Sayyiduna-sh Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (qaddasa sirrahu) informs us of the following 2 ritual prayers for the day of ‘Arafa in his al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq:
Prayer 1 – Complete Forgiveness
If someone performs two voluntary cycles [rak’atain] of ritual prayer [salat] on the Day of ‘Arafa—reciting in each cycle [rak’a]:
- the Opening Surah of the Book [Fatihat al-Kitab]—3 times, beginning each time with: “bismi Llahi r-rahmani r-rahim” and concluding with Amin!
- Surah that begins: “qul ya ayyuha l-kafirun“—3 times
- Surah that begins: “qul Huwa Llahu Ahad“—1 times
—Allah (Exalted is He) will surely say [to the angels]: “Bear witness that I have granted him forgiveness for his sins.”
Prayer 2 – Unfathomable Bounties
If someone performs four voluntary cycles [raka’at] of ritual prayer [salat] on the Day of ‘Arafa, between [the prescribed prayers of] noon [zuhr] and afternoon [‘asr]—reciting in each cycle [rak’a]:
- the Opening Surah of the Book [Fatihat al-Kitab]—1 time
- Surah that begins: “qul Huwa Llahu Ahad“—50 times
—one million good deeds will be recorded in his credit column. For every letter in the Qur’an, he will be promoted by one level in the Garden of Paradise, the distance between each level and the next being a journey of fifty years.
When he is laid in his grave, he [the person who performs this ritual prayer] will have a light shining for him, for every letter of the Qur’an, so that he can see the pilgrims circumambulating around the House, and one of the gates of the Garden of Paradise will be opened up for him. At that point he will say: “My Lord, let the Final Hour begin! My Lord, let the Final Hour begin!”—because of all the reward and honour he can see. (note: we have mentioned only 3 of the rewards for this prayer from the lengthy narration)
Source for both the above prayers: —Al-Jilani, A. (1997). Concerning the preference accorded to keeping fast on the Day of ‘Arafa, traditional reports regarding the ritual prayers to be performed thereon, and the kinds of invocations prescribed for it. In: Holland, M (Trans.) Al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq (Volume Four). Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc. pg 222-224.
Addendum: Regarding Virtuous Deeds
Imam al-Nawawi states in his al-Adhkar:
And he whom anything from the virtues of deeds reaches him should perform them, even though only once (in his lifetime) and even if the narration is weak.
In a narration recorded by Al-Hafiz Abu Musa Muhammad b. Bakr b. ‘Isa al-Madani in his book al-Waza’if, on the authority of Jabir b. Abdullah:
Whoever, a deed of virtue reaches him from Allah and he acts upon it out of faith and hope in reward, Allah will bestow that upon him, even though it was not like what he thought!
And Allah is the Guide!