The Spirituality of Hajj: 'Arafah

Mount Arafat is a granite hill about 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mecca in the plain of Arafat. It reaches about 70 m (230 ft) in height and is known as the "Mountain of Mercy" (Jabal ar-Rahmah). The hill is the place where prophet Muhammad (s) stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon during Hajj towards the end of his life (photo: iStock by Getty Images).

After the sunrise of the 9th of Dhul Hijjah pilgrims depart for ‘Arafah where they remain until sunset. ‘Arafah is a large plain to the south-east of Makkah with its legal boundaries clearly defined, and of the three: ‘Arafah, Muzdalifah and Mina, ‘Arafah is the farthest point from Makkah.

There pilgrims pray the Zuhr (noon) and ‘Asr (afternoon) prayers in congregation, shortening and combining them during the time of the former. After the prayers, the imam gives khutbah (sermon), which is supposed to be listened to by pilgrims.

That is basically all a pilgrim is expected to do while at ‘Arafah. His main job is just to be there, and to stand (remain) until the end. Hence, this part of Hajj is called “al-wuquf bi ‘Arafah” (standing at ‘Arafah). Sometimes it is referred to as the day of ‘Arafah (yawm ‘arafah), reminding of the time and place that outline and distinguish the rite.

It seems to be little and simple, but ‘Arafah is the most important aspect of Hajj. It is its focal point and its nucleus. It is its microcosm. So much so that the validity of the rest of Hajj rites depends on the validity of what goes on at ‘Arafah.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Hajj is ‘Arafah, Hajj is ‘Arafah, Hajj is ‘Arafah.” 1Al-Tirmidhi, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Book 47, Hadith No 27. He also said that all of ‘Arafah is the place of standing (mawqif, that is, the place of wuquf). 2Al-Nasa’i, Sunan al-Nasa’i, Book 24, Hadith 398. This means that a person who does not come to and stand at ‘Arafah even for a little while, misses Hajj, irrespective of what he does afterwards and elsewhere. Missing ‘Arafah cannot be expiated, nor its boons compensated.

The night after standing at ‘Arafah - called the night of Muzdalifah, because people move to Muzdalifah at that time – is additionally offered as part of concession. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Hajj is ‘Arafah. Whoever catches up with the night of ‘Arafah before dawn comes on the night of Muzdalifah his Hajj is complete.” 3Ibid., Book 24, Hadith No. 399. If a person does not accomplish even that, he misses Hajj.

‘Arafah (also ‘Arafat) as a geographical location and ‘Arafah as a Hajj rite are derived from the root word “‘arafa” which means “to come to know”, “to learn”, “to acquaint oneself with”, “to become aware of by information or from observation” and “to familiarize oneself with”. Thus, ‘Arafah is a place, process and experience of learning, being acquainted and aware, on the basis of which a person develops new practices and new behavioural norms.

Scholars differ as to the reasons ‘Arafah is so called. By and large, it is held that ‘Arafah got its name because at it, droves of people get to know each other and from each other; because Ibrahim was on a tour of the holy places with the angel Gabriel (Jibril), who taught him the manasik (rituals) of Hajj, and was asked by the latter on a regular basis: Do you know (now), do you know (a’arafta, a’arafta?), to which Ibrahim would reply: I know, I know (‘araftu, ‘araftu); and because Prophet Adam and his wife Hawwa’, after they had been sent from Paradise to different earthly locations, met at ‘Arafah, so it was there that he found and knew her (‘arafaha) and she found and knew him (‘arafathu).

Some say that when Ibrahim reached ‘Arafah, as part of his learning tour with the angel Gabriel (Jibril), he said: ‘araftu (I know this place) - because he had come to that area before. And so, the place was called ‘Arafah.

However, the authenticity of the accounts involving Prophets Adam and Ibrahim, which are perhaps most prevalent possibilities, are seriously questioned. Neither the Qur’an nor the trustworthy Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says anything about the matter. There are several hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) that touch on the issue at hand, but they are very weak hadiths, either in relation to their contents or the chains of narrators.

