Day of Arafa
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|Day of Arafa|
|Official name||Arabic: يوم عرفة|
|Also called||The Day of Repentance|
|Significance||Commemoration of prophet Muhammad's final sermon and completion of the message of Islam. Marks the final day of the Pilgrimage or Hajj for the millions of Muslims who make the trip to Mecca each year. A day on which Muslims fast to repent for their sins.|
|Observances||Prayer, Fasting, Repentance|
|Ends||9 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|2013 date||October 14|
|2014 date||October 3 |
|Related to||Eid ul-Adha, the major Islamic festival, which occurs the day after the Day of Arafa|
The Day of Arafah (Arabic: يوم عرفة) is an Islamic Holy Day, in which the verse of the Qur'an was revealed which explained that is said that the religion had been perfected. The Day falls on the 9th day of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic Calendar. This happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the day after is the first day of the major Islamic Holiday of Eid ul-Adha. At dawn of this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafa and the Plain of Arafa. It was from this site that Muhammad gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life.
Virtues of the Day of Arafah
There are numerous virtues claimed for the 9th of Dhu ’l-Hijjah which is known as yawm al-‘Arafah. This is the day where the pilgrims assemble on the plain of ‘Arafah to complete one of the essential rituals of the Hajj.
It is claimed that this is the day the religion was perfected and the blessings of Allah were complete. The following verse was revealed to Muhammad on the day of ‘Arafah:Allah says: “Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My blessing upon you, and chosen Islam as Dīn (religion and a way of life) for you”. (Al Maidah: V3)
The completion of Allah’s blessing refers to forgiveness for ones sins by Allah, as without it the blessings of Allah cannot be complete. This brings to light the importance of being forgiven by Allah.
Fasting on Arafah day is an expiation for sins committed the year before and the year after:
حدثنا أحمد بن عبدة أنبأنا حماد بن زيد حدثنا غيلان بن جرير عن عبد الله بن معبد الزماني عن أبي قتادة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صيام يوم عرفة إني أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله والتي بعده
Abu Qatadah is reported to have said that Muhammad said: "Fasting on the day of 'Arafah is an expiation (of sins) for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. (Reported by Ibn Majah)
Occurrence in Hadith Literature
Abu Qatada al-Ansari reported that Muhammad was asked about his fasting. He was asked about perpetual fasting, whereupon he said: He neither fasted nor did he break it, or he did not fast and he did not break it. He was then asked about fasting for two days and breaking one day. He (Muhammad) said: And who has strength enough to do it? He was asked about fasting for a day and breaking for two days, whereupon he said: May Allah bestow upon us strength to do it. He was then asked about fasting for a day and breaking on the other, whereupon he said: That is the fasting of my brother David. He was then asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: It was the day on which I was born. on which I was commissioned with prophethood or revelation was sent to me, (and he further) said: Three days' fasting every month and of the whole of Ramadan every year is a perpetual fast. He was asked about fasting on the day of 'Arafa (9th of Dhu'I-Hijja), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year. He was asked about fasting on the day of 'Ashura (10th of Muharram), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year. The Book of Fasting (Kitab Al-Sawm) Muslim :: Book 6 : Hadith 2603
In Saheeh Muslim it was narrated from Aa'ishah that Muhammad said:
'There is no day on which Allaah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafaah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, 'What do these people want?'
Day of Arafa in the Gregorian calendar
While the Day of Arafa is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Each year, the Day of Arafa (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International date line. Furthermore, some countries follow the date in Saudi Arabia rather than the astronomically determined local calendar.
- 2006: December 29
- 2007: December 19
- 2008: December 7
- 2009: November 26
- 2010: November 15
- 2011: November 5
- 2012: October 25
- 2013: October 14