By Iman Amin
On the day of ‘Arafah; The 2nd day of Hajj, the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, pilgrims stand on the plain of ‘Arafah to pray. It is also the day our religion was perfected for us, as Umar (ra) narrated that the following verse from Surah al Maa’idah was revealed on this day:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maa’idah 5:]
Ibn Abbas (ra) also states in a narration regarding the first ten days of dhul Hijjah: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.”
How eager we were seeking reward during Ramadan, and how quickly its days left us! A dear friend of mine put it beautifully when she said “The days and nights of dhul hijjah have come to honour every beggar whose heart ached for Ramadan, race to the rahma (mercy) of Allah”. One cannot complain that the days of Ramadan have passed us whilst ignoring the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, simply because the reward available is too much to ignore. You can’t help but be grateful for the opportunities Allah has given us, because this is a time where many of us are now slacking in our ibaadah again, and now the mercy of Allah has come to pick us up and bring us back on track.
As the first ten days are swiftly coming to an end, and the day of ‘Arafah is fast approaching, the following tips will help you make the most out of this day.
Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah
Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.”
Reported by all except Al-Bukhari and At-Tirmidhi
To put it into perspective for you, fasting one day can absolve the sins of more than 700 days for you. That’s 19 hours of fasting (if you’re in the UK), expiating the sins made in 17520 hours! (Note the scholars have mentioned that these are for minor sins.) The fact that only those not performing Hajj are able to fast on this day gives us a huge opportunity to still reap the benefits of this blessed time.
Supplicating to Allah
We know from other narrations, that the du’a of a fasting person is not rejected, on top of it being the day of ‘Arafah, you cannot deny the strength of the supplicater when he asks of Allah on this day! Making du’a is the biggest blessing we take advantage of, because unlike many other faiths, Islam says there is no intermediary or screen between you and Allah. The call of the slave to Allah on earth is heard in the heavens.
It was narrated from Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas) that the Prophet (saw) said:
“The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ on the day of ‘Arafah, and the best that I and the Prophets before me said is ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3585)’ classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1536).
Making Tahleel, Takbeer, Tahmeed and Tasbeeh
This type of worship specifically requires the least amount of effort but amounts to a lot on your scale of good deeds. Remember that glorifying Allah on your tongue should be a consequence of you glorifying Him in your heart. If the heart is sincere and eager in its remembrance of Allah, the limbs will consequently submit too.
The Prophet (saw) commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (Subhan-Allaah), Tahmeed (Al-hamdu Lillaah) and Takbeer (Allaahu akbar) during this time.Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said:
“There are no days greater in the sight of Allaah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel, Takbeer and Tahmeed.” (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224)
The Quran should be a frequent part of our life, regardless of the day. It is our guidance and criterion in this world, and is the greatest blessing Allah has bestowed upon us. The reward for reciting even one letter, as well as for the one who struggles reciting is plenty, on top of it being done on Yawmul ‘Arafah, it is too much to lose out on. Try to give a few portions of your day to the Quran, and see how it will bring barakah to it.
Maintain ties of kinship
We must always remind ourselves that our worship is not restricted to salah, siyam (fasting), and du’a. Rather everything can be worship because this deen is comprehensive and has a say in everything we do.
Islam calls for the upholding of the ties of kinship because of the great effect that this has on achieving social cohesion and perpetuating cooperation and love among the Muslims. Upholding the ties of kinship is a duty because Allah says :
“… and fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of ) the wombs (kinship)…” [al-Nisa’ 4:1]
So remember, amidst all the worship you plan on performing, don’t forget your family! They can be a means of you reaping a lot of reward too.
Giving in charity
This is a day where many of us will be splashing out for our Eid outfits, but amidst all our excitement for Eid, don’t forget our Ummah who are struggling. Whether it be a pound, or fifty, give at least something on this day for the sake of Allah. Let it be an expiation for your sins, and a proof in your favour on the day of Judgement.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah RA that the Prophet (saw) said:
“There is no day on which the people get up but two angels come down and one of them says, ‘O Allah, give in compensation to the one who spends (in charity),’ and the other says, ‘O Allah, destroy the one who withholds.’”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1374; Muslim, 1010.
Increasing in Nawafil salah
Increasing in our voluntary prayers is often seen as tedious and long, but remember that it doesn’t take much effort or time from your day. Something very easy we can all perform, is our 12 option raka’at (units) available, that takes nothing more than half an hour of your day. Since many of us will be getting up for suhoor (pre-dawn meal) anyway, I strongly recommend praying qiyam al layl (night prayer) before you pray Fajr too.
Umm Habibah Ramilah bint Abu Sufyan RA narrated that she heard the Prophet (saw) saying: “A house will be built in paradise for every Muslim who offers twelve Rak’ah of optional salah other than the obligatory salah in day and night, to seek pleasure of Allah.” Narrated by Muslim.
And for those who are not able to do Hajj this year, reflect on the beautiful words of Imām Rajab al-Hanbali (ra) who said:
“Whoever is not able to stop at Arafah, then stop at the limits Allah has set. Whoever is not able to spend the night at muzdalifah, let him spend the night in obedience to Allaah to come close and attain nearness to Him. Whoever is not able to slaughter at Mina, then let him slaughter his desires so by it he can reach his objective. Whoever was not able to reach the house because it is far, then proceed towards the Lord of the Ka’bah, for He is closer to him than his jugular vein.”
[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarij, p.g. 6]
Iman Amin is an alimah student at Al Salam Institute, and a youth worker at Bayaan Youth Group for young Muslim girls. She takes a great interest in current affairs and the role of Islam in society today. She hopes to pursue further studies in the Arabic language and the Quran. You can follow her on Twitter: @hearandweobey