According to a hadith attributed to Imam Sadiq (p), the Day of Arafah is “the day of supplication and making requests from God” [“Ilal al-sharai,” v. 2, p. 73]. Here is a simple guide to help you get ready for this once-a-year opportunity. 

Try to fast
Fasting on the Day of Arafah is recommended (mustahabb) unless it makes one too weak to make dua. Imam Ali (p) is reported to have said, “If one fasts on the Day of Arafah seeking its reward, it is as if he has fasted for all of time” [“Daaim al-islam,” v. 1, p. 284].

Making ghusl at noon is recommended, “wherever you may be,” per a hadith attributed to Imam Sadiq (p), so not just for those at Arafat while on Hajj [“Wasail al-Shia,” v. 3, p. 309]. Sayyid Sistani mentions the ghusl of the Day of Arafah among the ghusls that are firmly established, and thus, it takes the place of wudu.

The duas of Arafah of the third and fourth Imams (pbut)
There are two beautiful duas referred to as “the Dua of Arafah,” one attributed to Imam Husayn (p), which can be found in books of dua like “Mafatih al-Jinan,” and the other to Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (p), which can be found in “Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya.” Since they are both longer duas, you may not have time to recite both, but try to read at least one of them, as they are lessons in monotheism and servitude toward God. 

The dua the Prophet (pbuh&hp) reportedly taught Imam Ali (p)
It’s reported that the Prophet (pbuh&hp) taught Imam Ali (p) the following dua for the Day of Arafah:

لا إِلهَ إِلا اللَّهُ‏ وَحْدَهُ‏ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ‏ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ‏ وَيُمِيتُ وَيُحْيِي وَهُوَ حَيٌّ لا يَمُوتُ بِيَدِهِ الْخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلى‏ كُلِّ شَيْ‏ءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“There is no deity but God alone, with no partner. To Him belongs the sovereignty and the praise. He gives life and causes death, and He is living and does not die. In His hand is all good, and He is over all things powerful.”

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ كَمَا تَقُولُ وَخَيْرُ ممَا يَقُولُ‏ الْقَائِلُونَ‏ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ صَلاتِي وَدِينِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي وَلَكَ تُرَاثِي وَبِكَ حَوْلِي وَمِنْكَ قُوَّتِي

“O God, all praise is for You as You say, and better than what anyone can say. O God, to You belong my prayer, my faith, my life, my death, my legacy, my strength is through You, and from You is my power.”

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْفَقْرِ وَمِنْ وَسْوَاسِ الصَّدْرِ وَمِنْ شَتَاتِ الْأَمْرِ وَمِنْ عَذَابِ النَّارِ وَمِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ

“O God, I seek refuge in You from poverty, from the whispers of the chest, from disorder in affairs, from the punishment of the Fire, and from the punishment of the grave.”

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا تَأْتِي بِهِ الرِّيَاحُ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا تَأْتِي بِهِ الرِّيَاحُ وَأَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَ اللَّيْلِ وَخَيْرَ النَّهَارِ

“O God, I ask You you for the good that the winds bring, and I seek refuge in You from the evil that the winds bring. I ask You for the good of the night and the good of the day.”
[“Man la yahduruhu al-faqih,” v. 2, pp. 542-43]

The Prophet’s (pbuh&hp) dua before sunset on the Day of Arafah
Imam Sadiq (p) reportedly said that when the sun was about to set at Arafat, the Prophet (pbuh&hp) would recite this short dua:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْفَقْرِ وَمِنْ تَشَتُّتِ‏ الأَمْرِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَا يَحْدُثُ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ أَمْسَى ظُلْمِي مُسْتَجِيراً بِعَفْوِكَ وَأَمْسَى خَوْفِي مُسْتَجِيراً بِأَمَانِكَ وَأَمْسَى ذُلِّي مُسْتَجِيراً بِعِزِّكَ وَأَمْسَى وَجْهِيَ‏ الْفَانِي مُسْتَجِيراً بِوَجْهِكَ الْبَاقِي يَا خَيْرَ مَنْ سُئِلَ وَيَا أَجْوَدَ مَنْ أَعْطَى جَلِّلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ وَأَلْبِسْنِي عَافِيَتَكَ وَاصْرِفْ عَنِّي شَرَّ جَمِيعِ خَلْقِكَ

“O God, I seek refuge in You from poverty, from disorder in affairs, and from the evil that occurs by night and day. My wrongdoing seeks refuge in Your pardon, my fear seeks refuge in Your security, my humiliation seeks refuge in Your honor, and my mortal face seeks refuge in Your eternal face. O best of those who are asked and most generous of those who give, cover me with Your mercy, clothe me with Your well-being, and ward off from me the evil of all Your creation.”
[“Wasail al-Shia,” v. 13, p. 559]

Imam Sadiq’s (p) dua
Imam Sadiq (p) reportedly told Abu Basir to recite this dua at sunset on the Day of Arafah:

اللَّهُمَّ لا تَجْعَلْهُ آخِرَ الْعَهْدِ مِنْ هَذَا الْمَوْقِفِ وَارْزُقْنِيهِ‏ أَبَداً مَا أَبْقَيْتَنِي وَاقْلِبْنِي الْيَوْمَ مُفْلِحاً مُنْجِحاً مُسْتَجَاباً لِي مَرْحُوماً مَغْفُوراً لِي بِأَفْضَلِ مَا يَنْقَلِبُ بِهِ الْيَوْمَ أَحَدٌ مِنْ وَفْدِكَ وَحُجَّاجِ بَيْتِكَ الْحَرَامِ وَاجْعَلْنِي الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَكْرَمِ وَفْدِكَ عَلَيْكَ وَأَعْطِنِي أَفْضَلَ مَا أَعْطَيْتَ أَحَداً مِنْهُمْ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَالْبَرَكَةِ وَالْعَافِيَةِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ وَالرِّضْوَانِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَرْجِعُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ أَهْلٍ أَوْ مَالٍ أَوْ قَلِيلٍ أَوْ كَثِيرٍ وَ بَارِكْ لَهُمْ فِيَّ

“O God, do not make this my last visit to this place, and grant me the opportunity to return here as long as You keep me alive. Allow me to depart today fortunate, successful, my prayers answered, with Your mercy and forgiveness with the best return that anyone can have today from among Your visitors and pilgrims of Your Sacred House. And give me the best you’ve given any of them in goodness, blessings, well-being, mercy, contentment, and forgiveness. And bless for me whatever I return to, whether family, wealth, a little or a lot, and bless them through me.”
[Shaykh Tusi, “Al-Nihayah,” p. 251]

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