. Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam asked: “Do you think this woman would throw her baby into a fire?” we said: ‘Never! By Allaah! – she would never allow this to happen’, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam then said: “Allaah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her baby” (Muslim).
The mercy of Allaah is overwhelming and sins don’t hinder it. To realise this, it is enough to know that Allaah ordered His slaves to expose themselves to His mercy regardless of the extent of sinfulness that they have reached. Allaah says that which translates as: “Say ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves (by sinning), do not despair of the mercy of Allaah. Indeed, Allaah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful” (Az-Zumar: 53).
There is no other day on which the extent of forgiveness and mercy reaches such a level like the day of ‘Arafah. On ‘Arafaat Allaah frees people from the Hellfire, as ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, narrated in the book of Muslim, that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “There is no day greater than ‘Arafaat in which Allaah frees His slaves from The Hellfire. Allaah ‘Yadnoo’ (which indicates coming close) to His slaves and boasts about them to the angels, then asks: “What do these slaves seek?”(This is a rhetorical question). In another narration Allaah says that which translates as: “I make you witnesses that I forgave them” the angels would then say, “O Allaah! So and so is overburdened with sins” Allaah replies, “I forgave them all” (Ibn Khuzaymah).
Al-Mannaawi said: “The fact that Allaah boasted to the angels denotes His forgiveness, because Allaah would not have boasted in front of the pure and sin-free angels, unless the pilgrim had become clear of all sins”.
Bilaal, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said to him in the morning when people gathered (in Muzdalifah): “O Bilaal! Tell the people to be silent!” then he said to them: “Allaah blessed you in this gathering and forgave the sinful among you due to the fact that you were amid the pious – and He granted the pious what they asked for” (Ibn Maajah).
Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was described in his Du’aa’, as having his hands in the same position that a needy person would have when asking for food (i.e. outstretched and together whilst raising them up).
Haakim Ibn Hizaam, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to stand in ‘Arafaat bringing one hundred camels and one hundred slaves (he was only obliged to slaughter one seventh of a camel). He would then start freeing the slaves for the sake of Allaah. The people would then start crying loudly with Du’aa’ saying: “O Allaah! Your slave freed his slaves, and we too are Your slaves, so free us (from the Hellfire).”
Al-Fudhayl saw the supplications of people and their weeping on the night of ‘Arafaat and asked the crowds: “If these people went to a man and asked him for a Daaniq (a very small amount of money), would he refuse?” The people said: ‘No’ he said, “Allaah’s forgiveness is even easier to obtain than that”.
Ibn Al-Mubaarak said: “I went to Sufyaan Ath-Thawri on the night of ‘Arafaat and he was kneeling down and crying”, I asked him, “Who is the worst person in this gathering?” he said:“He who thinks Allaah will not forgive him”.
A terrified man stood in ‘Arafaat but he was too reluctant to supplicate, due to the extent of sins he had committed. He was asked: “Why don’t you supplicate?” he replied: “I feel I cannot due to my sins” The people said to him: “But it is the day of forgiveness”, so the man raised his hands and supplicated and continued to do so until he died in that state.
These are just a few of the many wonderful stories that you hear from this blessed and pure land. Here you will see people supplicate with humbleness, repentance and regret; they will cry over their sins and shortcomings. Many are those who asked forgiveness and were forgiven; who cried and pledged to refrain from sinning and had their sins wiped out. Many come out of ‘Arafaat sinless with joyful hearts and happy faces.
If only you could see these crowds shunning this life and sincerely seeking the Hereafter to the extent that it is as if the earth could not recognise them, although it felt the heat of their burning hearts. They shed tears trying to gain salvation, hundreds of thousands supplicating and crying in different languages, yet this never confuses Allaah the exalted, The All-Hearing and The All-Seeing, nor would a question get Him distracted from concurrently answering other questions.
‘Arafaat is an introduction to Yawm An-Nahr (the day of sacrifice). It involves standing, supplication and repentance. Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah) after standing in ‘Arafaat is called ‘The visiting Tawaaf’ because having been purified from their sins, Allaah permitted the people, on the day of sacrifice, to visit His house. The day of ‘Arafah purifies the people for the day of sacrifice.
It is enough of an honour for ‘Arafah that Allaah swore by it in His Book, as He says that which translates to: “By the dawn. And (by) ten nights. And (by) the night when it passes” (Al-Fajr: 1-3). It is the day on which Allaah took the covenant from the children of Aadam and they testified to the oneness of Allaah. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Allaah took the covenant from children of Adam on the day of ‘Arafah, and He brought forth from their loins their descendants and then scattered them and spoke to them asking? “Am I not your Lord?”” (Al-A’raaf: 172)” (Ahmad).
If ‘Arafaat coincides with Jumu’ah (Friday) then it will have extra virtue for several reasons:
· Having the best two days combined.
· Jum’uah has an hour in which supplications are definitely accepted and the people of ‘Arafaat would be supplicating in that hour for sure.
· The size of the congregation would be increased, because the gathering of people for ‘Arafaat would coincide with that of those around the world who come to attend the Jumu’ahsermon. This means having a greater number of people supplicating concurrently.
· Joining two days of ‘Eid since Jumu’ah is the weekly ‘Eid and ‘Arafaat is like ‘Eid for those who are there (due to the gathering of the people, the descent of Allaah’s mercy and the joy).
· Joining the Shaahid (Jumu’ah) and the Mash-hood (‘Arafaat). Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said regarding the saying of Allaah which translates to: “And by the witnessing day (Shaahid) and the witnessed day (Mush-hood)” (Al-Burooj: 3), “Shaahid is Jumu’ah, and Mash-hood is‘Arafaat” (Ibn Al-Qayyim).
· This occurred when the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam performed his Hajj.
As for those who were unable to perform Hajj: Let he who missed standing in ‘Arafaat fulfil all the other rights of Allaah; he who could not spend the night in Muzdalifah, let him pledge to obey Allaah in all other matters; he who could not slaughter his sacrifice, let him give up his whims and desires and he who could not reach the house of Allaah (Ka’bah), let him supplicate to Allaah – The One Who is nearer (in knowledge) when asked, than ones jugular vein. For those who could not make it to ‘Arafaat, Allaah legislated righteous acts instead, such as fasting on that day. Abu Qataadah narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Fasting it (‘Arafaat) expiates the sins of the previous and the coming year” (Muslim)one can fast that day alone, even that means singling out Friday for fasting.
Fasting the days of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah is prohibited except for those who cannot sacrifice. Ibn ‘Umar said, “No permission was given to fast these days except for those who cannot afford the sacrifice” (Bukhaari). The majority of scholars have said: “This ruling applies to those in Hajj and others”
It the Sunnah to recite Takbeer, “Allaahu Akbar” generally in these days, and particularly after the obligatory Salaah starting Fajr of the day of ‘Arafah for those not in Hajj, and Dhuhr of the day of sacrifice for those in Hajj; Both continue until the last day (the thirteenth).