“The only saheeh reports about this matter are the words of some of the salaf, most of which are taken from the knowledge of the people of the Book which were transmitted during their time. Such reports cannot be relied upon or trusted, and it is not permissible to believe in what they mention of things concerning which our religion is silent. Rather they may be narrated for the purpose of story-telling only.” 4Nothing has Been Proven about the Place where Adam Came down to Earth

At any rate, all indications are that the main ontological rationale for ‘Arafah is connected with the field of learning, scholarship and quality culture (ma’rifah) – besides its spiritual abundance. It is noteworthy that ‘Arafah is not about knowledge per se (‘ilm) and wisdom (hikmah); these are different domains which nevertheless stem from the former. Knowledge and wisdom may be beyond the reach of many people, and may yet be the items of exclusive clubs, but learning, awareness and familiarity are inclusive fields and their membership and involvement are open to each and every individual. In consequence, a person may not be knowledgeable (in the scholarly or academic sense of the word) and wise, but should be sufficiently learned, educated, informed, skilled and cultured. The former is the collective duty in Islam, but the latter is the duty of each member of the Muslim ummah (community).

‘Arafah is a symbol of entirety and all-inclusiveness. Everybody must be there at the same time and at the same place, looking the same, doing the same things and seeking to obtain the same goals. ‘Arafah, it follows, is an image of existence at large and its providential make-up. It is a miniature copy of humanity and its kismet. Yet it is the small-scale version of the Muslim ummah and its venerable place in the universe, which nevertheless exists in a regulated moment of time and a controlled chunk of space.

Therefore, ‘Arafah is about that which concerns everybody and which is within everybody’s grasp. Everybody can experience ‘Arafah – and by extension the whole Hajj. Although people’s experiences and appreciations will definitely vary, they are all sound and applicable nonetheless. What is required is to be sincere, faithful and dedicated; which is to say, to be there physically, spiritually and emotionally. Not being there with the total being and in the total life form is the problem. If a person’s physical absence from ‘Arafah invalidates his Hajj, so do his emotional and spiritual states affect the outcome. They may not nullify his plain physical exertions easily, but, certainly, can have a big say in the final assessments.

That is why the period of ‘Arafah is strongly recommended to be filled with the relentless remembrance of God, supplications, reciting talbiyah, reading the Qur’an and meditation (the Qur’anic concepts of tafakkur and tadabbur). Pilgrims can carry out these activities while in any position. They can be awake, asleep, sitting, standing, lying down, walking, riding, etc. They are further recommended to face the qiblah (the direction of the Ka’bah as the Muslim spiritual axis) and to be in the state of purity as much as possible, even though these are not prerequisites.

Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali said that the best thing to use as supplications and dhikr are the prescriptions transmitted from the Prophet (pbuh) and his immediate successors. After that, a pilgrim should supplicate for whatever occurs to him, and ask forgiveness for himself, his parents and all believers, male and female. “Let him then importune in supplications and enlarge his request, for God does not consider anything as too great. Mutarrif bin Abdullah said once while at ‘Arafah: “O God, do not refuse the whole gathering because of me”; and Bakr al-Muzami said: “A man said, When I looked on the people of ‘Arafah, I thought that they might all have been forgiven were it not for my being among them?” 5Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, The Book on the Secrets of Pilgrimage

Pilgrims are advised against engaging in some rigid and unfamiliar chanting formulas, against performing supererogatory prayers, and against fasting on the day of ‘Arafah – despite the fact that fasting on that day is the best form of voluntary fasting for those who do not perform Hajj. These stipulations underline the true import of ‘Arafah as well.

The lesson entailed therein is that the sheer physical activities are to be kept at the minimum, lest they get in the way of the performances of the mind and soul. If a maxim goes that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body, then, in like manner, it can be said that a weakened mind and soul reside in an exhausted and worn-out body. As for example, an overly tired pilgrim is bound to be susceptible to lethargy, sleep and falling ill, inhibiting thereby the states and functions of his spirituality and intelligence.

‘Arafah pertains both to religious fulfilment and learning uplifting, but in a very gradual order starting at the bottom and progressively ascending upwards. Every pilgrim has his own capacities to determine his forethoughts and horizons. He rises and grows as high as his abilities can propel him. Sameness is anything but the matter of course.

