How making my faithful duaa on the holy Day of Arafa has changed my life.
Today is the Day of Arafa, one of the holy days in Islam. It falls on the 9th of the Dhu AlHijja, which is the 12th and final month of the lunar Islamic year. The Day of Arafa is the day in which Hajj (pilgrimage) rituals start for Muslims. What many seem to forget though, that even if you’re not performing your Hajj during this day, you can still leverage the power of Duaa (supplication/prayer). As the Prophet has said in a hadeeth (a Prophet’s saying): “The best supplication is the one made on the Day of Arafah.” (Imam at-Tirmithee collected the hadeeth, #3585). And so, I’d like to share with you a personal experience of the Day of Arafah.
My husband and I spent 5 years trying to have another child, going to doctors, taking medicines, tests, and all results showed that nothing was wrong with either of us – just unexplained infertility. At one point, we tried to convince ourselves that we are done with having more kids, and that having our two healthy kids was more than enough. Although, deep down, we really wanted a 3rd.
On the Day of Arafa in 2013, I focused all my strengths towards praying. I was utterly depressed with the unrest in Syria, especially the destruction of my hometown Homs, wondering why anyone would want to bring more children into this world? Nevertheless, I prayed that God would bless us with a joy of another baby. I told God, if it is a girl, I will name her Emmelle, which means “hope” in Arabic. It was my daily reminder to have hope for Syria, hope that there is a better future, that even in the difficulties and tests we go through in life, there is still hope!
As Islam teaches us, when you want something, you pray to God, but you still have to do your homework. “And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah.” (Quran, Al Imran: 159). My husband and I agreed that we would do only one fertility treatment (and no IVF), even though the doctors tried to advise us against it, because the success rate for that approach was very low. Miraculously and with God’s Will, I got pregnant on that one attempt. A few months later, we found out we were having a girl. So I kept my word to God and named her Emmelle: our little hope.
Fast-forward 2 years: Because I believed in the effect of Duaa on this day, I focused all my strengths towards praying on the Day of Arafa of 2014. I had a burning desire and a personal calling that I needed to go visit the house of God and the house of our Prophet, Mecca, and Medina, in the next year. Despite all the challenges that were presented in my way, leaving behind my young kids, pushing aside my doubts, gratefully, my duaa was yet again accepted. I was able to do Ummra (the mini-pilgrimage of Muslims that can be done any time of the year) for the first time this past December, and needless to say, I’m grateful beyond words.
Sometimes we don’t believe in such faithful acts until they happen to us. I know some might still feel skeptical about the effectiveness of Duaa on the Day of Arafa, but while we’re on this Holy day, why not take advantage of it, and aim for it? The importance is to truly believe that God is there to answer you, no questions asked, all He’s asking is that you believe in him, believing in you. As one teacher told me, don’t try to “warm up” in your duaa, just turn your duaa switch “ON” and talk to Him, since He’s been patiently waiting for this conversation, this supplication, this phone call, like an old friend. Who knows, maybe today will be your day to start believing in the power of the Day of Arafa.
Written by Shatha Barbour, BA from the prestigious Northwestern University and an MA in Healthcare Management from the University of Michigan. She is one of the co-founders of the Good Tree Institute.