9th of Dhul Hijjah: The day of Hajj, the day of Arafat

On the second day of Hajj, known as Yawm al-Arafat (the Day of Arafat) or Yawm al-Wuquf (the Day of Standing), pilgrims to travel to the plain of Arafat where they combine Dhuhr and Asr prayers and engage in Wuquf, the most solemn rite of the Hajj.
Virtues of Arafat
The Prophet said in a famous Hadith:
Hajj is Arafat.
[Narrated in Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
This saying of the Prophet ﷺ indicates that standing on the plains of Arafat during Yawm al-Arafat is of such immense importance that without it, the entire Hajj is invalid.
The Prophet ﷺ also said the following about this day:
There is no day on which Allah ransoms more slaves from the Fire than the Day of Arafat. He draws closer and closer, then He boasts about them before the angels and says: What do these people want?
[Narrated in Sunan Ibn Majah]

The word Arafat is derived from the Arabic verb Arafa, which means to know or to recognise. Imam al-Qurtubi V, the famous Maliki scholar said: The area was named Arafat because it is there that people get to know one another.
Fajr in Mina
After spending the night in Mina, you will perform the Fajr prayer in the morning. As previously mentioned, wake up at least an hour before Fajr so you can use the washing facilities and avoid the crowds.
You will now have offered five obligatory prayers at Mina before departing for Arafat.
Although fasting on the Day of Arafat is very virtuous for non-pilgrims, it isnt recommended for pilgrims. Ikrimah I narrates:
I entered upon Abu Hurairah in his house and asked him about fasting the Day of Arafat at Arafat. Abu Hurairah said: ‘The Messenger of Allah ﷺ forbade fasting the Day of Arafat at Arafat.’1
Takbir al-Tashreeq
Starting immediately after Fajr Salah on the 9th of DhulHijjah, audibly recite Takbir al-Tashreeq at least once after every Fardh Salah, up to and including Asr Salah on the 13th of DhulHijjah (a total of 23 Fardh prayers).
Takbir al-Tashreeq is the recitation of the following:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La IlahaIlallahuWallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, WaLillahilHamd.
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no deity besides Allah and Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest and all praises are for Allah only.
Talbiyah is recited after Takbir al-Tashreeq.
Takbir al-Tashreeq is Wajib (obligatory) for both men and women, according to the Hanafi Madhhab.
Men will recite it audibly whilst women will recite it softly.
Ghusl for the Day of Arafat
It is Sunnah to perform Ghusl on the Day of Arafat. This can be done in Arafat before the Wuquf (standing) or it can be done in Mina before departing for Arafat. The camps in Arafat are more open in comparison to Mina, so it may be more comfortable for a person, particularly a woman, to perform Ghusl in Mina. The restrictions of Ihram obviously apply too, so extra care should be taken when doing Ghusl i.e. no scrubbing and ensuring shampoo / soap is unscented if used, etc.
Travelling to Arafat
Depart from Mina after sunrise, as this was the practice of the Prophet ﷺ. The distance from Mina to Arafat is about 13 kilometres (8 miles).
Most pilgrims tend to reach Arafat before or after Dhuhr, although delays may occur due to traffic congestion. Don’t panic if you’re still in Mina at this time and you feel you are late; your tour operator will ensure you reach your destination. Use this time wisely; you may engage in Dhikr, make Dua, take a shower or have breakfast.
As you leave, traffic may flow very slowly and you may find that it gets quite hot on the bus. Ensure you take cold drinking water and some snacks for your journey.
If youre a woman and get separated from your husband / Mahram, you must ensure you reach Arafat, even if you have to travel alone. Look for a group of women to travel with if you get separated.
If you elect to travel to Arafat by foot, keep in mind that it will probably be the most challenging walk you will encounter during the course of your Hajj. The walk is quite lengthy, particularly if youre from Europe, as the Europa camps are situated on the other side of Arafat, meaning the distance of the journey will exceed 8 miles. Finding your camp upon arrival in Arafat may also prove fairly challenging. It is also worth noting that the Prophet ﷺ rode from Mina to Arafat on a conveyance, so travelling from Mina to Arafat by foot is not a Sunnah practice.
If you decide to walk, there will be water taps, washing facilities, benches to rest on, people selling refreshments and medical facilities at regular intervals.
Arrival in Arafat
For your Hajj to be deemed valid, you must perform Wuquf al-Arafat i.e. you must spend a portion of time in Arafat between midday and the beginning of Fajr on the following day. If you dont reach Arafat during this period, your Hajj will be regarded as incomplete.
If you arrive early, take some time to rest and get some sleep, as the time of Arafat doesnt begin until after midday. Some people erroneously start their Dua for Arafat before midday and rest in the evening; this is an incorrect practice and should be avoided.
During the course of the day, you should spend as much time in Dhikr and Ibadah as possible. It is perhaps a day that you will never experience again, so make the most of it.
Dhuhr and Asr Salah in Arafat
Pilgrims praying outside Masjid al-Namirah
After midday, if you havent already done so in Mina, perform Ghusl.
