Go on ahead, open any Hijri Calendar, and look at the label if tagged for 8th Dhul Hijjah. In several calendars 8th Dhul Hijjah is tagged as the beginning of Hajj. Now, this may appear confusing to the masses who consider 1st of Dhul Hijjah as the beginning of Hajj. Nevertheless, it should be understood that the actual rites of hajj begins from the 8th day also dubbed as Yawm At- Tarwiyah
In times of old, the 8th day Of Dhul Hijjah was the day people would quench their thirst with water in preparation for Arafah as there was no water there at that time, hence the nomenclature Yawm At- Tarwiyah.
The rituals of the eighth day:
- The pilgrim performing Hajj Tamattu’ bathes and then enters the state of Ihraam for Hajj saying, “Labbayka Allaahumma Hajjan” (I am here at your service O Allaah for Hajj) and follows all the steps for assuming Ihraam as explained in the article “Ihram”
- A pilgrim performing Tamattu’ may assume Ihraam from the place where he stays, whether in Makkah or any place outside Makkah, but he should not perform Tawaf after assuming Ihraam for Hajj (as it has been already performed during Ihraam for Umrah).
- As for the ones performing Hajj Ifraad or Qiraan they remain upon their Ihraam if they had assumed it before the 8th
- Once a pilgrim assumes Ihraam for Hajj, he should then preoccupy himself with chanting talbiyah and continually repeating it every now and then, raising his voice with it until he stones Jamratul- Aqabah on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah).
- On this day (8th day of Dhul Hijjah) the pilgrims should head for Mina
- The optimum time for moving is after the sun has reached its meridian.
- Then, they perform the Zuhr (Noon) Prayer there, at Mina, staying there until they perform the rest of the five daily prayers including the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer of the following day (the ninth of Dhul Hijjah). The pilgrims shorten the prayers but do not join them. Jâbir (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated:
‘… The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Of Allaah Be Upon Him) rode his mount (heading for Mina) and performed there the Zuhr, the Asr (Afternoon), the Maghrib (Sunset), the Isha (Night), and the Fajr (Dawn) Prayers. Then, he (Peace and Blessings of Allaah Be upon Him) stayed there for a while until the sun rose.”
- Staying overnight at Mina before Yawm Al Arafah is recommended for pilgrims to ensure that they rest in preparation for standing at Arafah and it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), however if it is necessary to go to Arafah on this night then it is fine to do so.
- It is worth mentioning that spending that time in Mina (from the noon of the Day of Tarwiyah until the dawn of the following day) and performing those five prayers there, is an act of the Sunnah, not an obligatory one. Likewise, assuming Ihraam on the Day of Tarwiyah is considered an act of the Sunnah. So, it is permissible for a pilgrim to assume Ihraam before or after that day.
With this we conclude the rituals of the day of Tarwiyah
After sunrise the next day, the 9th Dhul-Hijjah, the pilgrim leaves Mina and proceeds to the large area known as Arafah whilst continually reciting the Talbiyah.
Staying at Arafah is one of the obligatory fundamental rituals of Hajj, and ¡t is the most important and the greatest one as well for the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allaah Be upon Him) said:
Dear readers, you have exerted effort to reach Arafah and it has now neared. Doesn’t it require some special preparation?
These are some ways to prepare for it; so let’s start with our check list!!
I do recommend you to read http://aateam.org/blog/the-day-of-arafah/ to enlighten yourself about this auspicious day.
Now to the rulings and rituals of this day:
Rituals of the day of Arafah
- On the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah and after sunrise, a pilgrim proceeds to Arafah;
The whole area of Arafah is a standing place except for the valley called Batn ‘Uranah. Thus, it is sufficient for a pilgrim to stand anywhere on that day within the boundaries of Arafah, excluding the place pointed out by the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allaah be Upon Him), namely Batn ‘Uranah.
