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Saudi Arab

Day of Arafa

arfa_dayLabbaika .Allahumma labbaik – –

Labbaika la sharika laka labbaik —

Innal hamda wan ne’mata laka wal mulk —

La sharika laka

Here I am, my Lord here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Praise, grace and the kingdom is for You. You have no partner.

With the chanting of these wonderful phrases the pilgrims  after donning the Ehraam for the formal performance of the Hajj Tamattu, usually in the afternoon or evening of the 8th of Zilhijja, leave Mecca for the plain of Arafaat. The pilgrims have to spend the 9th of Zilhijja till sunset at Arafaat in prayer and supplication, since the All-Merciful God forgives all sins of the sincere supplicants here. Arafaat is a flat plain about 24 km northeast of Mecca near the Jabal ar-Rahma or the Mount of Mercy. Here is the plain of Arafaat, and the huge, over 2 million gathering of pilgrims clothed in two pieces of white unstitched clothes with heads bare resemble the rising of the dead on the Day of Judgment. Pilgrims from all over the planet have converged on this plain. They have come here to give positive response to God’s call. They have come here to enjoy the divine banquet to win God’s pleasure. It is the day of benefaction.

Arafat is derived from the word ma’refa or cognition. It means the cognizance of the Lord Most High, and of one’s own self. This is the same place where Adam’s repentance was accepted in the divine court. It is the place where Abraham supplicated to God and won His favour. All messengers of God prostrated themselves in this place. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), too, expressed his servitude to God here. During the Hajj-at-al-Weda or his Farewell Pilgrimage, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) delivered his memorable sermon from Mount Mercy exhorting the ummah to maintain unity. Here he re-emphasized the famous Hadith Saqalayn, which is the perfect formula of Islamic unity and which reads:

“I am leaving behind among you the Saqalayn (or the two weighty things); the Book of God (that is, the Holy Qur’an) and my progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them and you will never go astray, for the two will never part with each other even when they return to me at the Pool (of Kowsar on Judgement Day.”

Arafat is also the place where the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Husain (AS), too, raised his hands in supplication to God and recited the famous supplication, which is regarded one of the most eloquently moving descriptions of God’s mercy and of the abjectness of the human being in the divine court, despite possession of all wonderful characteristics. Pilgrims, especially Iranians and all other followers of the Ahl al-Bayt from around the world, fervently recite this lengthy supplication every year at Arafat. Here is a passage from Imam Husain’s supplication:

“O Allah, we are turning our faces to You in this evening that You glorified and honoured by Mohammad— Your Prophet, Messenger, Chosen one among Your creatures, Keeper of Your revelation, bearer of Your good tidings and warnings, and the bright light with whom You have blessed the Muslims and whom You have made mercy for mankind. Bless him and his household— the chosen ones, the pure, and the immaculate, and include us by means of Your reprieve. To You, voices of different tongues have directed. O Allah, give us in this evening a share of the blessings that you give to Your servants, light of guidance, mercy that You spread, blessings that You reveal, wellbeing that You extend, and abundant sustenance; You are certainly the Most Merciful of the merciful ones. O Allah, in this very time, include us with the successful, the thriving, the blessed, and the successful, and do not deprive us of Your mercy and of that for which we hope, and do not refute us with disappointment, and do not reject us from Your door. You are certainly the Most Generous of the generous ones and the Most Munificent of the munificent. We are directing towards You with full confidence and towards yours Sacred House with full intentions.”

The 9th of Zilhijja or the Day of Arafa, is also the anniversary of a sad day in the annals of Islamic history. On this day in the year 60 AH, Imam Husain’s emissary to the people of Kufa, Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel, was brutally martyred by the tyrannical Omayyad regime in the events that a month later on 10th Moharram led to history’s most heartrending tragedy at Karbala.

Iranian Hajj pilgrims in the plain of Arafaat, commemorate this sad occasion with special mourning ceremonies. Also, in obedience to God’s Commandment, the Iranian pilgrims hold a rally disavowing disbelievers because of their plots against Islam, especially the US and the Zionist entity. This obligation is specified by the opening ayahs of Surah Towba of the holy Qur’an, especially ayah 3 which reads:

“(This is) An announcement from Allah and His Prophet to all the people on the day of the greater Hajj that Allah and His Prophet repudiate the polytheists: if you repent that is better for you; but if you turn your backs (on Allah) know that you cannot thwart Allah, and inform the disbelievers of a painful punishment.”

The vociferous chants of “Down with the US,” Down with Israel,” and “Unite O Muslims”, echoing from the Iranian camp at Arafaat, along with the resolution the rally releases outlining the problems facing the ummah and how to resolve them, are indicative of the dynamism of this ritual. This could be better understood when we ponder on the dangers of disunity amongst Muslims, because of the seditious plots of the disbelievers. Muslims ought to practice the teachings of the Holy Qur’an in daily life and spare no efforts to foster unity. Only a monolithic ummah that is neither swayed by sectarian tendencies nor is muddled by narrow nationalistic attitudes will withstand the military, economic, cultural and propaganda onslaught of the Chief Disbeliever, the US and its Zionist surrogate. According to hadith, the Lord of the Age, Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) will cleanse the world of all corruption and oppression and establish the global government of peace, prosperity and justice.

Before the sun sets in Arafaat and the spiritual banquet comes to its end, and after recitation of the supplication of Imam Husain (PBUH) amidst tears, pilgrims also recite the supplication of Imam Zain al-Abedin (PBUH). Here we produce excerpts from it.

“It is You Whose Divine Essence imagination fails to reach. Reason fails to judge Your quality and eyes never perceived Your whereabouts.

Praise be to You, a praise as lasting as Your existence, Praise be to You, a praise as enduring as Your Blessings, Praise be to You, a praise to match Your Workmanship, Praise be to You, a praise that would increase Your Satisfaction, Praise be to You, a praise that would compete with the praise of every praiser, a gratitude that would surpass the gratitude of every thanks-giver,

Do not let me be a supporter of tyrants, nor their helper and an accessory in nullifying Your Book. Encompass me in a manner I may not know, with an enclosure wherein to protect me. Open for me the gates of Your repentance and Your Mercy and Your Grace and Your ample Sustenance. Surely I am one of those who beg of You. Accomplish for me Your Reward, surely, You are the best giver of reward. Make the rest of my Life (to be spent) in performing the Hajj and the umrah to achieve Your Approbation, 0 Lord of the worlds, May Allah bless Muhammad and his holy infallible descendents aad peace be on him and them forever and ever.

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