The Significance of the Day of Arafah
Why this Day is named Arafah?
The Day of Arafah is one of the most blessed and sanctified days. In traditions, we can see that it is narrated, “People who weren’t able to achieve their purpose and goal in Laylatul Qadr or those who weren’t forgiven on that day, Arafah is the last opportunity for them”. This day in its blessedness, sacredness and holiness weighs the same as the Night of Qadr. In days there is no bigger day than Arafah and in Nights there is no superior night than Laylatul Qadr!”
Prophets have been especially blessed on this day. Prophet Musa received many consecrations on this day, likewise Hazrat Adam accomplished his purpose on this day too.
There are a few A’mal (Recommended rituals) for this day and the first of which is to be present on the Plains of Arafah. Pilgrims have to gather in a desert over there from Zohr to Maghrib and have to spend the same night at Muzdalifah (Mash’ar) after which the pilgrims go the Valley of Mina.
Someone asked Imam Ali,
“Why does Hajj have such kind of a sequence?”
what he meant to say was after becoming a Muhrim(after wearing the ihram) one needs to go out of Mecca, out of the Haram and then come back later on after a few obligations.
In reply to the query Imam told him that a person who comes from his polluted tedious life into such a Holy place, he is not prepared for it and for this reason he is sent to such plains and valleys so that he can be trained and made capable of going to the Ka’ba. One’s condition is recognized when one visits the House of Allah, and the style of circumambulating shows how engrossed the person was in his daily mundane earlier. This is why he is sent to Arafah where he spends half a day then a whole night in Muzdalifah, following 3 days in Mina and then he returns back to the Haram of God. Imam says that Allah has kept His Wisdom behind this sequence. He wants a person to leave the old routine and be prepared to that extent that he can step into the next phase.
- So the first land and “STOP” assigned for the training of Pilgrims is the Plains of Arafah.
- Those pilgrims present over there are blessed,
- But people far off who haven’t had the opportunity to be there they should know that, they have been blessed with the Day and Time of Arafah even if they are deprived of the Land of Arafah.
- Hence we can even be part of the hajis present over there. We can walk on the same footsteps they are supposed to walk on. We can achieve the purpose of Arafah sitting over here which the pilgrims will achieve sitting on the plains of Arafah.
Imam Ali says that perhaps it seems that there are different gates of the Haram of Allah if you look at it, one being Arafah, one Mina, and one Mash’ ar .The true aim behind this is that one who has been ignorant of Allah comes out of his/her ignorance and pays attention towards the Almighty and comes and knocks the door every now and then with the sincerity of the heart.
Meaning of Arafah
Arafah is called “Arafah” because it is the land of “Ma’rifah”, it is the Day of knowing your Lord and recognizing Him.
There are two important things for one to know:
1) Ones Lord
2) One’s own self.
It is the day to recognize yourself and your Creator. The famous saying which goes,
“Whoever recognizes himself, recognizes his Creator” is narrated for this Day.
Secondly, the Day of Arafah is the “Day of Acceptance and Confession”. This confession is of many things which can lead us to our sublime goal, confession of us being servants of God, confession of Allah being the Supreme Lord, confession of our sins, defects, ignorance, immoralities, mistakes, failure, and confession of Allah’s Mercy, Benevolence, and Forgiveness.
This Day is for Allah’s special mercy, which is bestowed on the Momineen (Believers),
Whereas on the other hand every day we live and spend by is because of the general mercy of Allah which is bestowed on everybody be it Muslim, Hindu, a Disbeliever, Hypocrite, so on and so forth.
Source: Maulana Syed Jawad Naqvi