The religious and learning developments – which often amount to personal reforms, and revolutions as well, and which are set in motion at ‘Arafah (Hajj) and continue to flourish ever afterwards – begin with the mere religious ceremonies, but eventually morph into religious comprehensive excellence, and with empirical knowledge (obtained through experience or perception of the real world either through experimentation or observation) and experiential, together with practical, intelligence, but eventually develop into enlightenment and wisdom. Alternatively stated, the religious and learning developments move from particulars to universals, from phenomena to noumena, and from mundanity to transcendence.

That is to say, in the religious context, islam (submission) acquires iman (faith, certainty), and then together they acquire ihsan or itqan (excellence). Similarly, in the epistemological context, the processes of learning and studying, which are associated with education, lead to ma’rifah – which the meanings of ‘Arafah are redolent of. Ma’rifah then leads to knowledge (‘ilm), and the final phase in the evolution, resulting from a fusion of ma’rifah and ‘ilm, is wisdom (hikmah).

Irrespective of whether the mentioned accounts about Prophets Adam and Ibrahim - with regard to the linguistic origins of ‘Arafah - are correct or not, ‘Arafah is still about learning, discovery and awareness. The linguistic significations stand for one proof only. The other proofs can be found in the authentic Islamic wisdom and the trustworthy chapters of human and Islamic history.

To begin with, it has been reported that a Jew said to ‘Umar bin al-Khattab: “O Chief of the Believers, if this Qur’anic verse: ‘This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favours upon you, and have chosen for you, Islam as your religion’ (al-Ma’idah, 3), had been revealed upon us, we would have taken that day as an `Id (festival) day.” `Umar said: “I know definitely on what day this verse was revealed; it was revealed on the day of ‘Arafah, on a Friday.” 6Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 96, Hadith No. 1.

Moreover, Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas reported that God made the covenant from Adam’s back in Na‘man, i.e. ‘Arafah, and brought forth from his loins all his offspring whom He created and scattered before Him. He then spoke to them face to face saying: “Am I not your Lord?” They replied: “Yes, we testify this.” (It was) lest you should say on the day of resurrection: “We were neglectful of this,” or should say, “Our fathers were polytheists before us and we were an offspring after them. Wilt You destroy us for what the workers of vanity did?” 7Hadith is narrated by Ahmad bin Hanbal in his Musnad. See: Al-Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih, Book 1, Hadith No. 114.

Also, during his farewell Hajj and at ‘Arafah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) delivered the most powerful and most important sermon in the history of man. The sermon contained a blueprint for personal, family and social relations as well as developments. Similarly, it encompassed not only a conceptual, but also practical framework for society-, culture- and civilization-building. In short, the sermon was a world-shattering document from the point of view of ingenuity and educational excellence, and was presented to the world as a road map for achieving success and actual happiness.

Finally, concerning the biggest lessons of ‘Arafah which people constantly learn and try to internalize, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “There is no day on which Allah ransoms more slaves from the Fire than the day of ‘Arafah. He draws closer and closer, then He boasts about them before the angels and says: ‘What do these people want?’” 8Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 25, Hadith No. 133.

In another hadith the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of ‘Arafah before the people of heaven (the angels), saying: 'Look at my servants who have come to Me dishevelled and dusty.” 9Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani, Rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah from the Qur’an, Sunnah and Narrations from the Pious Predecessors,, 2010

Even Satan learns his own lesson. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Satan is not considered more abased or more cast out or more contemptible or angrier on any day than on the day of ‘Arafah. That is only because he sees the descent of mercy and Allah's disregard for great wrong actions.” 10Malik bin Anas, al-Muwatta’, Book 20, Hadith No. 254.

What can be garnered from the above traditions is that learning in relation to ‘Arafah, and to everything that goes on there during Hajj, is so comprehensive and so universal that lessons transcend the boundaries of time, space and history. The same goes to those who are affected by those lessons and who are from humans, the jinn and angels. Like so, the notion and spectacle of ‘Arafah function as an institution of educational awareness and an inexhaustible source of learning.

