The Day of Arafat, also known as Arafat Day, is an important Islamic holiday that is observed annually on the 9th date of the last lunar Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. It is the Second Day of Hajj pilgrimage, followed by Eid ul Adha on the 10th Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the third day of Hajj.
On this day, Muslim pilgrims make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside called the Mount Arafah, where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered his life’s last sermon to the believers known as Muhammad’s Farewell Sermon.
When is Arafat Day ?
Arafat Day is observed annually on the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and falls on the day before the start of the Eid al-Adha festival. The exact date of Arafat Day changes every year as it is based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
Latest Arafat Day Holiday Announcements in UAE & Saudi Arabia
According to the latest announcement, the UAE Cabinet has approved a public holiday on Arafat Day – 9 Zul Hijjah 1440 (Saturday 10 August) – both for the public and private sectors.
The Saudi Government has also announced Arafat Day Holiday on 9 Zul Hijjah 1440 in commemoration of Muhammad’s Farewell Sermon, completion of the message of Islam, and to observe the Hajj Day.
What is Arafat Day?
- The Day of Arafat is celebrated on the 9th day of the 12th and last Islamic month of Dhu aj-Hijjah on the lunar Islamic calendar.
- It is the 2nd day of Hajj pilgrimage.
- It is followed by the grand religious Islamic festival of Eid ul Adha, which falls the next day on the 10th Dhu al-Hijjah (the third Hajj day).
- The Day of Arafat – commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon on the Mount Arafah and the completion of the message of Islam.
What happens on Arafat Day?
The Muslim pilgrims, after spending the first Hajj day (8th Dhu al-Hijjah) performing Tawaf around the Holy Kaba, fulfilling the ritual of sa’ay which is running seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah, offering prayers at Mina – head to the Uranah Valley of Mount Arafat to observe the Second Day of Hajj, known as the Arafat Day.
Here’s what happens on Arafat Day:
- The pilgrims arrive at the barren plain land of Arafat on 9th Dhu al-Hijjah just before noon.
- Here the pilgrims offer supplications, make duas to Allah Almighty, ask for the forgiveness of their sins, and seek Allah’s mercy.
- After this, there’s a grand sermon from top Islamic scholars of the current era, who deliver it from the top of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahman or the Mount of Mercy. It is the same mountain from where Muhammad (PBUH) delivered the last sermon of his life to the believers.
- The pilgrims remain at the Mount Arafah, listening to the Hajj sermon and offering supplications, until sunset when they head to nearby Masjid al-Namirah to offer their noon and afternoon prayers.
- Right after sunset, the pilgrims leave Arafat for Muzdalifa, which is an area between Arafat and Mina. Here they perform their Maghrib and Isha prayers and sleep on the ground under the open sky.
- Next day on 10th Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims travel back to Mina to perform the act of Stoning of the Devil, followed by Eid-ul-Adha celebrations and head shaving.
Arafat Day Fasting: All You Need to Know
While the pilgrims spend the entire day in supplications and fulfilling the Hajj rituals, the non-pilgrims can spend this day in fasting and devotion. Regarding the importance of fasting on this day, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Fasting on the Day of Arafat expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year” [Sahih Muslim]
In the light of Hadith and the teaching of Prophet, Islamic scholars highly recommend Muslims who are not performing Hajj to fast on this blessed day because it is a fantastic opportunity for the believers to get cleaned from their previous and upcoming year’s sins.
The fasting method for this day is same like as if you fast during the month of Ramadan. You wake up for the Suhoor meal, and make the intention (Niyyah) saying:
“I intend to keep the fast for the day of Arafat”
The fast period starts from the Fajr Adhan and continues until the Maghrib call to prayer. Throughout the entire Arafat Day’s fast, a believer must involve himself in good deeds, perform more voluntary prayers, and engage in religious acts of worship that can bring him closer to Allah.
Are Hajj pilgrims allowed to fast on Arafat Day?
For the Hajj pilgrims, fasting is prohibited on Arafat Day. Forbidding the pilgrims from fasting is incredible mercy for them, for fasting will apply undue hardship on the individual performing the Hajj. Most importantly, the traveler would not be fasting in any case since he is traveling.
In a report by Umm Al-Fadl, she said:
“The companions questioned whether the Prophet was fasting on Arafah or not. She chose to demonstrate to them that he was not, so she stated, I sent to him milk, which he drank while he was conveying the khutbah (sermon) on Arafah.” Recorded by Al-Bukhari
However, the non-pilgrims should observe a fast on this day, because just one day fast, can reward them with the forgiveness of previous and upcoming year’s sins.
The Importance of Arafat Day
For the believers of Islamic faith, the Day of Arafat is significant because it commemorates the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s last sermon to his people and the completion of the message of Islam.
The importance of this day can also be understood from the fact that the rituals performed on this day are an integral part of the Hajj, without it, the annual pilgrimage can’t be complete. Furthermore, there are several ahadith by the Prophet and several reports mentioned in the history books of Islam – all which tell us why Allah has made this day the most superior day of the year.