You will then head towards Masjid al-Namirah, where you will combine the Dhuhr and Asr prayers in Qasr mode i.e. shortening them. This is the location where the Prophet ﷺ delivered his sermon during his final Hajj.
According to the Hanafi Madhhab, Dhuhr and Asr can only be combined in Masjid al-Namirah behind the Imam. The two prayers cannot be combined in the tents, so must be performed during their respective times in the tents if the Masjid is inaccessible. The other three Sunni schools of thought state that it is permissible to combine the prayers in the tents.
Thousands of pilgrims outside Masjid al-Namirah
Before the Salah takes place in the mosque, there is a Khutbah (sermon). For those who manage to get a space in the Masjid, or are within hearing distance, listen to the Khutbah attentively.
The combined Salah is then performed as follows:
There is one Adhan.
Iqama is made for Dhuhr.
Takbir is made for DhuhrFardh Salah and two Rakats are performed.
After the prayer is completed, while standing, recite Takbir al-Tashreeq.
Iqama is made for Asr.
Takbir is made for AsrFardh Salah and two Rakats are performed.
After the prayer is completed, recite Takbir al-Tashreeq and Talbiyah.
No additional Nafl (optional) prayers are performed before or after these prayers.
If you are too far from the Masjid and have access to a radio, you can listen to the Khutbah. The sermon will be in Arabic so someone from your group will need to translate it.
Lunch is normally provided after Salah. However, it is advised that you shouldnt spend too much time eating, as the time after Salah needs to be spent wisely.
After Salah until Sunset
A pilgrim making Dua in Arafat
After Salah, you will stay in Arafat until sunset. This period of time is extremely important, so full advantage must be taken. During your Wuquf (standing), spend your time:
Reading the Quran.
Doing Dhikr.
Sending Salawat upon the Prophet.
Reciting Talbiyah.
Offering your supplications.
Dont spend your time eating, engaging in idle talk or sleeping during the most important day of your Hajj pilgrimage. Seize the moment, separate yourself from people and connect to Allah.
Wuquf al-Arafat
In the late afternoon, stand in the open and raise your hands in supplication to Allah, as the Prophet ﷺ had done, facing the Kaaba. It is recommended to do the Wuquf (standing) at the foot of Jabal al-Rahmah (the Mount of Mercy), although you can stand outside your tent if you please.
During these sacred moments, you are alone with Allah so use this time to repent earnestly and supplicate in abundance. It is a period where Duas are readily accepted so make the most of the opportunity. You may supplicate in any language or recite MasnoonDuas (Duas of the Prophet ﷺ recorded in the Sunnah). Ensure you know the meaning of what you’re reciting if you don’t understand Arabic.
Pilgrims making Dua on Jabal al-Rahmah in Arafat
Remember to supplicate for:
The Holy Prophet.
Our pious predecessors M.
Your family and relatives.
The entire Muslim community, especially those suffering around the world.
Those who have passed away.
It is a good idea to prepare a list of Duas beforehand, as well as a list of all those people who asked you to pray for them on your Hajj.
Please note:
If the heat gets too intense whilst youre making Dua and its affecting you physically, you may make Dua in your tent or in some shade, standing or sitting. If you get tired of keeping your arms raised, you may continue to make Dua without raising them.
Menstruating women can recite verses from the Holy Quran, but can only do so without touching the Mushaf (copy of the Quran) or without touching the verses if reading from a Dua book.
Leaving Arafat
Immediately after sunset, you will leave Arafat to make your way to Muzdalifah.
Before you leave for Muzdalifah, ensure you use the toilets and perform Wudhu in Arafat, as you will be performing Salah in Muzdalifah. Plan to avoid using the toilet and washing facilities in Muzdalifah because they tend to get very crowded. It will also be dark by the time you get there.
It is Wajib (obligatory) to stay in Arafat until sunset. If you leave before sunset, a penalty will be due upon you.
If you board the coach and start your journey towards Muzdalifah prior to sunset, dont worry as the coach will remain within the boundary of Arafat and will only cross after sunset.
This journey can be a quick one or it can take some time, depending on traffic and your location in Arafat. Many pilgrims choose to journey to Muzdalifah by foot.
The journey to Muzdalifah will take approximately 2 hours if you intend to walk. The distance between the two sites is about 8 kilometres (5 miles). You may walk towards the boundary of Arafat before sunset, but ensure you dont cross this boundary until the sun has actually set. The boundaries for Arafat are indicated by large yellow sign posts.
Maghrib Salah shouldnt be performed at Arafat and must be observed at Muzdalifahlater  in the evening. If it is performed at Arafat, it must be repeated at Muzdalifah.
As you proceed to Muzdalifah, exercise patience and continue to recite Talbiyah and other prayers.
The Prophet at Arafat
The Prophet ﷺ left for Arafat on the morning of the 9th of DhulHijjah (a Friday) 10 AH (632 CE).