In control of the marvel are Almighty Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The revelation with its characteristic of infallibility is the foundation and centroid. At ‘Arafah the angels learn more about the purpose of creation in general and about the purpose of appointing man as the vicegerent (khalifah) on earth in particular, notwithstanding the fact that it is man who causes corruption on earth and sheds blood, and it is the angels, conversely, who declare God’s praise and sanctify Him ceaselessly. When God informed the angels about His divine plan and that He knows that which they do not, concerning the subject of man’s appointment (al-Baqarah, 30), such was what could be described as mere information and a form of conceptual knowledge for the angels. The other dimension was forthcoming.

‘Arafah is of those occasions when Almighty God establishes the applied side of that a priori knowledge of the angels – and God knows best. As if the knowledge and conviction of the angels become complete thereby, albeit still within the context of the metaphysical world. Thus, that is one of the reasons why at ‘Arafah God boasts about pilgrims before the angels and asks them to observe them. God’s words: “What do these people want?” and “Look at my servants who have come to Me dishevelled and dusty”, indicate His directing of the angels to the methods by which their knowledge can be enriched and their convictions validated.

It should be mentioned - as a small digression - that apart from ‘Arafah God uses some other circumstances for the same purpose of boasting about His servants before the angels. It was narrated that 'Abdullah bin 'Amr said: “We performed the Maghrib (prayer) with the Messenger of Allah, then those who went back went back, and those who stayed, stayed. Then the Messenger of Allah came back in a hurry, out of breath, with his garment pulled up to his knees, and said: “Be of good cheer, for your Lord has opened one of the gates of heaven and is boasting of you before the angels, saying: “Look at My slaves; they have fulfilled one obligatory duty and are awaiting another.” 11Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 4, Hadith No. 67.

On the day of ‘Arafah Satan also learns much about God, God’s servants and himself. However, he does it the hard way inasmuch as he is a slow learner, just as he is a bad loser. Since time immemorial Satan knew – had been duly informed and he could make his own deductions - that God is All-Merciful towards His servants and that believers will always enjoy the protection, love, compassion and forgiveness of their Creator and Master. Despite his endless pretences, Satan will not be able to thwart God’s plans, and his efforts to extinguish divine light will always fail. And perhaps most importantly, Satan knows that he possesses but few strengths and many weaknesses, and when pitted against the true soldiers of the truth, there is only one outcome: he displays trepidation and cowardice, and normally runs away.

These varieties are summed up in the words of the Qur’an: “Satan has overcome them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah. Those are the party of Satan. Unquestionably, the party of Satan - they will be the losers” (al-Mujadilah, 19). And: “Allah is pleased with them (true believers), and they are pleased with Him - those are the party of Allah. Unquestionably, the party of Allah - they are the successful” (al-Mujadilah, 22).

As the milieu of the eruption of devoutness and piety - which engulf the plains of ‘Arafah and the holy city of Makkah directly, and the entire world (earth) indirectly - the day of ‘Arafah turns the spotlight on the truth regarding Satan. Since he is prone to unlearning, he is compelled to re-learn the obvious. He learns yet again that he is nobody when juxtaposed with the light of the truth and the virtue of its people, and that he is powerless to do anything about it. He furthermore learns that he is a loser and his adversaries, the people of faith, winners. Come what may, to Satan’s bitter disappointment, there will be no exchange of titles and grades, nor will there be any alterations in the way of Allah.

But what Satan finds out is in vain. As usual, it avails him nothing. That is why on the day of ‘Arafah Satan feels humiliated, rejected and defeated the most. Exposed and trapped, he cannot escape, nor ignore, the power of what dawns upon and blows him away. Maybe he can run and hide on other occasions (days), but not on this day, which is the spiritual feast both on earth and in heaven. Satan therefore feels angrier and more miserable than ever, but his condition further blinds him. He knows all too well that ‘Arafah is not a one-off occurrence, but an annual one that will come back to haunt him until the Day of Judgment. Eventually – when the ultimate decree of God is issued and the matter decided (Ibrahim, 22) – Satan will acknowledge the truth and will come to regret who he was, for “indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment” (Ibrahim, 22). One of Satan’s regrets - it stands to reason – should be in a manner of why he never learned.

