Day of Arafat, Fasting, Prayer and Rejoicing
In the All-Encompassing Name of Allah Who is Tender Compassion and Powerful Love
Dearest Companions of the Heart,
May we all be embraced in the peace of Hajj.
The pilgrims are already making their way to the Mount of Arafat where they will spend the day praying and contemplating and asking for forgiveness. We should pray for the acceptance of their pilgrimage. We should pray for Allah’s Mercy to descend on those who have left family and home to seek Allah’s Pleasure.
The mountain of Arafat is called the Mount of Mercy, Jabal ar-Rahmah. Standing on Arafat and asking for Divine Forgiveness and Mercy is the essence of the Hajj, for without it the Hajj is not valid. The goal of divine journeying is the arrival at the downpour of Divine Mercy, Forgiveness, and Knowledge. For the meaning of Arafat (from ‘arafa’) is finding or knowing, and knowing is mercy. According to the Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, knowledge brings felicity.
Mt. Arafat is the place where Adam and Eve found each other on the earthly plane after their departure from the Garden of Eden. It is also the place where Allah took the covenant from them. So it means the finding of what has been lost, the healing of what had been wounded, the re-uniting of what belongs together, the reunion of lover and Beloved, soul and Lord, and the complete immersion of individual existence in the One Divine Existence. Therefore, Arafat is a day of great rejoicing.
It is also a day of completion and perfecting. It was on this day that one of the final revelations (some affirm that it was the final one) descended upon the heart of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, may he be immersed in the peace of knowing that humanity is safely on the path of return. It was a Friday, the day of Juma which itself means the gathering together of what is dispersed. It was his first and final Hajj, after the many years of shared exile and struggle, fighting and deprivation. The standing on Arafat on that day was the victory of love and the establishment of truth that had been announced to his heart. It was the living demonstration of Allah’s Word, and the clear proof that Allah is with those who are sincere and patient, and the fulfillment of the Divine promise that they will be victorious. The good news revealed to him on that day was the royal crown given to the ‘mercy for all the worlds’ and to the ‘seal of revelation.’
This day those who turn away from the truth have given up all hope in your religion. This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Generosity and Favor upon you, and have chosen for you the way of total immersion in My Reality, the way of Islam, as your religion.
(The Generous Quran, Surah 5)
Please contemplate these Divine words as a message for yourself. Know that through your taking hand the full path of truth has been planted in your heart. Contemplate Allah’s Favor and Generosity to you and give yourself to total immersion in the Divine Reality.
Pass this Day in fasting and prayer. Pray for yourself and pray for others. Pray for our entire human family. Ask for forgiveness for all people. Offer tasbih, wird, and the prayer for the Day of Arafat by Imam Huseyn, may he be embraced in divine mercy, if you have it. Rejoice with all those who are on Mt Arafat and pray that their Hajj be accepted. Rejoice with all people of heart.
The Farewell Sermon
Also on this Day, from the mount of Arafat, the beloved Muhammad, may he be showered in divine peace, spoke to the vast community numbering in the hundreds of thousands, gathered around him on the mount and on the plain of Arafat below. He was seated upon his dear camel Qaswa in order to be better seen and heard. He began by praising, thanking and glorifying Allah, and then continued by addressing the people.
"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I do not know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.
O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the property entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, Who will indeed evaluate your deeds.
Allah has forbidden you to take usury, therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital however is yours to retain. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has ordained that there be no interest.
Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in the small things.
O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to the women entrusted with you just as they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken each other as partners under Allah’s trust and with His permission…
All human beings descend from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white person has no superiority over black, nor does a black person have any superiority over a white person, except by piety and good deeds. Know that every Muslim is a sister and brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims are one community. Nothing is legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to another Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore be unjust to yourselves.
O People, listen to me in earnest - worship the Sole Reality calling Itself Allah, offer the prayers of Salah, fast during the month of Ramadan, and give a portion of your wealth in Zakat. And perform Hajj if you can afford to.
Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not go astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah, my living example and my words. If you follow these two you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who are listening to me directly.
O Allah, be my witness that I have conveyed your message to Your people! O Allah be my witness that I have conveyed Your message to Your people! O Allah be my witness that I have conveyed Your message to Your people!