Jabal Arafat (Mount Arafat)

Mount Arafat viewed from ground level
Mount Arafat viewed from ground level

Jabal Arafat (Arabic: جبل عرفات) is a small, granite mountain in the plain of Arafat, about 20km from the Ka’bah. Standing at Arafat is a fundamental requirement of Hajj. Pilgrims travel here from Mina on the second day of Hajj (9th Dhul Hijjah). The mountain is also known as Jabal al-Rahmah, meaning “Mountain of Mercy”.

Meaning of ‘Arafat’

  • The common meaning of the word Arafat is ‘to know’. After being taken out of Jannah and placed on Earth, it was at Jabal Arafat that Prophet Adam (عليه السلام) and Hawa (عليها السلام) met up again.
  • Arafah (عرفة) is the name of the day, and Arafat (عرفات) is the name of the land.
Overhead view of Mount Arafat
Overhead view of Mount Arafat – Photo:

Importance of Arafat for the Hujjaj

  • Standing on Arafat is an essential part of the Hajj; whoever misses the standing on Arafat has missed Hajj, because the Prophet (ﷺ) said: Hajj is Arafat.” [al-Hakim]
Arafat sign
Arafat sign – Photo:
  • The day of Arafat has many virtues, as was narrated in many Ahadith. Aisha (رضي الله عنها)  narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There is no day in which Allah sets free more souls from the fire of hell than on the day of Arafat. And on that day Allah draws near to the earth and by way of exhibiting His Pride remarks to the angels, ‘What is the desire of these (servants of mine)?'” [Muslim]
Close-up of the Arafat pillar
Close-up of the Arafat pillar – Photo:

Du’a on the Day of Arafat

  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The best invocation on the day of Arafat, and the best of all the invocations I ever offered or other holy Prophets before me ever offered is: “There is no god but Allah: He is Unique ; He hath no partner, the whole universe is for Him and for Him is the praise, and He hath power over all things.” [Tirmidhi]
Dua for the Day of Arafat
Dua for the Day of Arafat
  • In another Hadith the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Apart from the day of the Battle of Badr there is no day on which the Shaitan is seen to be more humiliated, more rejected, more depressed and more infuriated, than on the day of Arafat, and indeed all this is only because of beholding the abundance of descending mercy (on the day) and Allah’s forgiveness of the great sins of the servants.“ [Mishkat]
Pilgrims making dua at Mount Arafat
Pilgrims making dua at Mount Arafat – Photo:

Fasting on the Day of Arafat

  • One of the virtues of the day of Arafat is that fasting this day expiates for the sins of the past and coming year. It was reported from Abu Qatadah that a man said: “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think of fasting on the day of Arafat?” He said: “It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year” [Muslim]
  • This (fasting) is mustahab (desirable) for those who are not on Hajj. In the case of the one who is on Hajj, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the Day of Arafat, because the Prophet (ﷺ) did not fast on this day when he was in Arafat.
Arafat drawing by Richard Burton
1853 drawing of Mount Arafat by Richard Burton, a British explorer.

Points of reflection at Jabal Arafat

  • Jabal Arafat is a special place of Du’a (supplication). The virtue of this place is in asking from Allah (ﷻ) and the response is promised. Our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) and Prophet Ebrahim (عليه السلام) made Du’a at this very spot. 
  • The pilgrims heart should filled with nothing but neediness; which is presented in heartfelt Du’as. What better day to ask and we are the only losers if we don’t take a share of the promised response from the Almighty. 

References:  The History of Makkah Mukarramah – Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani, Holy Makkah – Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Virtues of Hajj – Sheikh Zakariyya Kandhalvi

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