So as to comprehend the greatness of this day, some light should be shed on the ideals of this day and why it holds such a valuable spot in the core of Islam…
Religion Islam was perfected on this day
It was Upon the arrival of Arafat when Allah (SWT) finished and idealized the religion of Islam, in this manner satisfying His support upon His kin. This day celebrates the conclusiveness of Perfect disclosure. As per Islamic convention:
The Day of Arafat is the day when Allah (SWT) completed and perfected the religion of Islam. This great Islamic holiday commemorates the end of Divine revelation and marks the completion of the Muslim religion.
Regarding the Day of Arafat, it is mentioned in the Holy Quran:
“This day I have Perfected your religion for you, Completed My Favor upon you And have chosen for you Islam as your religion” (Quran 5.3)
The commemoration of Prophet’s Last Sermon
It was on the Day of Arafat when Prophet (PBUH) delivered his life’s last sermon to the Muslims. During the Hajj pilgrimage – on 9th Dhu al-Hijjah, 10 AH (6 March 632) – Muhammad gathered his followers in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat and laid a long speech, known as the Farewell or Last Sermon.
In his speech, he highlighted the rights of women, laid down important reforms on social and economic living, urged Muslims to establish brotherhood, and also predicted his early death by saying that this could be his last sermon because he has completed his mission of spreading Islam and Allah’s message to the humanity.
An integral part of Hajj
Arafat Day is the 2nd Day of Hajj and considered the most important of all the Hajj days. On this day, the pilgrims arrive at the Mount Arafat to offer supplications and ask Allah (SWT) for the forgiveness of their sins followed by an important Hajj sermon by the top Islamic scholars.
Spending the afternoon on Arafah is an integral part of the annual pilgrimage, which means a pilgrim’s Hajj is considered invalid if they do not spend the afternoon on Arafah. Such is the magnificence of Arafat Day in Islam.
In a hadith, narrated by Abdur-Rahman bin Yamar, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasized the importance of this day saying:
“The Hajj is Arafat, the Hajj is Arafat, the Hajj is Arafat. The days of Mina are three: But whoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him, and whoever stays on, there is no sin on him (2:203). And whoever sees (attends) the Arafah before the rising of Fajr, then he has performed the Hajj.” (Tirmidhi 5:44:2975)
The day of forgiveness and seeking Allah’s Mercy
The Day of Arafah is the best Islamic day of the year to be forgiven of sins. If one fast on this day, all the sins one has submitted in the earlier year and the year to come, are pardoned. To put it plainly, one procures a fresh start.
A Sahih Muslim hadith reported by Abu Qutaadah says:
“the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafat (9th of Dhu al-Hijja), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.” (Sahih Muslim 6:2603)
Fasting on the Day of Arafat is permissible for non-pilgrims only – the Hajj pilgrims are not required to fast on this day.
Eternal Protection from Hellfire
Want to seek protection from Hellfire? The Day of Arafat is a great opportunity to gain everlasting protection from the Hell Fire. It is a day when Allah (SWT) claims His pride in His creation that is standing at Arafat to His angels. As per Aisha (RA), the Prophet (PBUH) stated:
“There is no day when God sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of Arafah. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want?” (Sahih Muslim 7:3126)
The day of festivity
The Day of Arafat is regarded as a day of “Eid” and festivity for all Muslims. It is a beautiful occasion of gratitude, reward, and devotion.
Uqbah bin Amir reports two Ahadith by the Blessed Prophet (PBUH):
“The Day of Arafah, the Day of Nahr, and the Days of Tashriq are Eid for us. The people of Islam and they are days of eating and drinking,”
“The day of Arafat and the day of sacrifice and the day of At-Tashriq are Eid (festival) for us, the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking.”
Such is the importance, magnificence, and greatness of the Arafat Day in Islam.
Things To Do On The Day of Arafat: The Dua & Important Worship
The Day of Arafat gives Muslims an incredible opportunity to worship Allah, offer supplications and seek forgiveness + eternal protection from Hellfire. It is a chance to re-devote ourselves to the divine power and refocus our lives to worshiping Him. Here are the best things to do on Arafat Day:
1). Observe a fast on Arafat Day
For non-pilgrims, the highly recommended thing to do on this day – is observing a fast. The Prophet Muhammad has given the glad tidings that one who fasts on this day, will be pardoned of the previous year and next year’s sins.
2). Reciting the Dua of Arafat Day
There’s a special dua recommended by Prophet Muhammad to be recited more often on the Day of Arafat. The dua reflects the definition of Tawheed (the Oneness of Allah):
“There is nothing that deserves to be worshiped in truth except Allah, 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.”
Emphasizing the importance of reciting this dua on Arafat Day, the Prophet (PBUH) said that it is the most excellent dua of all the duas and the best dua of what he (the Prophet) and all the previous prophets have said.
So on Arafat Day, every believer must try to recite this dua as many times as possible.
3). Reciting The Tahleel, Takbeer, Tahmeed, and Tasbeeh
It is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to recite the Tahleel, Takbeer, Tahmeed, and Tasbeeh in abundance on Arafat Day, and also on the days of Tashreeq (11th to 13th Dhu al-Hijjah).