After having performed Fajr at Mina, he addressed his companions. Jabir ibn Abdullah I narrates:
After the prayer the Prophet ﷺ ordered everyone to remain in their places and proclaimed the majesty of the Allah with the following words: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilahaillallah, wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar walillahilHamd. He uttered these words after each prayer until Asr of the last day of Tashreeq.2
When he arrived at Namirah, an area just before Arafat, he stayed in a tent which had been erected for him. His wives remained in tents around him. When the sun came down from its meridian, he sent for his she-camel, al-Qaswa, and he rode into the interior of Uranah valley, a spacious expanse where his companions were able to gather around him. He arrived at the bottom of the valley and, seated on his camel, addressed thousands of companions with a powerful speech, now known as KhuṭbatulWida (Farewell Sermon).
Dhuhr and Asr
After the sermon, The Prophet ﷺ instructed Bilal I to recite the Adhan and to utter the Iqama for Dhuhr Salah thereafter. The Prophet ﷺ and his companions then observed the Dhuhr prayer, which was offered in Qasr mode i.e. the prayer was shortened to two Rakats. Bilal then uttered the Iqama for Asr Salah, which was led by the Prophet ﷺ immediately after Dhuhr Salah, again in Qasr mode. The Prophet ﷺ did not perform any supererogatory prayers (Sunan) between the two prayers, but prayed both of them together at the time of Dhuhr with one Adhan and two Iqamas.3
Jabal al-Rahmah is the place where the Prophet ﷺ stood and delivered his farewell sermon
Wuquf at Jabal al-Rahmah
After completing his prayers, the Prophet ﷺ mounted his she-camel and traveled further into the valley of Arafat, towards Jabal al-Rahmah. He stopped at the foot of the mountain and turned towards the Qibla, remaining in a position where the mountain was just ahead of him. Jabir ibn Abdullah I narrates:
He mounted al-Qaswa and came to the place of standing, making his she-camel turn its back to the rocks and, before facing the Qibla. He remained standing until sunset when the yellow light had somewhat gone and the disc of the sun had disappeared.4
The great scholar Imam Nawawi V writes:
All of Arafat is a place of Wuquf although its best place is the Prophet’s ﷺ place of Wuquf, which is near the large stones laid out at the bottom of Jabal al-Rahmah in the heart of Arafat.5
The Prophet ﷺ sent word to the people to take their positions at the places appointed for the ritual. He instructed one of his Ansari companions, Ibn Mirba I, to tell the people within Arafat: “Stay where you are, for you are following the legacy of you father Ibrahim S.”6 The Prophet ﷺ informed them that Wuquf on the 9th DhulHijjah can be carried out anywhere within the confines of Arafat. He said: “I have stood here and all of Arafat is a place of standing.”7
Dua of the Prophet
He then raised his hands in supplication and began to implore and beseech Allah from midday until the sun had set, all the while seated on his camel. When the Prophet ﷺ supplicated, he would raise his hands to the level of his chest in a similar manner to a needy person pleading for provision. At one point, his camel became unsettled and the rein fell off. He picked it up with one hand while his other hand was raised in supplication.8
The Prophet ﷺ supplicated for himself and his Ummah and declared that Dua made on the Day of Arafat is the best of supplications. Amr ibn Shu’aib narrates from his grandfather that the Prophet ﷺ said:
The best of supplication is the supplication of the Day of Arafat. And the best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is:
Lāilāhaillallāh, waḥdahulāsharīkalahu, lahul-mulkuwalahul-ḥamdu, wahuwa ‘alākullishai’inqadīr.
None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, alone without partner. To Him belongs all that exists, and to Him is the praise, and He is powerful over all things.9
Describing the supplication the Prophet ﷺ made for his Ummah, al-Abbas ibn Mirdas al-Sulami I narrates:
The Prophet ﷺ, during the latter part of the day of Arafat, supplicated abundantly for the forgiveness of the Ummah. Allah informed the Prophet ﷺ: ‘I have accepted your supplication but I will not forgive the oppressors.’ The Prophet ﷺ pleaded ‘O my Lord, You have the ability to give the oppressed greater reward for their suffering at the hands of the oppressor, so forgive the oppressor.’ However, that part of the supplication wasn’t accepted that evening but was accepted after the Prophet ﷺ repeated the supplication at Muzdalifah.’10
As well as Dua, the Prophet ﷺ continued to recite Talbiyah during his Wuquf on the Day of Arafat.
The Prophet ﷺ spent the rest of the day in fervent prayer and supplication. Such was his devotion that there was a dispute among the companions about whether he was fasting or not. Lubababint al-Harith (Umm al-Fadl) J, the wife of al-Abbas ibn Abdul Mutallib I, sent him a cup of milk to determine if he was fasting or not. The Prophet ﷺ drank the milk while he was riding his camel, confirming that he was not in fact fasting.11
Ready for Departure
As the Prophet ﷺ was ready to depart from Arafat, he summoned Usama ibn Zayd I to ride with him on his camel.12 This may have come to a surprise to many, particularly those new to Islam, since Usama was a young man of Abyssinian heritage. The Prophet ﷺ, however, wanted to emphasise the egalitarian nature of the pilgrimage and the Muslim community as a whole. He thus practically declared that “no Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor a white man over a black one, except by being more God-fearing.”