The boundaries of Arafah are clearly distinguished by means of signs, so standing anywhere within these boundaries will be regarded as standing at Arafah. Still, a pilgrim has to pay attention to these signs in order not to stand outside Arafah.
- If possible, he stops at Masjid Namirah (some part of the masjid namirah lies within the arafah whereas a part of it lies outside the arafah, so make sure of where you stand after you finish your prayer) until the time of Zuhr and listens to the Sermon that is delivered there if he can do so. If he cannot do it, it does not matter because staying in Namirah is Sunnah but it is not obligatory
- When the sun passes its meridian, a pilgrim performs the Zuhr (Noon) and the Asr (Afternoon) Prayers, shortening and combining them at the due time of the Zuhr Prayer (i.e. performing each as two rak’ahs instead of four) with one prayer call (adhan) and two immediate prayer calls (iqamahs).
And he who is not able to pray along with the Imaam, then he prays in the same way on his own, or with those in a similar situation around him.
If a person prays in his tent in a calm and dignified manner, without being disturbed or disturbing others, and without trouble that makes Hajj too hard, that is better.
We should know that a pilgrim shortens every four-rak’ah prayer (i.e. performs it as two rak‘ahs) at Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina. However, at Arafah and Muzdalifah the prayers are to be shortened and combined whereas they are only shortened at Mina, i.e. performing each prayer at its due time for there is no need for combining them at Mina.
- After praying, the pilgrim should spend the rest of the day remembering, invoking, glorifying, and praising Allaah, seeking His forgiveness, and so on and so forth. If he is able to, he stands upon the rocks beneath the Mountain on which the Prophet stood and if not then all of Arafah is a place of standing, and supplication. In other words, a pilgrim does not have to go to this Mountain, or to watch it, or even to face it, while performing such supplications, standing anywhere at Arafah while facing the direction of the Kabah is sufficient.]
- A pilgrim should spare no effort supplicating Allaah and turning to Him in repentance on such a glorious day, whether he is walking, sitting, riding, standing, or even lying down.
- He should also choose the most comprehensive supplications that were reported to have been observed by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
The best supplication is the one on the Day of Arafah, and the best thing which I and the prophets before me have said is:
There is no deity but Allaah Alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs (all) praise, and He is over all things Omnipotent.
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
- A pilgrim keeps supplicating to Allaah at Arafah until sunset.
It is impermissible to leave before sunset, and if a pilgrim does, he must go back soon before sunset, to witness it there.
However, if a pilgrim leaves Arafah before sunset and does not go back, he is then obliged to slaughter a sheep of Hajj (or to get one seventh of a camel or a cow) and divide ¡t among the poor residents of the Sanctuary of Makkah in expiation for missing an obligatory ritual of Hajj.
- The Day of Arafah starts from the noon of the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah until the dawn of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah (the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice) according to the sound opinion in this regard. As for a pilgrim who is present at Arafah at daytime, he is obliged to stay there until sunset as we previously said. But if someone arrives at Arafah at night, it is sufficient for him to stay there for any length of time, even if for only one moment, as the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allaah be Upon Him) said:
- Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “It was the Prophet’s way to eat (not fast) on the day of Arafah at Arafah due to the Hadith narrated by Um Al-Fadl:
Ataa’, (may Allaah have mercy on him), said: The one who eats (doesn’t fast) on the day of Arafah in order to strengthen himself to invoke Allaah will have the same reward as the one who fasts
Dear readers before I conclude do remember the Prophetic saying:
“There is no day on which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, frees more of his slaves, male and female, from the fire, Fire than the day of Arafah, and He verily draws near then boasts of them before the angels, saying: ‘What do these people want?’
So, take advantage of this time. Cleanse your mind of distractions and plead to Allaah that you may avail the time of this day, this day truly brings justice to the phrase “golden opportunity”
And remember to be humble, show insufficiency and dependence on Allaah, remember how humble the Prophets were and invoke from your heart with sincerity to your Rabb