Hazrat Aayesha R.A. reports that Rasulullah Sal’am said: “There is no day in which Allah sets free more souls from the fire of hell than on the day of Arafaat. And on that day Allah draws near to the earth and by way of exhibiting His pride remarks to the Angels: “What is the desire of these servants of mine.”
Note: As for the fact that ‘Allah draws near’ or ‘descends’ to the lowest heaven and similar phrases in Hadith literature, it should be borne in mind that Allah alone knows best the correct meaning. Allah is at all times near. He is not at all in need of the literal ascending or descending. When they come across such statements, the ulama explains it as referring to Allah’s special mercies that draw near.
Whatever has been read in this above Hadith has been said in many others. In one Hadith for example we read: “When the day of Arafaat dawns, Allah descends to the lowest heaven and boastingly remark to the Angels: ” Look at My servants, they have come towards Me with their hair disheveled and scattered while their bodies and clothes are covered with the dust of long journeys. The cry from them is ‘Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik (We are at Your service, ‘O Lord, we are at Your service) ‘O My Angels, I take you to witness that I have forgiven their sins”. The Angels will say: “O Allah among them there is that person who is inclined towards sin, and there are among them that evil man. And that so woman”: Allah will reply: ” I have forgiven them all”.
Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said: “On no other day are so many souls set free from hell as on that day”. (Mishkaat) We see the same theme in the following tradition: Allah says (on that day) “these servants of mine have come to Me with disheveled hair, begging for My mercy”. Then addressing the pilgrims Allah says: “Even though your sins shall be as numerous as the grains of sand on the earth and though they may be as many as the raindrops that descend from heaven, and though your sins be as many as the trees that grow on the earth, I forgive them all. Proceed from here to your homes while your sins are forgiven”.
Looking at another Hadith we read: (on the day of Arafaat) Allah boastingly addressing the Angels say: “Look at them, I have sent my Messenger to them. They believed in him. I revealed My book to them and they believed in it. You be My witness that I have forgiven them all. (Kanzul Ummaal)
We, therefore, see that the same theme of general pardon is found in so many Ahadith. The manner that it is mentioned has the impression with many ulama that minor as well as major sins are included. All this, to pardon minor and major sins alike lies in the hands of the Merciful One. Disobedience to His will is called sin. Should He in His infinite Mercy desire to forgive any body or group no one can object to it.
Hazrat Qadhi Ayaaz mentions an incident in his famous book – Shifaa. He says that some people from among the tribe of Kutama came once to the saintly Saadoon Khowlani and explained a certain incident to him. They told him that some people from the tribe killed a certain person and then tried to burn his body. For the whole night they left the corpse to burn in a fire they made, but it would not burn, and in fact remained as white and unburned as ever. When Saadoon heard about the body that would not burn, he said: “The man must have performed three pilgrimages”;
The people replied: “He had indeed” Thereupon Saadoon said: “Whoever performs one Hajj, he has fulfilled his obligation to Allah; whoever perform two pilgrimages he has given Allah a debt and whoever performs three pilgrimages, for him Allah has prohibited the fire from burning his skin and his hair.”