*The different spellings of ’Arafah/t in this article are intentional. ‘Arafah’ is the singular, referring to the day of Arafah and ‘Arafat’ is the plural, referring to the ‘Plains of Arafat’.
When is the day of 'Arafah 2020?
The day of 'Arafah starts at sundown on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
What is the day of ′Arafah?
The day of Arafah falls on the ninth day of Dhu al Hijjah and it is the best day of the Islamic year.
On this day, millions of Muslims pilgrims travel to the plains of Arafat, where they first combine their Dhuhr and Asr prayers and then spend the entire day making Dua.
They stand until sunset facing the Qiblah and seeking forgiveness for their sins. This is the most important ritual of the Hajj, without which the Hajj would be incomplete.
As the Prophet (saw) said, ’Hajj is ‘Arafah’ (Nasa’i).
The thought of there being no Hajj is sad and disappointing, but it is important that we continue be steadfast in our intentions. SubhanAllah, this is an amazing opportunity to be forgiven for sins we have committed and are yet to commit, so we really need to make the most of this day, just as we did in Ramadan, when the mosques were closed for Taraweah prayers.
The day of Arafah is the pinnacle of the first ten days of Dhu al Hijjah just like how Laylatul Qadr is the pinnacle of the last ten nights of Ramadan.
We should intensify our efforts to please Allah(saw) on the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah just as we increased our prayers, Duas and righteous deeds on the last ten nights of Ramadan.
Why is the day of Arafah so important?
Firstly, it is a day when millions of our sins, both big and small are forgiven by Allah’s (saw) infinite love and mercy. For those standing on the Plains of Arafat, any sins they have committed are completely erased and they emerge from the Hajj with the purity and innocence of a new-born baby.
Even though there will be no Hajj this year, it would therefore be a wasted opportunity if we did not spend the day of Arafah, trying to be one of those people whom Allah (saw) will forgive.
The Prophet Muhammed (saw) said, ‘There is no day on which Allah (swt) frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ‘Arafah’. (Muslim)
Secondly, while Laylatul Qadr is the night on which the Quran was first revealed, the day of Arafah is when the religion of Islam was perfected. The final verses of the Quran were not yet revealed, but Allah sent down this ayah on the day of Arafah.
’It was reported from ’Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) that a Jewish man said to him,
“O Commander of the Faithful! There is an ayah in your Book, which you recite; if it had come to us the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival)”. Umar (ra) said, “Which ayah?” He said, “Today I have perfected for you your religion and completed upon you My blessing and I have chosen for you Islam as [your] religion”. ’Umar (ra) replied, “We surely know that day and the place where it was revealed upon the Prophet (saw). He was standing at ’Arafat on a Friday”’. (Bukhari)
The fact that Allah (swt) chose the day of Arafah to reveal this verse makes it a blessed day, and we should maximise our efforts to draw closer to Him on this day.
How to maxmise/reap the Rewards of The Day of Arafah
Even though we are not able to perform Hajj this year, there still plenty of opportunities to reap the rewards of this blessed day. When making your Duas, you should not neglect to make this one:
لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، له الملك ، وله الحمد ، وهو على كل شيء قدير
‘La Ilaha Ill-Allah Wahdahu La Sharika Lahu, Lahul Mulku Wa Lahul Hamdu, Wa Huwa Ala Kulli Shai’in Qadir’
(There is nothing that deserves to be worshiped in truth except Allaah, He is Alone and has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is All-Powerful over all things).
It is so recommended for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day as the Prophet (saw) said, ’It (fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah) expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year’. (Muslim).