31 July 2020 - 01:19
News ID: 450543
The Supplication of Arafah must be recited with a full heartfelt presence and with complete ‎understanding of its content. One must reflect on the deeper meaning of its various ‎teachings and benefit from the blessings of this great day.‎

RNA –‎ The Supplication of Arafah must be recited with a full heartfelt presence and with complete ‎understanding of its content. One must reflect on the deeper meaning of its various ‎teachings and benefit from the blessings of this great day.‎

The ninth day of Dhi al-Ḥijjah is known as the Day of Arafah, a day of great spirituality and ‎blessings. This day is also marked by a very special supplication which was recited by Imam ‎al-Husayn; this supplication holds many deep meanings and profound teachings and it is a ‎masterpiece of spirituality and divine yearning. One of the things which has become ‎customary through the blessings of the Islamic revolution in Iran is the regular yearly ‎recitation of this special supplication on the day of Arafah. This custom has spread to the ‎point where it is recited all around the country.‎

In light of this issue, in order for us to better understand this supplication, we will refer to ‎the valuable ideas of Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi to help explain the various subtle ties of this ‎supplication. Understanding this supplication in a deeper and more complete way will allow ‎us to reach a higher spiritual rank and gain greater proximity to God. Through utilizing the ‎power of this supplication, we will be able to reach a higher level of perfection.‎

The Significance and Position of the Day of Arafah

The blessed Day of Arafah holds such a significant position within the context of the Islamic ‎faith that has been referred to in various traditions as a type of Id. This day also coincides ‎with the martyrdom of Muslim ibn Aqil and thus it is both a day of celebration and a day of ‎mourning. On this day, God has called his servants to obey him and spend their time in his ‎worship. He in turn has spread his mercy and grace far and wide for his servants; on this ‎day, Satan has been made wretched and disgraced. The traditions have mentioned that on ‎this day, the servants are blessed with the special mercy of God.‎

The Importance of the Supplication of Arafah

The recitation of the supplication of Arafah is considered to be extremely important in the ‎teachings of the faith. Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has explained the importance of this ‎supplication as follows: The traditions which have been narrated in regards to the importance ‎of the Day of Arafah are extremely amazing in nature. They show us that the mercy of God ‎falls upon the servants at Arafat and the sins are forgiven.‎

The Supplication of Arafah as a Sign of the Truthfulness of the Position of the Ahl al-Bayt ‎
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has noted that this supplication as one of the most important ‎pieces of evidence showing that the Ahl al-Bayt are indeed the rightful leaders of the entire ‎Muslim Ummah. He has stated in this regard: One of proofs corroborating the fact that the ‎Ahl al-Bayt are indeed the rightful leaders of the entire Muslim Ummah can be found in these ‎types of supplications (such as the supplications of Kumayl, Ṣabaḥ, Arafah, etc.) Such ‎supplications cannot be found within any of the other Muslim schools and this supplication of ‎Imam al-Husayn which was first recited by the Imam on the Day of Arafah in the desert of ‎Arafat is in reality a manifestation of his love for God.‎

Without any doubt, supplications bring people closer to God and they prevent the ‎insinuations and whispers of Satan to have any effect. These supplications cause a very ‎subtle type of spirituality to develop and they strengthen the foundations of faith and allow ‎one to further purify oneself and develop a greater level of morality and ethics. Since these ‎supplications emanate from the lofty spirit of the Infallibles, they all possess great value and ‎spiritual depth. Thus, through an aware recitation of these supplications, one can reach the ‎heights of knowledge and wisdom.‎

The Supplication of Arafah is a Lesson in Monotheism

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi believes that many valuable lessons on monotheism and its true ‎recognition can be found in the Supplication of Arafah. He has stated in this regard: The ‎supplications, particularly those by the Infallibles, are filled with lofty lessons on morality and ‎the perfection of one’s character qualities. For example, the lofty Supplication of Arafah is ‎filled with many complete lessons in regards to Islamic precepts, particularly those of ‎monotheism. The kind of emphasis placed on monotheistic notions and the invaluable ‎lessons taught in monotheism in this supplication cannot be found in other supplications.‎

The Supplication of Arafah: A Complete Set of Lessons on Theology

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has said the following in regards to the lofty teachings found in ‎the Supplication of Arafah: The Supplication of Arafah is a complete set of lessons on ‎Islamic mysticism (Irfan), theology, prophetology, Wilayah, ethics, the various stages of ‎spiritual wayfaring. In essence, this supplication is a complete set of lessons on all of the ‎important Islamic precepts expressed in the language of prayers.‎

