“Hajj is `Arafat”

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

 The Plain of `Arafat

Why do we all go to the Plain of `Arafat?

قال النبي (s): “الحجُّ عرفةُ.”


MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA: Muslims at Mount Arafat (or Jabal Rahmah) in Arafat, Saudi Arabia. This is the place where Adam and Eve met after being cast out from Paradise.

Prophet (s) said, “Hajj is `Arafat.”130

This means, if you do not go to `Arafat, then there is no Hajj. Three or five million people stand there, calling on Allah (swt) in one voice:

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ

Labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayka lā sharīka laka labbayk. Inna ‘l-ħamda wa ‘n-ni`mata laka wa ’l-mulk lā sharīka lah!
Here I am at Your service, O Allah, here I am! Here I am at Your service! You have no partner, here I am at Your service. For You alone is All Praise and All Grace, and for You alone is The Sovereignty. You have no partner!
Who is in `Arafat that brings all these people together? There must be someone to whom the Prophet (s) gave authority from Allah (swt). You look and see that it is a plain desert. Now they have nice trees and water coming from everywhere and better tents, but in reality, it is a desert. What is there? What are they buying and selling? There, you find everything; it is a huge “mall” that anything you want you will find! It is also like an amazing race, where they want to reach as soon as possible, especially on Jabal Raħmah where the Prophet (s) went and gave his famous Khuţbat al-Wida`, Farewell Sermon.
What does everyone want to get from there? They say, “We want Allah’s forgiveness!” and that is for sure, but Allah (swt) will forgive us wherever we are. If you ask, “O Allah! Forgive us for the sake of Your Prophet (s),” do you think Allah (swt) will not forgive? But there is something special that Allah (swt) gave to that plain in `Arafat. Are we the only ones standing there? Don’t you think the Prophet (s) is there? There is no Hajj if there is no Prophet (s)! If the Prophet (s) is not there, there is no Hajj, because the Prophet’s presence is important for Allah (swt) to send His Mercy on us.
O Muslims! Allah (swt) gave us an important day, the 9th of Dhul Hijjah without which Hajj cannot be considered accepted, the Day of `Arafah. That is the day of unity, the day of one voice, the day all Muslims are in the same category. On that day no one better than another, rather all are standing in front of Allah (swt), as on Judgment Day. You cannot say this is a king or this is a doctor, no, they are equal before Allah (swt), except by their deeds:

لا فرق بين عربي ولا عجمي إلا بالتقوى

There is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab, except through righteousness.131

Because the Prophet (s) said, “Hajj is `Arafat” it might be that you miss some of the principles of Hajj by mistake, as you were ignorant, but Hajj is still accepted as you can make it up by sacrificing a cow, camel, goat, sheep or whatever. However, if you miss `Arafah, then Hajj is not acceptable. You can make ţawāf, sa`ī, etc., but it is not considered a valid Hajj without `Arafah. All of the rituals that you do, such as going to Mina, doing Ţawāf al-Qudūm, Ţawāf al-Widaa`, etc. are not easy, you have to struggle to do them, and yet Allah (swt) is saying, “All of that without `Arafah is nothing!”
What is in `Arafah? There must be something hidden. Even if you just go to the Valley of `Arafat, without making any du`ā or šalāwāt, just your presence there will completely purify you as if you were a newly born baby. There, Allah (swt) comes to the First Heaven, looks at His Servants and forgives them all, as the rest of Ummat an-Nabī (s) cannot be left without the Shower of Mercy of the Merciful One, which Sayyīdinā Muhammad (s) distributes.
In a Hadith it is mentioned that the Prophet (s) stood on the night of `Arafah, asking for Rahmatullah, for Allah (swt) to forgive the whole Ummah, and Allah (swt) said, “I forgive them all, except the one who is an oppressor. I am going to take the rights of the oppressed!” And, from his mercy, the Prophet (s) was sad.

رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ دَعَا عَشِيَّةَ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ لأُمَّتِهِ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ ، فَأَكْثَرَ الدُّعَاءَ ، فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ : إِنِّي قَدْ فَعَلْتُ ، إِلا ظُلْمَ بَعْضِهِمْ لِبَعْضٍ ، وَأَمَّا ذُنُوبُهُمْ فِيمَا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ فَقَدْ غَفَرْتُهَا ، فَقَالَ : يَا رَبِّ إِنَّكَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَنْ تُثِيبَ هَذَا الْمَظْلُومَ خَيْرًا مِنْ مَظْلَمَتِهِ ، وَتَغْفِرَ لِهَذَا الظَّالِم ، فَلَمْ يُجِبْهُ تِلْكَ الْعَشِيَّةَ فَلَمَّا كَانَ غَدَاةَ الْمُزْدَلِفَةِ أَعَادَ الدُّعَاءَ ، فَأَجَابَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى : إِنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ ” ، قَالَ : فَتَبَسَّمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَقَالَ لَهُ بَعْضُ أَصْحَابِهِ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، تَبَسَّمْتَ فِي سَاعَةٍ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَتَبَسَّمُ فِيهَا ، قَالَ : ” تَبَسَّمْتُ مِنْ عَدُوِّ اللَّهِ إِبْلِيسَ ، إِنَّهُ لَمَّا عَلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَدِ اسْتَجَابَ لِي فِي أُمَّتِي أَهْوَى يَدْعُو بِالْوَيْلِ وَالثُّبُورِ ، وَيَحْثُو عَلَى رَأْسِهِ التُّرَابَ

The Messenger of Allah (s) supplicated for forgiveness and mercy for his Ummah on the night before `Arafah. Then Allah (swt) revealed to him, “I have forgiven them except their oppression of each other. As for their sins between Me and them, I have forgiven them.” He said, “O my Lord, truly You are able to reward the oppressed one more than what he suffered of oppression and to forgive the oppressor.” He (swt) did not respond that night. The following day at Muzdalifah, the Prophet (s) repeated the supplication and Allah (swt) responded to him, “I have forgiven them,” He granted them both and forgave the zhālim, oppressor and the mazhlūm is also free. The Messenger of Allah (s) laughed and some of his companions (radi-Allahu `anhum) asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, you are laughing at a time you did not used to laugh?” He said, “I am laughing at the enemy of Allah, Iblees. When he heard that Allah has forgiven the zhālim and mazhlūm, he fell down wailing and started throwing dirt on his head.132

Are we from the Ummah or not? We are under the tajallī that Allah (swt) has forgiven all the Ummah on the night of `Arafah. This means, Iblees is running away and Allah is forgiving us for the love of Sayyīdinā Muhammad (s); Allah (swt) is sending His Love, in spite of the noise of Iblees. So, we have to make šalāwāt, and that is why it is important to fast on that day.
So, Hajj is to stand on that valley. If you went there forty years ago, there was a wide sandy valley, nothing on it. They would have to carry water and food with them in order to survive in that valley. What is there? Jabal Rahmah, the Mountain of Mercy, where Allah (swt) manifested mercy to the Prophet (s). The Prophet (s) wanted to take his Sahabah (radi-Allahu `anhum) to that place to taste the difficulty, because when you suffer in dunyā, you receive reward in the Next Life. Allah (swt) wants to test Muslims in their patience. You go to that valley and stand, and all Muslims in one voice are saying, labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayka lā sharīka laka labbayk, “Here I am (at Your service), O Allah! There is no partner for You; You are the Creator, we are here at Your service.” Allah (swt) likes His Servants to declare His Oneness and to say, “Ash-hadu an lā ilāha illa ’Llāh, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasūluh“; He (swt) doesn’t like shirk, to associate anyone as a partner with Him.
Some might ask where the name `Arafat came from. It comes from the word ‘to know’ and that comes from the story of Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) and Isma`īl (as) and the place where Allah (swt) informed Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) to slaughter Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as). It is called `Arafat because `Arafat is from `arafah, meaning that Allah (swt) introduced or made something clear. What did He make clear? He made it clear to Ibrāhīm (as) to sacrifice his son and that is one of the reasons that Allah (swt) makes us clean by `Arafah. Allah (swt) gave us a lot of opportunities to be cleaned, one of them is `Arafah.
It is said, “Allah (swt) honored four prophets on the Day of `Arafat: He honored Ādam (as) with forgiveness on that day for eating from the forbidden tree; He honored Sayyīdinā Musa (as) to speak with Him without an intermediary; He honored Sayyīdinā Muhammad (s) with Hajj and the perfection of religion; and He honored Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) with replacing the sacrifice of his son Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as) with a lamb. May Allah (swt) forgive us and bless us.


130 Īmām Nawawī in his Majmu`at.
131 Aħmad.
132 Ibn Mājah, Aħmad, Bayhaqī.


Makkan Revelations: A Pilgrim's Guide to Divine Secrets[Excerpted from the newly published book: Makkan Openings: A Pilgrim’s Guide to Divine Secrets]