The 9th day of the last month of Islamic Calendar is considered as the Day of Arafat. It is one of the Rituals that the Muslims pilgrims (Hajji) perform during their annual journey of pilgrimage (Hajj) towards the Holiest place of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. As the 9th Zil-Hajj is a day of Lunar Calendar the date varies as per the Gregorian Solar Calendar year to year.
The journey of annual pilgrimage (Hajj) starts from 8th till 12th of Zil-Hajj and the Day of Arafat stands on the 2nd day.
On this day the pilgrims travel from the tent city of Mina toward a mountain plain of Arafat located at a distance of about 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from the Holy Makkah reciting different prayers and remembering Allah Al-Mighty.
The Day of Arafat is very significant and blessed as on this day the Last Prophet and the Messenger of Allah Al-Mighty (PBUH) gathered the His believers at the plain Arafat and gave the “Last Sermon” of His Life also called the “Farewell Sermon”. In His (PBUH) sermon He (PBUH) reminded and pondered over the essential rules of living. A few lines from the sermon were,
“All mankind is the oppsrings of Hazrat Adat (A.S) and Hazrat Hawa (R.A), No Arab is superior over non a Arab nor a no –Arab is superior over an Arab; and also no white is superior over a black nor any black is superior over a white except by devotion and good deeds.”
On this day of Arafat, Allah Al-Mighty revealed an amazing Ayah of Surah Al-Maaidah that says:
“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (Surah al Maa’idah 5:3)
The Muslims gather at the Mount of Arafat before noon and stay there till Sunset where the Muslim Scholars deliver sermons related to different religious and moral issues. And the pilgrims keep themselves busy in prayers, asking for forgiveness with eyes in their eyes.
The Ritual of Arafat is considered as the “Sum and Substance of Hajj” and the Maghrib prayer closes this memorable day.