One can imagine the extent of Satan’s plight. At ‘Arafah he witnesses the descent of the mercy of Allah, Allah’s disregard for great wrong actions, and Allah’s freeing of multitudes from the hellfire. At the same time, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) utilizes the opportunity of ‘Arafah for educating people about Satan and his deceptive strategies, and for teaching them how to confront them, highlighting in his farewell sermon: “O people, indeed Satan despairs of ever being worshipped in this land of yours. He will be pleased, however, if he is obeyed in a thing other than that, in matters you minimize. So beware of him in your religion.” 12Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990), vol. 9 p. 112. As per another version: “Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.” This way, surely, Satan was dealt a double blow and the prospects of his endeavours were rendered dim. As far as the true believers are concerned, his chances (fate) were sealed, so to speak.

In addition to the recurring experience of Satan at ‘Arafah, he felt approximately the same during the historic battle of Badr. On that day he felt disgraced and fallen – that is, he learned his lesson in a painful way - so he had no choice but to take flight and dissociate himself from his followers. Equating Badr with ‘Arafah, the Prophet (pbuh) said that Satan felt terrified and fled the battlefield of Badr because he was shown the angel Gabriel (Jibril) arranging the ranks of the angels (for the battle).

The Qur’an attests to this: “And (remember) when Satan made their deeds pleasing to them and said: “No one can overcome you today from among the people, and indeed, I am your protector.” But when the two armies sighted each other, he turned on his heels and said: “Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I see what you do not see; indeed I fear Allah. And Allah is severe in penalty” (al-Anfal, 48).

And finally for pilgrims too, ‘Arafah centres on learning and knowing, as the twins of faith. To live up to the essence of ‘Arafah, a pilgrim should appraise himself, asking how much, what and why he knows. He should examine if he knows enough to become a better Muslim and to be a more useful member of society and of the Muslim ummah taken as a whole. He should ask how much he knows about himself, fellow Muslims, Islam, the Prophet (pbuh), the Creator, and about life as the arena of his life mission. Encouraging answers should stimulate him further, and discouraging ones should worry him, generating a call to action.

Regardless of the answers, though, a pilgrim should lay out strategies for improvements, right at ‘Arafah (during Hajj) or when he returns home with the honourable title of “al-hajj”. ‘Arafah should teach him that there is no appropriate faith without appropriate knowledge, and no appropriate knowledge without appropriate faith. Quality, coupled with quantity, is needed.

The effects of ‘Arafah ought to lead a pilgrim to the improvement of his personal learning culture and knowledge appreciation, and of the learning culture of his surroundings, starting from home and leading up to the higher feasible levels. These efforts moreover should be institutionalized. Hajj as a global Muslim conference should often adopt the notions of Islamic education and knowledge as its central theme. The matter should be discussed repeatedly as a pressing agenda of the ummah, producing and executing comprehensive action plans. Just as the spiritual wellbeing of a person depends on proper knowledge, so does the cultural and civilizational wellbeing of the ummah – as the outcome of living Islam as a way of life - depend on it. The spirit of ‘Arafah must live on, and must not stop delivering.

It is not a coincidence that God took the covenant from the progeny of Adam at ‘Arafah. What ‘Arafah means and is associated with, many individual and collective covenants: agreements, pacts and promises, should issue from. Man cannot forget himself and his covenant with the Creator. Battling his weaknesses, he must work towards remembering who he is and what he was meant to be. His consciousness must be in agreement with the terms of the covenant. He has to live it. And this is where ‘Arafah, in its capacity as the home of the covenant and the place of learning and refining consciousness, comes in and proves its worth.

Additionally corroborating the matter, the root word of Hajj is also the root word of “hujjah”, which means “clear proof”, “undeniable evidence” and “confirmation”. That in turn signifies that Hajj – and ‘Arafah specifically – can serve as the provider of a clear proof and an eye-opening evidence as to the heavenly covenant (i.e. man’s existential purpose and destiny). Hence, Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali warned that Hajj and how people perform and experience it can be a hujjah (proof) either for them or against them.

