Nigeria: The Significance of Arafat Day to Muslims

Eid celebrations have been scaled down due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic (file photo). .

Sokoto — The Day of Arafat, which is observed on the 9th day of Zhul-Hijja, is the day for answering prayers and getting sins forgiven, a renowned Muslim scholar, Dr Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Jos, said while underlining the significance of the day.

Abdullahi, who is one of the jurists of the National Qur'anic Recitation Competition, pointed out that the best prayer during that day as taught by the Holy Prophet is "La'ilaha illallahu Wahdahu la sharika lahu; lahul-mulku walahul hamdu wa huwa ala kulli shai'in Qadir".

"Muslims should intensify the acts of worship in order to reap the bountiful blessings provided by Arafat Day," he said.

According to Sheikh Abdullahi, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was reported in numerous authentic Hadiths extolling the significance of the day to the Muslim Ummah.

The pleasure of Allah

In one of the Hadiths, the Prophet said: "The most important prayers are the ones done on the Day of Arafat".

The Prophet (SAW) was also quoted to have said: "It is the day that Shaitan (the Devil) will appear dejected, embarrassed and humiliated because of how Allah is forgiving the sins of his servants no matter their sizes."

The Sheikh cited another Hadith of the Holy Prophet that "Allah (SWA) will look at the crowd of people that assemble on the plain of Arafat and say to His Angels, 'Look at my servants who came from different parts of the world, let me assure you that I have forgiven them.'"

In another Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) said, "Fasting on the day of Arafat erases sins committed in the previous year and that of the remaining days of the current year."

"So it is in view of this that Muslims are expected to intensify the acts of worship on this day in order to reap from its bountiful blessings," Sheikh Abdullahi said.

The dual factors

He added that Arafat has two segments: "place and day".

"Those performing Hajj will have the opportunity of combining the two segments, unlike those that are not performing the annual ritual, but blessed to see the day.

"This category of people can only fast the day and, while doing that, pray fervently for themselves, their children, parents and their leaders and country throughout the day," he explained.

"This is the only way they can reap from its bountiful blessings and they can pray in their native language."

The Saudi trained scholar also called on Nigerian Muslims to use this opportunity to pray for lasting peace and the end of hunger and the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the world at large.

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