The Arafa Opportunity
How will you take advantage of this day? Allow me to share with you some of the benefits of this day and an experience I loved doing and would love for you to join me on it this year.
The Day of Arafa is Thursday August 31st, 2017
According to authentic narrations, this is the day where:
- Allah swt brags about the worshippers to the Angels. He is proud of our worship.
- Allah swt forgives the sins of the previous year and the next year for the one that fasts this day.
- Allah swt accepts the dua as the Prophet saw says: “The best of Dua is the Dua of Arafa.”
- Allah swt frees the most amount of people from the hellfire.
- It is the day we celebrate and rejoice the completion of Islam as Allah revealed: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” Maai’da 3
Abdullah ibn alMubarak saw Sufyan Althawri in tears and kneeling the night of Arafa. He asked him: “Who is in the worst situation this night of Arafa?” Sufyan Althawri said: “The one that doesn’t expect forgiveness from Allah swt.” If you think about it, the one that acts like he or she is not expecting the forgiveness of Allah is the one that doesn’t put effort in doing the things that grant them forgiveness. Decide now what will you make your intentions for and what will you plan ahead for?
May Allah subhannahu wa ta’ala allow you and I to put forth our best efforts in worship on these special days and especially on the day of Arafa.
Allow me to invite you to an experience that truly was one of the most memorable moments for me last year. On the day of Arafa, and specifically between Asr and Maghrib, plan to be disconnected, alone and out in nature at a beautiful and comfortable place. You can walk, sit or be on a swing or a boat, whatever helps you stay focused and feel at peace. Dedicate this time to make dhikr and dua… the entire time.
Anse Tamara Gray once said at a halaqa that people at Arafa are supposed to be engaged in dua the entire time, but making dua for a lengthy period of time is something many people don’t do because they have not been in the habit of having a conversation with Allah swt.
During this time, just speak to Allah. I didn’t make a list, I simply allowed my mind to be present and my heart to be awakened while watching the beautiful waves of Lake Calhoun. I reflected on my entire life and made dua for each thing that came to mind along with important goals and milestones I wanted to achieve.
While I was alone when doing this, I also had a group of my soul sisters doing it at the same time. This kept me even more motivated knowing that we are all an inspiration and support to one another. A sister who didn’t have a babysitter put her kids in a stroller and went for a walk with them. Another sister couldn’t do it the entire time, she did it the last hour. Do what will work for you and invite your soul sisters and brothers to join you.
Have a few dates and a bottle of water with you so you can break your fast and perhaps even pray Maghrib before you go back to join family and friends for Iftar. It goes without saying, safety comes first so be aware of your surroundings.
When I was done and as I walked back to my car to go home, I remember having an intense feeling of gratitude, serenity and strength. I felt like Allah swt handed it to me as a fuel to keep me going on my journey. May He allow me to do the same and better this year and may He accept from me and you the best of what we offer.