Monday August 20, 2018
Muslim pilgrims gather on Mount Arafat (Picture: Getty Images)
The Day of Arafat is known as the holiest day in the Islamic calendar and it falls this week.
It falls on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month in the lunar Islamic calendar.
The Day of Arafat coincides with the second day of the annual Hajj
pilgrimage to Mecca and is on the the day before the beginning of Eid
ul-Adha, a Muslim celebration commemorating Ibraham’s devotion to Allah.
In 2018, the Day of Arafat will begin on the evening of Monday, 20 August and will end the evening of Tuesday, 21 August.
On the Day of Arafat, Muslims on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca gather at dawn on Mount Arafat, travelling from Mina.
Mount Arafat is the place where the prophet Muhammad gave one of his
last famous sermons on Islam and Allah, declaring that the Islamic
religion had been perfected.
After the Day of Arafat comes the beginning of Eid ul-Adha.
The story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS)
Eid ul Adha’s origin begins with the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) or Abraham.
Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by God to sacrifice the thing that was dearest to him: his son.
Prophet Ibrahim didn’t hesitate at this command, and set out to obey it.
When he told his son, his son also agreed with him and told his father to do as God had commanded him.
He got ready to sacrifice his son, but God replaced the boy with a ram. It had been a test.
To this day, Muslims around the world sacrifice cows, goats, lambs,
sheep, and camels, all in the name of God, as they honour Prophet
It is a Sunnah (a teaching of Muhammad / religious tradition) to divide the meat from the sacrificial animal into three parts.
One is to be shared with family, friends, and neighbours.
Another is to be distributed among the poor and needy.
And one part is for yourself and your immediate family.
Many people’s Eid menus include a dish made with the sacrificial meat, as it is recommended to eat it.
The link to Hajj
Hajj or the pilgrimage to Makkah, one of the five pillars of Islam,
is performed in the days before Eud ul Adha and its history also goes
back to Prophet Ibrahim.
When his son was a baby, Prophet Ibrahim was instructed by God to
leave his wife Hajrah and his son Ismail in the dessert of Saudi Arabia.
He left them with a good supply of both food and water, but it was finished quickly.
ran up and down the two hills Safa and Marwa seven times, trying to
look for water, all the time she was supplicating to God for some ease.
At that moment, water gushed forth from where baby Ismail’s feet were
and a well sprung there known as Zamzam, and they had enough to last
The water from the well continues to gush forth to this day.
Both the journey between the two hills and the partaking of the water continue to be traditions that are part of Hajj today.