Day of Arafa
Day of Arafa is the 9th day of Dhu l-Hijja, the last month of Hijri calendar, and the day before Eid al-Adha. According to Shi’a jurisprudence Hajji must stay in ‘Arafat desert from the noon to sunset of this day. The day of ‘Arafa is one of the most important days of year for Muslims. Many rituals have been reported for this holy day in hadiths, the best of which is praying and asking for forgiveness, most of Shi’as recite the Supplication of ‘Arafa by Imam Hussein (AS) in the day. According to Shi’a, performing Ziyara of Imam al-Hussain (AS) is recommended on this day.
Etymology of the word “Arafa”
‘Arafa is derived from the Arabic word “‘Arafa” (َعَرَف), which means knowing, understanding and learning.
Apparently, the name of this day has been taken from ‘Arafat(a special place near Mecca where Hajji stay for a specific time in.).
Importance Of the day and Merits
In the day of ‘Arafa, pilgrims of Hajj gather in ‘Arafat and in addition to praying and asking for forgiveness, they thank God for giving them the opportunity of performing Hajj. Due to the importance of this day, many supplications have been reported for it from Imams (AS) and religious elites. Even in some sources a supplication has been narrated from the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) One of the most famous supplications of this day is the one narrated from Imam al-Hussein (AS). Many Shi’aaround the world, specially in Karbala read this supplication on this day. Another famous supplication for this day is the one recited by Imam al-Sajjad (AS).Many hadiths described ‘Arafa as a special day of forgiving the sins. It has also been described as the day of answering prayers.
Shi’a infallible Imams (AS) honored and respected this day and advised people to do so.