It is the 8th Dhul-Hijjah 1433 Ah today coinciding with gregorian date- 24 October 2012) here in SA. Yaum-ul ‘Arafah (9th Dhul-Hijjah)- The Second Day of Hajj, will be spent in worship tomorrow, 25 October 2012. Tomorrow after sunrise the pilgrims will start their final preparation for the journey ahead. Undoubtedly ‘Arafah is the heart of Hajj. Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said “Hajj is ‘Arafah”.
What is meant by the words of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), “Hajj is ‘Arafah” is that in Hajj it is essential to stand in ‘Arafah. Whoever does not stand in ‘Arafah has missed out on Hajj. Regardless how long the Hujjaaj (pilgrims) stay in Makkah, if they missed that single day, they have then missed the entire Hajj.
It does not mean that the one who stands in ‘Arafah no longer has to do any of the actions of Hajj. According to scholarly consensus, because if a person stands in ‘Arafah, he still has to do some actions of Hajj, such as staying overnight in Muzdalifah, Tawaaf al-ifaadah, Sa’ee between as-Safaa and al-Marwah, stoning the Jamaraat and staying overnight in Mina. Rather what is meant is that standing in ‘Arafah is an essential part of Hajj and if he does not stand in ‘Arafah then there is no Hajj for him. Hence the scholars said: Whoever misses the standing (in ‘Arafah) has missed Hajj. [Shahykh bin ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah]
The word عَرْف or “‘Arf” means fragrance, and because the plains of Arafah are sites on which Allah’s mercy (rahmah) and forgiveness descend. The people would metaphorically describe the day, the place and its dwellers of being perfumed with this spiritual fragrance “Arafah”. Moreover because of the rahmah or mercy descending upon the gathering, the small mountain on the plain on which many hujjaaj desire to stand was called the mountain of Rahmah “Mercy”.
In As-Saheehayn it was reported from Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RadhiyAllahu ‘anhu) that a Jewish man said to him, ‘O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival).’ Umar said, ‘Which aayah?’ He said: ‘This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.’ [Surah 05/al-Maa-idah, v:3] ‘Umar (RadhiyAllahu ‘anhu) said, ‘We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam). It was when he was standing in ‘Arafah on a Friday.’
It is the 8th Dhul-Hijjah. The Hujjaaj will leave after sunrise tomorrow (the morning of the 9th Dhul-Hijjah) for ‘Arafah. As they all march and head to ‘Arafah, their continuous chanting will be the Talbiyah “Lab-bayka Allaahumma lab-bayk, symbolising the purpose of Hajj journey, that is to serve Allah and worship Him and Him alone.
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), upon his arrival to ‘Arafah, camped outside the plains of ‘Arafah prior to the time of Dhuhr in the location where the Masjid of Namirah is now built, once called Wadi ‘Urana.
Unlike the back part of the masjid today, the front part of the masjid is actually outside the boundaries of ‘Arafah where the Messenger had delivered his khutbah or sermon. When he finished delivering the sermon, the Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) lead the hajj congregation in combined prayer between Dhuhr and ‘Asr, then he moved inside the plains of ‘Arafah until the end of the day.
There are many who don’t make it to Masjid-un Namirah depending on where their camps are situated. Those who who do will move back to their camps after salaah. They have to stay within the boundaries of ‘Arafah which are marked by huge yellow billboards all around.
‘Asr time at ‘Arafah is a sight that would make many weep due to the overwhelming feeling of the Mercy of Allah. Everywhere you turn people are crying and begging of Allah to forgive them and those present and absent. They ask for their worldly needs and those more importantly related to the Hereafter.
The pilgrims are weary and care not for their appearances. Some are engaged in dhikr of Allah, others are reciting Qur-aan while others are just chanting the Talbiyah.
Abu Ad-Darda (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) reported that Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “On no other day does the devil feel so belittled, humiliated, and angry as he does on the Day of ‘Arafah.” The reason for this is the mercy of Allah that descends this day and the forgiveness that He grants to people for major sins, except the day of the Battle of Badr, which witnessed a far greater mercy of Allah descending upon people, which caused great sadness to Iblees. The pilgrims will continue to pray and supplicate till after sunset. Anyone who fails remaining in ‘Arafah till after sunset risks invalidating his entire Hajj. The Hujjaaj will then leave for Muzdalifah to spend a night under the stars preparing to pelt the jamaraat the day after.
For those of us who have not been accepted to be the Duyoofallah (guests of Allah) this year, we pray that He will accept us to be at His House the next year InshāAllah! Let us also make an effort to keep sawm tomorrow (9th Dhul-Hijjah) as fasting on this day expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year. [Muslim]