By Romina Afghan and Maryam Akram
The Day of Arafah is here! The best day of the entire year – alhamdulillaah we have been given life and the blessing to be able to see this day when so many others have passed, and when so many others are heedless of its importance.
Yet for many of us, Arafah greets us whilst we are not at our best, whilst our emaan has been tested, whilst we have fallen short and are struggling to come to the prayer with a full heart, whilst we have been caught up in worldly matters and have neglected our spiritual health…
If this is you, then know that the day of Arafah is for you!
If you have soiled your heart and filled it by the matters of this world, then know that Arafah is for you to come to Allaah for these few hours and allow His Mercy to cleanse you.
If your tongue has been ablaze with the remembrance of this world and with speaking about that which doesn’t please Allaah, then Arafah is for you to put the fire out by seeking His Forgiveness and saying “astaghfirullaah.”
If you feel you have wasted your days and nights, and sullied your heart by not using the time He gave you wisely, if you have been distracting the sadness of your heart and seeking to fulfil it through scrolling feeds on social media that have no benefit, then know that Arafah is for you – Arafah can atone for all of that with a few hours dedicated to His remembrance, a few moments remembering His Blessings on you and few tears to ask Him to rectify what is in your heart.
Oh my dear sister who feels dirty and far from Allaah, who feels like she cannot change and remove these burdens from herself to start anew, know that Arafah is for you. If you feel like your worship has not been good enough, that your prayers have been distracted, that YOU are not good enough for Jannah, then know that Arafah is for you:
The Prophet (ﷺ) 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? ( so that I may give them)’”
And if you think coming to Allaah dirty and covered in sins was not for you, then think again, because it was reported from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Allaah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of ‘Ishaa’ on the Day of ‘Arafaah, about the people of ‘Arafaah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’”
Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
We are dishevelled in our worship, we are dusty in how we present ourselves to Him physically and spiritually, yet He, the Lord of the Heavens and the earth, takes pride in our coming back to Him. He is the Lord who is full of forgiveness and Mercy, and who descends to the lowest heavens, in order to grant us whatever we desire:
It was narrated by Jaabir that the Prophet said: “There is no better day in the Sight of Allah than the Day of ‘Arafah. Allah The Almighty descends [on that day] to the lowest heaven, and boasts about the people of the earth to the dwellers of heaven, saying: ‘Just look at My slaves! They have come to Me with disheveled hair and covered in dust, standing in the forenoon. They have come from every distant pass. They seek My Mercy although they have not seen My punishment.’ There is no day when Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than the Day of ‘Arafah.’”
Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibbaan, Al-Bazzaar, Abu Ya‘la and Al-Bayhaqi]
My dear sister, if you feel like you need a fresh start, that you would love a clean slate and want to start over with Islam, with Allaah, with your relationships, then know that Arafah is for you, because Arafah is the Day of our first covenenat with Allaah, the day on which we all testified that Allah is our Lord, and it is the best day to renew that covenant, to renew your affirmation that there is no God worthy of being worhsipped except Allaah,
It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Allaah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’maan, i.e., ‘Arafaah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this…’ ( Quran 7:172-173 ).
Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
What is the best way to do this? How blessed are we to have our religion, to have the actual words of a prophet, peace be upon him, preserved for us so perfectly so we don’t need to wonder, we don’t need to try to figure this all out!
The Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:
“The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ on the day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing 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 (There is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the dominion, to Him be praise, and He has power over all things).”
My dear sister, if you have been burning from the pain of your sins and your tests, then today burn with the yearning for the forgiveness of your Lord; if you wish you could leave all the worldly cares and duties and shackles behind and go to Makkah to lay your soul bare, then know that we can still travel with our hearts to our Rabb and make our hearts a home for His remembrance for this day.
Even if we can’t go to answer the call of Allaah and be at His House, to be at His service and proclaim the talbiya out loud with our tongues, “Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk,” “At Your service, Allah, at Your service. At Your service,” then know that we can still proclaim our service to Him with our hearts, our tongues and our pens wherever we are and through every action that we do.
My dear sister, even if we can’t walk between the mounts of Saffa and Marwa to glorify Allaah, we can still walk with our hearts towards good, and have hope in our Rabb that He will fulfil our needs the way He fulfilled Hajar (alaihis salam)’s need.
Even if we can’t strive to proclaim loudly His lack of partners and His Unique Oneness through the talbiya in those sacred places that the pigrims will be proclaiming when they say, “lāa shareeka lak”, “You have no partner”, then know that we can still remove anything other than Allaah that is competing for importance in our hearts over Him.
My dear sister, Arafah is for you, even if you can’t be at Arafah, the day of Arafah is for you to imagine you are on that plain, standing before Allaah, barefoot and naked and awaiting His Judgement- because on that Day, the tears you shed today, the prayers you say today, the forgiveness you seek today, will be worth more to you than this entire world and everything in it.
May Allaah grant us all the guidance to call upon Him, dusty and dishevelled and imperfect as we may be, knowing that He is indeed the One who forgives all sins, the One whose Mercy overcomes His anger, the One who loves to pardon and forgive.