In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
Today is the most important day of the entire Hajj, the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah. It is the Day of Arafat. On this day, all 2 million or so pilgrims head to the area around Mount Arafat to spend the entire day in prayer, remembrance, and – most importantly – in repentance. On this day, all 2 million or so pilgrims are dressed in nothing but their ihram garbs and standing before God, bearing their all before Him. Like I said, it is the most important day of the entire Hajj. In fact, the Prophet (pbuh) was reported to have said, “The whole of Hajj is Arafat.” Those Muslims who are not on the Hajj fast this day in solidarity. I am fasting right now…and forgoing one of my “precious beloveds”: coffee in the morning.
This was the most emotional day of the Hajj for me, and it is a day I will never forget. Towards the end of the day, after the late afternoon, or ‘Asr, prayer, pilgrims’ prayers for forgiveness increase in fervor and intensity. Many pilgrims chose to make congregational supplication. I did not go along…I wanted to be alone with my Lord. I wanted to talk to my Precious Beloved all by myself.
And so, below is a feel of what I said to Him on that most magnificent day. I do this today as my own “little Arafat,” to remind me of that time, and to maybe encourage you to “stand on Arafat” today as well:
Here I am, at your service! My Precious Beloved, here I am before You, naked, with all my sins, all my shortcomings, all my faults, all my human weaknesses, all my problems, all my anxieties, all my worries, all the things that keep me occupied and cause me to lose focus of You. Here I am, Precious Beloved, standing here before You with nothing to give You, but asking everything of You.
Lord, You have given me so much in my life: why, You have given me life itself when I was dead, nothing. You have given me my health, my wealth (otherwise I would not be here in the first place). You have given me my family, my wife, my children, my career, and most importantly, my faith. There is not a thing that You have not given me, Precious Beloved, and here I am, standing before You, with nothing but iniquity.
My Lord, what can I say to You? I’m sorry? What can I do for You? Nothing. How can I account for how horrible I have been with You. You gave me, and I disobeyed. You blessed me, and I turned away from Your commands. You graced me with Your Light, and I chose the darkness of the separation of sin. My Lord, what can I say? Yet, here I am, Precious Beloved, standing before You, with nothing in my hands except the dust of Arafat.
Precious Beloved, therefore, there is nothing I can do but ask You to forgive me. Forgive me. I am nothing with You. My every breath is a testimony of Your Loving Grace and Mercy upon me. My every step is proof of Your very existence, proof of Your Love for me, even though I am not worthy. Forgive me. I am only mud and clay, and You are the Holiest of the Holy. I am a sinner, and You are the Most Merciful. I am dark mud, and You are the Light of the Heavens and Earth. So, therefore, Lord, please, forgive me.
I have come – by nothing short of Your Immense Grace – to your Sacred Precincts. I have come – by nothing short of Your Immense Grace – to your Holy House. I have come because You told me to come. So please, do not turn me away from Your door. I have been knocking from the very moment I have been here. Please, do not turn me away from Your Mercy, Your Grace, the Light of Your Most Holy Face. My Lord, please, forgive my sins and take me into Your Presence. For there is no where else I can go if I can’t go with You. There is no where I else I can go if I can’t go with You. There is no where else I can go if I can’t go with You…