A day before Eid al-Adha, which is a major Islamic holiday, Muslim pilgrims mark the Day of Arafah or Arafat, which is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage. On this day, Muslim pilgrims will at dawn make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafah where they will stand in contemplative vigil. As pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of Islam, the day is considered important among Muslims, and this year it falls on July 29.
Those who make the pilgrimage to Mount Arafah, stand in contemplative vigil, offer supplications, seek God’s mercy for their past sins and listen to sermons by Islamic scholars. Also known as ‘standing before God’, the vigil lasts from noon through sunset and is considered as one of the most significant rites of Hajj. Pilgrims recite the Arafah prayer from Zuhr prayer to sunset, and those who are unable to make it to Mecca go to mosques or shrines to recite it.
On this day, people not partaking in the pilgrimage are encouraged to fast as it is believed that they will reap great benefits and their sins will be forgiven.
Here are some things you can do to get the best out of the day of Arafah:
Sleep early the night before to energized yourself for worship on this special day
Wake up one hour before the Fajr time to eat Suhoor
Pray at least 4 rakat of night prayers and supplicate to Allah while in a state of sujood and thank Him for allowing you to witness this blessed day and ask Him to give you success on this day.
Spend the remaining time before Fajr reciting Istighfar (asking Allah for forgiveness) so that you may be written as those who ‘’seek forgiveness before dawn.” (51:18)
Get ready for the Fajr by performing wudu and imagine your sins being forgiven with every last drop of water.
Say the dua for the completion of wudu
Attend Fajr in Masjid (or at home for women) and remain in your place until 15-20 minutes after sunrise. (*if safe*)
During this time, read Quran, make tasbeeh, tahleel, tahmeed, and takbeer (Allahu Akbar, la ilaha ila Allah, Alhamdulilah) and say the morning Adhkar.
Pray two rakat of sunrise so it is recorded for you the reward of hajj and umrah (in sha Allah).
On your way walking to/from the mosque, give charity to anyone in need.
If you are able to stay awake and continue with making dua, reading Quran and lots of Dhikr then do so.
Or, if you prefer to take a nap during this time, make the intention of doing so to re-energize yourself for the worship of Allah.
After you wake up, make wudu and pray 2 rakat or more of Duha prayer (this can be prayed 15-20 min before Duhr)
Pray the Duhr with the included sunnah prayers (4 rakat before Duhr and 2 after)
Increase the recommended dhikr of the day of Arafah:
لا اله الا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك وله الحمد، وهو على كل شيء قدير
La ilaha ila Allah wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu al-mulk wa lahu al-hamd, wa huwa `ala kulli shay’in qadir
(There is no god worthy of worship but Allah, alone, without partner. His is the sovereignty, and His the praise, and He has power over everything).
Listen to the Arafah speech if you are able to
Pray the Asr and recite the evening Adhkar
Read as much Quran as possible and especially increase your dua before the adhan of the Magrhib. Pray for yourself, loved ones and the Ummah.
Make dua that the sun of Arafah doesn’t set until you are saved from the Hell-fire.