On the excellence of fasting the Day of 'Arafa, 'Ashura' and the ninth of Muharram

Source: Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

By Imam Nawawi

227. Chapter: On the excellence of fasting the Day of ‘Arafa, ‘Ashura’ and the ninth of Muharram

1250. Abu Qatada said “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked about fasting the Day of ‘Arafat. He said, ‘It expiates the past year and coming year.'” [Muslim]

1251. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, fasted the Day of ‘Ashura’ and ordered it to be fasted. [Agreed upon]

1252. Abu Qatada reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked about fasting the Day of ‘Ashura’ and said, “It expiates the past year.” [Muslim]

1253. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If I remain alive until next year, I will fast the ninth.” [Muslim]

Source: Gardens of the Righteous

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Day of Arafah

Pilgrims cover Arafat's roads, plains and mountain - Flickr - Al Jazeera English.jpg

Pilgrims at Mount Arafah in Makkah
Official name يوم عرفة
Also called The Day of Repentance and Acceptance of Supplications
Type Islamic
Significance Commemoration of Muhammad‘s Farewell Sermon and completion of the message of Islam. Second day of the Hajj pilgrimage. Muslims who did not go to Hajj fast to repent for their sins.
Observances PrayerFastingRepentance
Date Dhu al-Hijjah
2019 date 10 August[1][2]
2020 date 31 July
Frequency once every Islamic year
Related to Eid ul-Adha, the major Islamic festival, which occurs the day after the Day of Arafah

The Day of Arafah (Arabicيوم عرفة‎, romanizedYawm ‘Arafah) is an Islamic holiday that falls on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic Calendar.[3] It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the day after is the first day of the major Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.[4] At dawn of this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafah and the Plain of Arafah. It was from this site that Muhammad gave one of his last famous sermons in the final year of his life. Some Muslims hold that part of the Quranic verse announcing that the religion of Islam had been perfected was revealed on this day.[5]

Location

Mount Arafah[6] is a granite hill about 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mecca in the plain of Arafah. Mount Arafah reaches about 70 m (230 ft) in height and is known as the “Mountain of Mercy” (Jabal ar-Rahmah). According to Islamic tradition, the hill is the place where the Islamic prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life.[7]

Customs

On 9 Dhu al-Hijjah before noon, pilgrims arrive at Arafah, a barren plain some 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Mecca,[5] where they stand in contemplative vigil: they offer supplications, repent and atone for their past sins, seek mercy of God, and listen to Islamic scholars giving sermons from near Mount Arafah.[8] Lasting from noon through sunset,[5] this is known as ‘standing before God’ (wuquf), one of the most significant rites of Hajj.[9][10] At Namrah Mosque [ar], pilgrims offer Zuhr (Dhohr) and Asr prayers together at noon time.[8] A pilgrim’s Hajj is considered invalid if they do not spend the afternoon on Arafah.[5]

Arafah prayer

As Husayn ibn Ali recited the prayer during the Hajj at Mount Arafah on 9 Dhu al-Hijjah, Shia Muslims during the Hajj recite the Arafah prayer from Zuhr prayer to sunset.[11] This day is called prayer day, specially for people who stand on Mount Arafah.[12] On the Day of Arafah, those who cannot make it to Mecca will go to other holy places such as mosques or shrines to recite Arafah prayer.[13]

Fasting on the Day of Arafah

Fasting on the Day of Arafah for non-pilgrims is a highly recommended Sunnah which entails a great reward; Allah forgives the sins of two years. It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that Muhammad was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Arafah and he replied:

“It expiates for the past and coming years.” (Muslim)

Imam An-Nawawi mentioned in his book al-Majmu’, “With regard to the ruling on this matter, Imam As-Shafi’i and his companions said: It is mustahabb (recommended) to fast on the day of Arafah for the one who is not in Arafah. As for the pilgrim who is present in Arafah, Imam As-Shafi’i in his book Al-Mukhtasar and his followers declared ‘It is mustahabb (recommended) for him not to fast’.”

Prohibiting the pilgrims from fasting on these days is a great mercy for them, for fasting will exert undue hardship on the person performing the hajj. Above all, Muhammad did not fast while he stood before Allah offering supplications in Arafah. On the other hand, those who are not performing their hajj may observe fasting to gain the merits of the blessed day.[14]

In hadith

Abu Qatada al-Ansari narrated that Muhammad was asked about fasting on the Day of Arafah, whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year. Also about fasting on the Ashura (10 Muharram) he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year.[15]

In Sahih Muslim it was narrated from Aisha that Muhammad said:[16]

‘There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His fulfillment to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’

The people would fast on this day to get their bad deeds in the upcoming year, and the past year, taken away.

