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ʿArafa (Arabic: عَرَفَة) 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 Fiqh (jurisprudence) pilgrims of Hajj must stay in 'Arafat from the noon to sunset of this day. The day of 'Arafa is one of the most important days of year for Muslims. Special rituals have been reported for this day in hadiths, the best of which is praying and asking for forgiveness, most of Shi'as recite the Supplication of 'Arafa by Imam al-Husayn (a) in the day. According to Shi'a, performing Ziyara of Imam al-Husayn (a) is recommended (Mustahab) on this day.


مسجد جامع خرمشهر.jpg

'Arafa (عَرَفَة) is derived from the Arabic word "'Arafa" (َعَرَف) meaning knowing, understanding and learning.[1] Apparently, the name of this day has been taken from 'Arafat (a special place near Mecca where pilgrims of Hajj stay for a specific time in.).[2]

Importance 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 (a) and religious elites. Even in some sources a supplication has been narrated from the Prophet (s).[3] One of the most famous supplications of this day is the one narrated from Imam al-Husayn (a). Many Shi'a around the world read this supplication on this day. Another famous supplication for this day is the one recited by Imam al-Sajjad (a).
  • Many hadiths described 'Arafa as a special day of forgiving the sins.[4]
  • It has also been described as the day of answering prayers.[5]
  • Shi'a infallible Imams (a) honored and respected this day and advised people to do so. They did not refuse the poor on this day.[6]

Fiqhi Rulings

  • In Imamiyya Fiqh (jurisprudence) it is Wajib (compulsory) for pilgrims of Hajj to stay in 'Arafat from the noon to the sunset of this day. This action which is called "Wuquf in 'Arafat" is a Rukn (necessary element) of Hajj, which means if a pilgrim does not stay in 'Arafat - even for a short time - his Hajj will be void.[7]
  • Sunni sects have different opinion about the time of Wuquf (staying in 'Arafat):
1. From the sunset of the day of 'Arafa to the dawn of the day of Eid al-Adha (next day)
2. From the dawn of 'Arafa to the dawn of Eid al-Adha
3. From the noon of 'Arafa to the dawn of Eid al-Adha

Mustahab Practices in 'Arafa

Hadiths have mentioned Mustahab (recommended) acts for the day of 'Arafa; some of which are:

See Also


  1. Raghib, Mufradat, p.560
  2. Qurayshi, al-Tahqiq li kalimat al-Qur'an, vol.8 p.120
  3. Saduq, Man la yahduruhu l-faqih, vol.2 pp.542-543
  4. Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol.4 p.146,541
  5. Saduq, Man la yahduruhu l-faqih, vol.2 p.211
  6. Saduq, Man la yahduruhu l-faqih, vol.2 p.211
  7. Musawi, Jami' al-fatawa, pp.173-174
  8. 'Amili, Wasa'il al-shi'a, vol.13 pp.559-560
  9. Saduq, Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, vol.1 p.77
  10. Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol.4 p.580;'Amili, Wasa'il al-shi'a, vol.14 p.459; Qummi, Mafatih, p.451
  11. Saduq, Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, vol.3 p.113
  12. Tusi, al-Istibsar, vol.2 p.133
  13. Saduq, Ma'ani l-akhbar, p.296


  • Raghib al-Isfahani. Mufradat alfaz al-Qur'an
  • Qurayshi al-. Al-Tahqiq li kalimat al-Qur'an
  • Saduq al-. Man la yahduruhu l-faqih. Qom: Intisharat Jami'a Mudarrisin, 1413
  • Kulayni Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-. Al-Kafi.
  • Musawi Shahrudi, Sayyid Murtada. Jami' al-fatawa manasik hajj. Tehran: Nashr Mash'ar, 1428
  • 'Amili Hurr al-. Wasa'il al-shi'a. Qom: Mu'assisa Al al-Bayt, 1409
  • Qummi, 'Abbas. Mafatih al-Janan. Qom
  • Tusi al-. Al-Istibsar. Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, 1390
  • Saduq al-. Ma'ani l-akhbar. Qom: Intisharat Jami'a Mudarrisin, 1361sh