It is narrated that the first Qurbani happened atop Mount Arafat - a location which is intrinsically linked to the story of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S). This is the mountain that Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) and his son climbed, and where Allah (SWT) performed a divine miracle when Ibrahim (A.S) demonstrated his unwavering faith to the most glorious and compassionate Allah (SWT). This is the mountain where the truest meaning of sacrifice and obedience was learned and understood by humanity.
Mount Arafat is approximately twenty kilometres east of the Holy city of Mecca. It is the highest point in the centre of the Plain of Arafat, reaching seventy metres above sea level at its tallest point.
Some Muslims believe that Mount Arafat is the site where Allah (SWT) forgave Adam after his initial sin that caused him to leave heaven. This may also have been the place where Adam and Hawa were first reunited on Earth after falling from heaven. For this reason, some Muslims believe that Mount Arafat is a good place to pray for a marital life partner.
Mount Arafat is also the location where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered his farewell sermon to the Muslims who had travelled with him on the Hajj to Mecca. Additionally, the first Qurbani, the sacrifice that demonstrated possibly the single most pure and selfless display of obedience to Allah (SWT) also happened atop this blessed mountain.
Because of this, on the Day of Arafat, the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims on the Hajj will travel to Arafat. They will take part in wuquf (meaning ‘standing before God’) until dusk. Pilgrims will perform the Zuhr (noon) and Asr (afternoon) prayers, and they will repent of past sins, pray, and seek out the mercy of Allah (SWT).
As we consider how we lead our lives, remember all that this mountain has seen, and let it inspire us as we go forward in our waking, our working, and our giving.
As you think about how you will give this Qurbani, consider the causes and the people in need that Muslim Aid serves. Donate with Muslim Aid and help your brothers and sisters around the world.