References

  1. ^ “First day of Hajj confirmed as Aug. 9”Arab News. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  2. ^ Bentley, David (9 August 2019). “When is the Day of Arafah 2019 before the Eid al-Adha celebrations?”Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  3. ^ Sheikho, Mohammad Amin (1783). Pilgrimage Hajj: The Fifth High Grade of Al-Taqwa: Volume 5. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  4. ^ Bentley, David. “Eid al-Adha 2016 – What is the Day of Arafah before the Eid celebrations and why is it so important?”. birminghammail.co.uk. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  5. Jump up to:a b c d Long, David E. (1979). The Hajj Today: A Survey of the Contemporary Pilgrimage to Makkah. p. 19. ISBN 0-87395-382-7.
  6. ^ Peters, F. E. (1994). The Hajj: The Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca and the Holy Places. Princeton University Press. p. 355ISBN 978-0691021201.
  7. ^ Caudill, Mark A. Twilight in the Kingdom: Understanding the Saudis (Praeger Security International). Praeger. p. 51. ISBN 978-0275992521. Retrieved 30 June 2006.
  8. Jump up to:a b Adelowo, E. Dada, ed. (2014). Perspectives in Religious Studies: Volume III. Ibadan: HEBN Publishers Plc. p. 403. ISBN 9789780814472.
  9. ^ Nigosian, S. A. (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching, and PracticesIndianaIndiana University Press. p. 111ISBN 0-253-21627-3.
  10. ^ “ihram”Encyclopædia Britannica. 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  11. ^ William C. Chittick; Mohammed Rustom; Atif Khalil (15 February 2012). In Search of the Lost Heart: Explorations in Islamic Thought. SUNY Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-4384-3935-8.
  12. ^ Staff, Writer. “Day of Arafah”Hawzeh.
  13. ^ Staff, Writer. “people prayed at places called Karbala of Iran”Farsnews.
  14. ^ “4 Sunnah Acts for Zulhijjah, Especially the Day of Arafah”muslim.sg. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  15. ^ Zulfiqar, Muhammad (2011). Fast According to the Quran and Sunnah. Dar-us-Salam. ISBN 978-6035001618.
  16. ^ “The Virtues of the Day of Arafat”http://www.jannah.org.

External links

1 reply

  1. Excellence of the Day of `Arafah

    In the Name of Allaah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

    All praise & thanks are due to Allaah, & peace & blessings be upon His Messengers.

    It is very important to note that there is no day better in the sight of Allaah than the Day of `Arafah.

    On this day Allaah descends to the nearest heaven, & He is proud of His slaves on the earth & says to those in heaven,

    “Look at My servants. They have come from far & near, with hair dishevelled & faces covered with dust, to seek My mercy, even though they have not seen My chastisement.”

    Jabir reported that the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said:

    “The 10 days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah are the best days in the sight of Allaah.”

    A man asked:

    “Are these days better than an equivalent number of days that are spent fighting for the cause of Allaah?”

    The Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) answered:

    “They are better than an equivalent number of days spent fighting in the cause of Allaah.

    And there is no day better in the sight of Allaah than the Day of `Arafah. On this day Allaah, the Almighty & the Exalted One,

    descends to the nearest heaven, & He is proud of His slaves on the earth & says to those in heaven, ‘Look at My servants.

    They have come from far & near, with hair dishevelled & faces covered with dust, to seek My mercy, even though they have not seen My chastisement.

    Far more people are freed from the Hellfire on the Day of `Arafah than on any other day. ’”

    [Al-Mundhree said that this Hadith was reported by Aboo Ya`la, Al-Bazzar, Ibn Khuzaymah, & Ibn Hibban, in whose wording it is given here].

    Ibn Al-Mubarak reported from Sufyaan Ath-Thawree, from Az-Zubayr ibn `Alee, from Anas ibn Malik that he said:

    The Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) spent the day at `Arafah until almost sunset.

    Then he said,

    “O Bilal, ask the people to be quiet & listen to me.”

    Bilal stood up & asked the people to be quiet & listen to the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him).

    When the people were quiet, the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said:

    “O people, a little while ago Gabriel (peace & blessings be upon him) came to me.

    Gave me salutations from Allaah & informed me that Allaah has forgiven those who spend the Day at `Arafah & those who stop at Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram, & that He has guaranteed their debts.”

    At this `Umar ibn Al-Khattab stood up & asked,

    “O Allaah’s Messenger, is this for us only?”

    The Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said,

    “This is for you & for all those who will come after you until the Day of Judgment.” `Umar exclaimed, “How plentiful & blissful Allaah’s bounties are!”

    Muslim & others have reported from `Â’ishah that the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said,

    “Allaah frees far more people from Hellfire on the Day of `Arafah than on any other day, & Allaah comes closer this day & proudly says to the angels, ‘What do these people want & seek?’”

    Aboo Ad-Darda’ reported that the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said:

    “On no other day does the Satan feel so belittled, humiliated, & angry as he does on the Day of `Arafah.”

    The reason for this is the mercy of Allaah that descends (this day) & the forgiveness that He grants to people for major sins, except the day of the Battle of Badr, which witnessed a far greater mercy of Allaah descending upon people, which caused great sadness to Satan.

    The Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) was asked:

    “O Prophet of Allaah, what did Satan see on the day of the Battle of Badr?”

    “He saw Gabriel leading the troops of angels,” he replied.

    [Reported by Malik & Al-Hakim]

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