In around two days, the best day of the year will be here.
Are you ready?
Many Muslims had a strong faith during Ramadan and a high level of spirituality.
Were you one of them?
Remember the best ten nights of the year?
Remember the night of peace, the Night of Decree?
Ramadan ended two months ago and after Eid we all experienced a drop in spirituality. The gates of Heaven that were wide open during the month closed when it ended.
But this week they opened again, with the gift and spiritual blessings of Dhul Hijjah we now have another golden opportunity and a very special day ahead.
If Laylatul Qadr was the best night of the year, the Day of Arafah is no doubt the best day, not only for pilgrims, but for all Muslims around the world.
Allah (SWT) is the Most Generous, and on that day He forgives the pilgrims who traveled hundreds and thousands of miles to reach Makkah and also Muslims who fast on the Day of Arafah.
Flashback to Arafah
When I was blessed to go to Hajj around twenty-five years ago, the days we spent in Makkah and Madinah were truly amazing, but the Day of Arafah was something else.
The crowds were everywhere and the scene truly reminded me of the Day of Judgment, especially with the heat of the month of June.
But the feelings were beyond description, especially during the last hours before sunset when everybody was making du’a.
The whole place felt surrounded by angels, and millions of Muslims were praying for Allah’s forgiveness and for their needs with tears everywhere.
If one needed a wakeup call to return to Allah’s Path, this was it: an amazing turning point on the journey of life we are going through, that reminds us of the last journey to Allah that will take place on the Day of Judgment.
But it was also a day of hope, as pilgrims left Arafah trusting that Allah would answer their prayers as He promised.
With no seats left inside the bus, I remember leaving Arafah on top of the bus chanting with fellow pilgrims Labayk Allahuma Labayk…
Fasting for non-pilgrims is highly recommended as a Sunnah which is attached to a great reward: Allah (SWT) forgives the sins of two years, as mentioned in the Hadith, where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
… I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of Arafah may atone for the sins of the preceding and the coming years,… (Sahih Muslim)
In addition to this great reward, fasting makes us come closer to Allah (SWT), as we refrain from food and drink for His sake, and we starve the body to feed the soul.
When a fasting person makes du’a, the chances of acceptance are higher, especially at the end of the day when breaking the fast at sunset.
Fasting is also a sign of a believer’s love for Allah (SWT), as this is something Allah loves.
It is an act that won’t benefit Him in any way, but will benefit us.
Do you love Allah (SWT) as He loves you?
If for some reason you can’t fast this year then increase your other good deeds, give to charity and help those in need, read the Quran and take care of your family, relatives and neighbors.
Gems from the Farewell Speech
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave his farewell speech in Arafah, a few months before he passed away, and this speech has many gems we need to remember on this day and every day.
Human beings are equal, and this is one of the important lessons to reflect upon which is very relevant to our world of today.
There is no difference between people based on color or ethnicity, and therefore there is no room for racism among Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; white has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action.”
The prophet gave special attention in his speech to kindness to women. He (peace be upon him) said:
“Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”
There are many more important words of wisdom in this speech which we need to remember these days.
So whatever you do, don’t deprive yourself of the blessings of the best day of the year, and seek Allah’s abundant blessings and bounties.
He is the Most Kind, the Most Generous, the Most Merciful, and He forgives all sins.