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has explained this issue further by saying: Contained in the ‎Supplication of Arafah, which has been taught to us by Imam al-Husayn, we find a complete ‎set of lessons on theology with all of the finer points which it contains. When referring to ‎God’s blessings and power in this supplication, Imam al-Husayn stated the following: You ‎began my creation with worthless drops of semen, and then you placed me within the three ‎folds of darkness, in between flesh, skin, and blood. You did not make my creation manifest ‎and you continued my creation in that hidden place. You did not leave to me any of the ‎stages of my creation and then you transferred me in to the world healthy and complete.‎

Supplication and Intimate Prayer: The Master Key to Knowledge of the Divine

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has then explained the necessity of supplicating to God and he ‎has considered the Supplication of Arafah to be one of the more important of these ‎supplications. He has stated in this regard: One must supplicate to God on this day in a ‎manner where one pleads to their Lord and considers themselves to be needy. The Day of ‎Arafah is considered to be one of the best days for supplicating to God.‎

Drawing upon Imam al-Husayn’s words in the Supplication of Arafah, Ayatollah Makarem-‎Shirazi has presented the following interpretations: based on this supplication mankind has to ‎be told: O’ man! What are you and your arrogance in the face of God’s vast creation? When ‎we consider our own creation, we see that we came about from a drop of semen and we ‎will end up as a dead and rotting corpse. During our own lives we are essentially a container ‎of filth. So how can something like this act arrogantly on this earth? By pondering on the ‎Supplication of Arafah, one begins to understand who we really are and how we should live ‎our lives.‎

‎ We should also learn the ways of servitude and supplication before God from Imam al-‎Husayn. While reciting this supplication, Imam al-Husayn cried hard and spoke to God in the ‎following way: ‘Oh Lord, I am in poverty even when I have everything I need, much less ‎when I am in a state of actual poverty. Oh Lord, even when I have knowledge, I am ‎ignorant, much less when I am in a state of actual ignorance.’ The supplication then ‎continues: Oh Lord, for the one whose good actions are, in essence, evil, how can his evil ‎actions not be evil? This is a type of knowledge which led to the self-sacrifice of al-Imam ‎Husayn of the Day of ‘Ashura!‎

The cure to arrogance, which arises from ignorance and a lack of understanding, can only ‎come from understanding the greatness of the creation of this universe and one’s own ‎weakness. This is an understanding which enjoys a direct relationship with humility and ‎humility enjoys a direct relationship with knowledge, and knowledge is linked to wisdom and ‎understanding. There is a tradition narrated from Imam al-Husayn who said: ‘Learning and ‎discussing knowledge give rise to wisdom and understanding.’ ‎

Thankfulness: A Key Element in the Supplication of Arafah

The element of thankfulness is also one of the concepts which is found in the Supplication of ‎Arafah. Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has explained this important concept in the following ‎words: In a section of Imam al-Husayn’s supplication of Arafah, we read: If I wished to ‎thank you for one of your blessings and I was to remain alive forever (active in thanking ‎you), then still, I would not have been able to thank you properly for even one of your ‎blessings. ‎

Examining the Lofty Position of the Day of Arafah Based on the Evidence from the Quran

Arafah as the Day which is ‘Witnessed’‎

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has explained that the verse which states: ‎وَ شاهِد وَ مَشْهُود‎ is ‎using the term Mashhud as a reference to the Day of Arafah, where the Id al-Aḍḥa is the ‎witness (Shahid), while the Day of Arafah itself is that which is witnessed (Mashhud). From ‎this perspective, the Day of Arafah is considered as a very important day and it is necessary ‎that one reflects upon its various aspects and spiritual mysteries. This day is so important ‎that it will be a witness to the actions of the people on the Day of Judgement. In fact, the ‎Day of Arafah and the immense crowds gathered on this day in the Arafat all bear a type of ‎resemblance to the Day of Judgement itself.‎

The Supplication of Arafah: An Acknowledgement of God’s Presence

One of the points which we can learn from the Supplication of Arafah is that God is ‎omnipresent, i.e. he is present in all places at all times. Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has ‎explained this issue in the following way: Imam al-Husayn says to God in the Supplication of ‎Arafah that- Blind is the eye which does not see you keeping watch over him. ‎

The Argument of Poverty and Wealth: A Key Characteristic in the Supplication of Arafah

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has delved in to the essence of poverty and wealth as explained ‎in the Supplication of Arafah. He has mentioned that: Without any doubt, human beings ‎must begin the day with the light of guidance and they must finish their day with wisdom in ‎the face of their enemies, both domestic and foreign; this a victory which is not possible ‎except with the light of God’s guidance. The Supplication of Arafah has mentioned in this ‎regard that: Oh Lord, make me self-sufficient within myself. This line clearly indicates that ‎wealth and self-sufficiency are not things which can be found external to ourselves; this is ‎not a state which can be reached through gathering up lots of wealth and building large ‎mansions for oneself.‎

