Al-‘Abbaas Ibn Al-Midraas said, “The Prophet (pbuh) supplicated abundantly for the forgiveness and mercy of his nation on the night of ‘Arafaat … the next day he did the same in Muzdalifah. The Prophet (pbuh) smiled when he finished. Some of the companions asked: “I sacrifice my father and mother for your sake, you smiled at a time which you never smiled previously, may Allaah always make you happy, what made you smile?” he said, “I smiled because of the predicament of Satan, the enemy of Allaah. After Allaah accepted my supplications for my Ummah and forgave those who transgressed against themselves. Satan started pouring soil upon his head and crying out for his own destruction, so I smiled at his grief” (Ahmad).
Satan , The enemy of Allaah, was never seen more humiliated and enraged than on the day of the battle of Badr - except on the day of ‘Arafah. On that day he sees the mercy that Allaah sends down and His forgiveness of sins
The day of ‘Arafah is the day in which the mercy of Allaah descends, but what do we mean by mercy? Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allaah has divided Mercy into one hundred parts, He kept ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down one part to the earth, and because of that one single part, His creatures are merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoof away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it” (Bukhaari).
‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, said: “Captives were brought to the Prophet (pbuh) after a battle. Among them was a woman desperately searching for something. When she laid her eyes on a baby she immediately picked it up, clutched it to her breast and started feeding it”. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) asked: “Do you think this woman would throw her baby into a fire?” we said: ‘Never! By Allaah! – she would never allow this to happen’, the Prophet (pbuh) then said: “Allaah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her baby” (Muslim).
The mercy of Allaah is overwhelming and sins don’t hinder it. To realise this, it is enough to know that Allaah ordered His slaves to expose themselves to His mercy regardless of the extent of sinfulness that they have reached. Allaah says that which translates as: “Say ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves (by sinning), do not despair of the mercy of Allaah. Indeed, Allaah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful” (Az-Zumar: 53).
There is no other day on which the extent of forgiveness and mercy reaches such a level like the day of ‘Arafah. On ‘Arafaat Allaah frees people from the Hellfire, as ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, narrated in the book of Muslim, that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “There is no day greater than ‘Arafaat in which Allaah frees His slaves from The Hellfire. Allaah ‘Yadnoo’ (which indicates coming close) to His slaves and boasts about them to the angels, then asks: “What do these slaves seek?” (This is a rhetorical question). In another narration Allaah says that which translates as: “I make you witnesses that I forgave them” the angels would then say, “O Allaah! So and so is overburdened with sins” Allaah replies, “I forgave them all” (Ibn Khuzaymah).
‘Arafaat is an introduction to Yawm An-Nahr (the day of sacrifice). It involves standing, supplication and repentance. Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah) after standing in ‘Arafaat is called ‘The visiting Tawaaf’ because having been purified from their sins, Allaah permitted the people, on the day of sacrifice, to visit His house. The day of ‘Arafah purifies the people for the day of sacrifice.
It is the day on which Allaah took the covenant from the children of Aadam and they testified to the oneness of Allaah. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Allaah took the covenant from children of Adam on the day of ‘Arafah, and He brought forth from their loins their descendants and then scattered them and spoke to them asking? “Am I not your Lord?”” (Al-A’raaf: 172)” (Ahmad).
As For those who could not make it to ‘Arafaat, Allaah legislated righteous acts instead, such as fasting on that day. Abu Qataadah narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Fasting it (‘Arafaat) expiates the sins of the previous and the current year” (Muslim) one can fast that day alone, even that means singling out Friday for fasting.
Fasting the days of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah is prohibited except for those who cannot sacrifice. Ibn ‘Umar said, “No permission was given to fast these days except for those who cannot afford the sacrifice” (Bukhaari). The majority of scholars have said: “This ruling applies to those in Hajj and others”
It the Sunnah to recite Takbeer, “Allaahu Akbar” generally in these days, and particularly after the obligatory Salaah starting Fajr of the day of ‘Arafah for those not in Hajj, and Dhuhr of the day of sacrifice for those in Hajj; Both continue until the last day (the thirteenth).