Eid-ul-Adha: Importance, what to do on Arafat Day

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Why is Arafat Day so important?

It is the day on which Allah completed our religion, from the time it was initially sent down on the night of Laylat al-Qadr, “The Night of Power,” during the last ten days of Ramadan, until it was completed on this day, the “Day of Arafat.”

“Today I have perfected your religion and completed My blessing upon you, and I have chosen Islam as (your) religion.” (Qu’ran, 5:3)

What and where is Arafat?

Mount Arafat is a granite hill about 20km southeast of Makkah in the plain of Arafah. It is often called the “Mountain of Mercy,” because it is the hill upon which Prophet Ibrahim (as) was prepared to sacrifice his son Ismail (as) before Allah mercifully substituted a ram for sacrifice in place of the boy.

It is also the place where on this day, Hajj pilgrims pause before moving on to Makkah. They stand before God (wuquf), in contemplative vigil, offering supplications, repenting and atoning for their sins, and listening to the sermons of Islamic scholars. This vigil on Arafah is essential. Otherwise, their Hajj is considered invalid. This year, however since Hajj is confined to local pilgrims, Muslims around the world will recite their Arafah prayers at home, or in their local mosque.

Arafat Day is regarded as a day of great gratitude – expressed in the celebration of Eid ul-Adha which follows.

What to do on the Day of Arafat;

1. Arafah Prayer

We should make dua – spend as much of the day as possible in worship, with the most important times being between Dhuhr and Maghrib.

2. Arafah Fast

Fasting on the Arafat Day is recommended sunnah, and earns great reward – the forgiveness of our sins, not only in the year just gone, but in the year to come.

“It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year,” said the Prophet (saw)

Unlike at Ramadan, fasting at this time is optional for Muslims, but is expected for all those not performing hajj in Arafah. For we believe our fasting will reap us great benefits, and ensure our sins will be forgiven.

3. Seek Forgiveness

Asking Allah (SWT) for the forgiveness of our sins.

“There is no day wherein Allah (SWT) sets free more slaves from Hellfire than the Day of Arafat.” The Prophet (saw) 

4. Make the repeated utterings of Dhikr 

5. Give a Prophetic Qurbani

If we can afford to, giving extra Qurbani brings extra rewards on the Day of Arafah – doubling our benefit to others by providing even more families with the meat of our sacrifice, to be enjoyed during the days of Eid al-Adha.