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has then further explained the essential nature of poverty and ‎wealth by stating: The well-known supplication of Imam al-Husayn on the Day of Arafah is ‎one of the deepest and most profound of the supplications handed down to us from the ‎Infallibles; this is particularly true in relation to the issue of monotheism. In the ‎aforementioned supplication, it has been mentioned that: How can I demonstrate your ‎existence through means of things whose existence depends upon You. Are things which are ‎other than You more apparent that one should use them as a means of introducing Your ‎existence? ‎

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has then continued and said: In another section of the ‎Supplication of Arafah, we read that: ‘Oh Lord, I am in poverty even when I have everything ‎I need, much less when I am in a state of actual poverty.’ Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has ‎also explained the spiritual teachings found in this supplication and he has stated: It has ‎been mentioned in this same supplication that- When were you ever hidden so that you ‎needed a reason to be introduced? And when were you ever far away from us so that we ‎would need your signs in order to reach you? Blind is the eye which does not see you ‎present and watchful over them.‎

The Supplication of Arafah: Gaining Knowledge of Oneself towards the Realization of Felicity

Another key point highlighted in the Supplication of Arafah is how important it is to ‎acknowledge one’s human weakness and the necessity of gaining greater knowledge of the ‎divine. Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has mentioned in this regard that the Supplication of ‎Arafah teaches us that a human being that is so weak must submit himself to God and the ‎truth. Thus, man’s failure to gain knowledge of God, Himself, and this world is the root ‎source of all wretchedness and disgrace that they experience. Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has ‎further explained this issue by saying: We must pay attention to the Supplication of Arafah ‎and see the amazing lines of prayer which are found within it. When an individual sees the ‎level of self-sacrifice on the Day of Ashura, they may be surprised.‎

Yet when one reads Imam al-Husayn’s Supplication of Arafah, it becomes very easy to ‎understand how Imam al-Husayn did what he did on the Day of Ashura many centuries ago. ‎This is because one’s actions arise from one’s convictions and beliefs. In, yet, another ‎section of the Supplication of Arafah, we read: ‘Oh Lord, if we look deeply at the good of ‎human beings, we will find that they are nothing more than deficiencies and defects, much ‎less if we were to look at their defects and deficiencies… If we delve in to the realities and ‎knowledge of this human being, we will find it intertwined with ignorance, so how can his ‎ignorance not be considered ignorance?’ If someone were to deeply examine our power and ‎potential, they would quickly find that we are nothing but utter weakness and deficiency. ‎

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has then gone on to explain the way of gaining deeper knowledge ‎of the divine and attaining true felicity. He has mentioned in this regard: Imam al-Husayn has ‎stated in the Supplication of Arafah that- ‘Oh my Lord, people come after the signs in order ‎to recognize you but have you gone away so that I need to seek the signs in order to find ‎you?’‎

The supplication then continues: ‘Blind is the eye which does not see your pure beauty. And ‎at a loss is the servant who does not have a share of your love and affection in his heart.’ If ‎we gain sufficient knowledge of God, the world around us, and ourselves, then any sense of ‎arrogance and pride will be neutralized within us and we will be true servants of our Lord. ‎Therefore, we must recognize the greatness of God in the world around us.‎

A Final Word

Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has then emphasized the importance of reciting this Supplication ‎of Arafah. He has furthermore explained that we must not only recite it but we must also ‎understand its content and reflect upon its subtle notions and teachings. He has stated in this ‎regard that: One must recite the Supplication of Arafah with a complete presence of heart ‎and a complete understanding of its profound teachings. One must reflect upon its various, ‎subtle notions that it contains and benefit from the blessings of this valuable supplication.‎

The Day of Arafah is in reality a day of supplication and prayer. All of the believers must ‎make use of this day and ask God to resolve the problems which the Muslims are facing all ‎round the world. We are hopeful that everyone will be blessed to participate in the ‎Supplication of Arafah and that everyone will remember their fellow brothers and sisters in ‎these important prayers. ‎

The supplication of this day holds so much importance that it has been recommended that ‎we pray for the departed, as well as the Prisoners of War who are still being held captive. ‎We must ask God to resolve the problems of the Muslim community, particularly the ‎problems related to our own country of Iran. We hope that God will have mercy on us on ‎this day due to the blessings of this supplication (Arafah) and for the sake of the martyrs, ‎such as Muslim ibn Aqil and Hani ibn Urwah. We must all pray for the resolution of the ‎domestic and international problems which the Muslim world faces today and we must ask ‎God for the grace of being able to serve in his cause. ‎


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