Allah said, “When you depart from ‘Arafat, remember Allah at al- Mash’ar al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray.” [Quran 2:198]
Arafah day (9th Dhulhijjah) is the best day of year according to the vast majority of scholars as Al-Nawawi (d. 1277) said. There is wuquf which is the peak and the most essential ritual of hajj. There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Hellfire than Arafah day referring to a hadith narrated by Muslim. Likewise, the best dua is dua on Arafah day as the Prophet said in a hadith of Al-Tirmidhi.
For those people who do not perform hajj this year, there is a great chance to maximize this golden day. Our beloved Prophet said, “Fasting Arafah day expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.” [Muslim] Al-Ramli (d.1595), one of the greatest one of our Shafiite scholars, explained that fasting Arafah day is to fast on 9th Dhulhijjah and it is strongly recommended to fast this day for people who are not in hajj.
In the hadith above, “the expiation the sins of the coming year” has two meanings according to Al-Mawardi (d. 1058). Firstly, Allah will forgive if someone commits any sin. Secondly, He will protect who fasts sincerely in this day from commiting major sin. Also remember that these sins which Arafah fasting erases are only minor sins based on what scholars said. However, Arafah fasting is too worth to be neglected.
A question may rise: then when we should fast it if there is difference between Hijri date in Mecca and Hijri date in our countries as happens this year (1439 AH)? European Council of Fatwa and the majority of scholars stated that we should follow moon sighting and Hijri date of each region. In this case, it means we should fast on Tuesday even the wuquf in Arafah is on Monday. This phenomenon occured as well in the time of Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani in 825 and 828 AH and people outside Mecca followed their own Hijri calendar.
Given these points, do not forget to fast on Tuesday 9th Dhulhijjah/21st August because a wife of our Prophet, Hafsah (d. 665), told us that four things the Messenger of Allah never skipped: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura, ‘Arafah, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.” [Muslim]
written by Nur Fajri Romadhon
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