Nor was it a coincidence that the Qur’anic verse on Allah’s perfecting of Islam, His completing of His favours upon Muslims, and His choosing for them Islam as their religion – was revealed at ‘Arafah. ‘Arafah, again, was selected as the scene of one of the most spectacular chapters in history, which is the act of perfecting the final revelation. The achievement represented the creation of a foundation based on which a great many spiritual, socio-cultural, epistemological and civilizational transformations subsequently came to pass. So much so that a Jew suggested to ‘Umar bin al-Khattab that the day when the verse in question was revealed deserved to be an `Id (festival) day. When `Umar answered that the day was the day of ‘Arafah and on a Friday, he implied that the event is doubly and so, suitably, commemorated.

Thus if in certain ways ‘Arafah was associated with the first man and prophet, Adam, and with the father of prophets, Ibrahim, and was later associated with the final prophet, Muhammad (pbuh), and with the perfection of his final revelation and of Islam as the only religion before Allah, the above Qur’anic verse signalled the fulfilling culmination of a process and also the endorsement of its origins as well as evolution.

The stage was set from the dawn of creation and was authenticated several times at the critical junctures of history. A pilgrim should be fascinated by this. He should be enthused to recognize and acknowledge things as they are and to use them as the springboard for recognizing and acknowledging his personal status and calling. Once actualized, this is then expected to lead to recognizing and acknowledging the truth and his own relations thereto. The process is very dynamic and multi-tiered, and is so noble and knowledge-centric.

The Prophet (pbuh) stated: “Recognize and acknowledge Allah (ta’arraf ila Allah) in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember and know you (ya’rifuka) in times of adversity.” 13Al-Nawawi, Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi, Hadith No. 19. The key words used in this hadith pertain to the root word of ‘Arafah, i.e. ‘arafa (to know). Which denotes that the universe of knowledge and consciousness is the key. It is the way forward. Faith and religious ceremonies are fundamental, however it is their results and impact on life that matter. Indeed, knowledge (learning) should be spiritual, and faith, in equal measure, should be intellectual. With this relationship on-board, a person can get closer to God either in the name of knowledge or spirituality. These are two sides of the same coin.

Here the importance and role of ‘Arafah are readily apparent too. ‘Arafah as much spiritualizes pilgrims as it enlightens (educates) them. It generates a kind of ‘urf in them. The word ‘urf, which is from the same root word as ‘Arafah, means “elevation” and “height”, hence the Qur’anic chapter or surah al-A’raf (the Heights). In view of that, ‘urf is a new vantage point, perspective and outlook from which a pilgrim observes, experiences and studies things.

After ‘Arafah – and his entire Hajj experience – the life of a pilgrim is not the same again. He resides at a higher level of consciousness and reality, and sees things differently. He creates a new custom for himself, and lives accordingly, which is called ‘urf (custom or habit) and is not by accident in terms of language related to ‘Arafah as well. In spite of ‘Arafah being a large mostly flat plain, pilgrims build in their hearts personal elevations (vantages). By means of them, they keep rising, and thus keep worshiping and learning. The sky is the limit. If ‘Arafah has its physical boundaries, its heavenward expanse and potentials are infinite.

There is only one small mountain at ‘Arafah. It is called Jabal ‘Arafah (hill or mountain of ‘Arafah). Colloquially – and mistakenly – many people call it Jabal al-Rahmah (mountain of mercy). However, the Prophet (pbuh) did not climb this mountain during his stay (wuquf) at ‘Arafah, nor did he say anything about its virtues or the virtues of climbing it. What he said about ‘Arafah in general applies to Jabal ‘Arafah too. As part of his wuquf, the Prophet (pbuh) stood at the foot of the mountain only, where there were some large rocks. Insisting that the mountain is special and that climbing it is a special virtue is uncalled-for. It is a step towards forging a religious innovation (bid’ah).

In any case, this is extra evidence that raising and climbing spiritual elevations (higher vantage points and better attitudes) is the goal of ‘Arafah, in which case physical altitudes come to light as irrelevant. Those who do not get to the bottom of the topic get obsessed with climbing and conquering material heights, which, in spite of their potential loftiness, still hinder. For all their tallness and vastness, physical altitudes can only close in on and constrain a person whose muddled soul has already confined him. ‘Arafah is expected to cure this condition, not exacerbate it.

A series of articles adapted from the latest book by Dr. Spahic Omer, "The Spirituality of Hajj".

Previous < READ MORE > Next


Related Suggestions

Related posts from similar channels:

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.