- Taheel is “Laa ilaaha il-lal-laah”
- Takbeer is “Allahu Akbar”
- Tahmeed is “Alhamdulillaah”
- Tasbeeh is “Subhanallaah”
Following the Sunnah of Prophet, every believer should keep on reciting these holy words on the day of Arafat.
4). Seeking forgiveness of sins and protection from Hell Fire
Arafat Day is the best day of the year because it provides an amazing opportunity to the believer to ask Allah for the forgiveness of their sins and seeking eternal protection from Hell Fire.
Prophet Muhammad in his several Ahadith has highlighted the importance of this blessed day and urged the believers to use this day to their full advantage.
The Prophet said:
“On this day (the Day of Arafah), Allah, the most Exalted, descends to the nearest heaven, and He is proud of His servants on the earth and says to those in heavens, look at My servants, they have come from far and near, with hair disheveled and faces covered with dust, to seek my Mercy. Even if their sins are as much the sand or the froth of the sea, I shall forgive them.”
Should I observe the Day of Arafah?
Yes, you should. The Day of Arafat is the Second Hajj Day, and furthermore the day of virtues, values, joy, and endowments. It is the day whose significance is referenced both in the Quran and Ahadith. The day has numerous special highlights: spiritual, moral and historical. The most significant element of Arafat Day is that it is the day when Allah perfect the religion of Islam. It is the day when Allah pardons His people and the day when Allah extends His Mercy to receive each repentant person.
Arafat Day Quotes & Hadith
- “This day I have Perfected your religion for you, Completed My Favor upon you And have chosen for you Islam as your religion” (Quran 5.3)
- “The Day of Arafah, the Day of Nahr, and the Days of Tashriq are Eid for us. The people of Islam and they are days of eating and drinking,” (Tirmidhi 4:92)
- ‘It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.’ (Sahih Muslim 6:2603)
- “There is no day when God sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of ‘Arafa. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want?” (Sahih Muslim 7:3126)
- “The Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat. The days of Mina are three: But whoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him, and whoever stays on, there is no sin on him (2:203). And whoever sees (attends) the ‘Arafah before the rising of Fajr, then he has performed the Hajj.” (Tirmidhi 5:44:2975)
- “The best supplication is that which is made on the day of ‘Arafāt. The best of it is what was said by myself and the prophets before me: There is no god but Allah alone without any partners, unto him belong the dominion and all praise and he has power over all things.” (Tirmidhi 3585)
- “O God, this Arafah Day which you have made respectable and given honor. You have spread your benevolence, showered kindness through forgiving us, made ample your giving and by it you have been gracious towards your servants.” – Imam Zaynul Abidin (as)
- It is also said that once Imam saw a man begging on the streets on the Day of Arafat. He said to the beggar “Woe unto you that on a blessed day like this you are asking from other than Allah. This is the day when the mercy and elegance of Allah come to (even) the baby in the mother’s womb.”
Happy Arafat Day Greetings Messages and SMS
- Real happiness is fasting the day of Arafah and having all the sins of the past year and the upcoming year forgiven. May Allah accept all our prayers (Ameen)
- May Allah Honor you, Forgive you, Purify you, and accept all your Arafat Day prayers and duas. May Allah shower His Blessings and Mercy on this blessed day of Arafat.
- The Day of Forgiveness has come. Let’s spend this blessed day of 9th Dhu al-Hijjah fasting and worshipping the one and only Allah. Let’s bow before Allah and ask for the forgiveness of all of our sins.
- On this Arafat Day, I wish that your fast and prayers get accepted. May Allah shower His endless blessings on us and forgive all of our sins.
- May this auspicious Day of Arafat bring you all happiness and success in both worlds. Remember me in your prayer. Happy Arafat Day!
- May this Arafat Day – Allah’s Mercy, Blessing, and Forgiveness – descend upon us (Ameen).
- The Day of Arafat is a day of blessings. Try to make it special with prayers, fasting, supplication, duas, tasbeeh, and many other good deeds. Happy Celebrating!
- On this Arafat Day, I pray that may Allah grant all of us the opportunity to perform Hajj in upcoming years. May Allah grant us the opportunity of touching the Holy Kaba and performing Hajj rituals at Mount Arafat (Ameen).
The Day of Arafah – Quick Facts
Arafat Day is the 2nd day of Hajj and observed annually as an Islamic holiday on the 9th Dhu al-Hijja (the last month on the Islamic lunar calendar). The day commemorates Prophet’s Last Sermon and the completion of Islam. The day is followed by Eid ul Adha.
Official Arabic name: يوم عرفة
Also called: The Day of Repentance and Acceptance of Supplications, Hajj Day, Arafah Day
Significance: Commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon – the completion of the message of Islam – marks the 2nd Hajj day
Observances: Prayer, Supplications, Fasting, Forgiveness of Sins, Seeking Allah’s Mercy
Islamic Date: 9 Dhu al-Hijjah
Gregorian Date: 18 – Jul
Holiday Type: Islamic
Related to: Hajj & Eid Ul Adha