10 Reasons Why You Should Fast on the Day of Arafah
Over 1400 years ago, it was the 9th of Dhul Hijjah (the Arafah day) when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered the last sermon. He said that the day of Arafah holds great power, as all those who are repenting are forgiven. Therefore, the day of Arafah is considered one of the holiest days of the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar. Read on to learn the significance of fasting on the day of Arafah.
How Many Days Should You Fast for Arafah?
For those not performing Hajj, fasting in the first nine days of Hajj (days of Arafah) is advised. However, if you cannot, it is highly recommended to fast and give out zakat on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, the day of Arafah. Muslims from all over the world fast on this day to seek forgiveness and to gain the blessings of Allah SWT.
10 Reasons to Fast on Arafah
Here are ten reasons you should fast on the auspicious day of Arafah:
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Delivered the Last Sermon
It was the day of Arafah when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered the farewell sermon on Mount Arafat.
The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT addressed human rights, racism, and gender equality and reminded us to follow the Quran and Sunnah. By fasting on the day of Arafah, Muslims show gratitude to Allah SWT for bestowing us with Islam.
Forgiveness of Past and Future Sins
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when asked about fasting on the day of Arafah, said, “It expiates the sins (minor) of the past year and the coming year.” (Muslim)
Allah SWT Releases Souls from Hell on This Day
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated, “There is no day in which Allah sets free more souls from the fire of hell than on the day of Arafah.” (Muslim)
Therefore, fasting on the day of Arafah allows Muslims to focus on their prayer and seek forgiveness and protection from the Hellfire.
It Is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Hafsah (RA), the wife of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), said, “Four things the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT never neglected: Observing fast on the day of Ashura, Arafah, three days every month, and offering Fajr Sunnah prayers early in the morning.” (Muslim)
Expiation of Sins Even If They Are Many
In another narration, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “As for you staying till the evening in Arafah, then Allah descends to the sky of the Dunya, and He boasts about you to the Angels and says: ‘My slaves have come to Me, looking rough, from every deep valley hoping for My mercy, so if your sins were equivalent to the amount of sand or the drops of rain or like the foam on the sea I will forgive them. So go forth, My slaves! Having forgiveness and for what or who you have interceded for.'” (Tabarani)
Fasting Will Save You on the Day of Resurrection
The benefits of fasting alone are immense. Therefore, the fasts that one keeps on the Day of Arafah will act as their shield on the Day of Judgment as it will be the Arafat grounds where all of mankind will be resurrected. Muslims are also directed to give zakat to the ones in need on this day (orphans).
“O Lord, I prevented him from his food and physical desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.” (Musnad Ahmad)
It Is the Day of Worship
On the day of Arafah, it is essential to remember that it is advised to recite the Arafah day dua, Tahmeed, Takbeer and Tahleel as many times as possible.
“There are no days more beloved to Allah that He be worshipped in them than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.” (Tirmidhi)
Allah SWT Expresses His Pride to His Angels
Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Allah SWT expresses His pride to His angels at the time of Isha on the Day of ‘Arafah, about the people of ‘Arafah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” (Ahmad)
It Is the Essence of Hajj
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Hajj is Arafah.” (Nasai) This means that one’s Hajj won’t be completed if they don’t visit Mount Arafat. So, for those who cannot perform Hajj, fasting on the day of Arafah is a way of renewing their promise to Allah SWT and committing to starting fresh.
The Religion of Islam was Perfected on This Day
On this day, Allah SWT revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), “This day I have completed your religion for you, perfected my favour upon you, and have chosen Islam as your religion.” (Holy Quran, 5:3) Hence, fasting on the day of Arafah is a way to celebrate this monumental occasion.
Hadiths Regarding Fasting On the Day of Arafah
Aisha (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when asked about the importance of fasting on the day of Arafah, said, “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His fulfilment to the angels, saying, “What do these people want?” (Muslim)
Abu Hafsah (RA) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Fasting on the Day of Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting of ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.” (Muslim)
Is Fasting On the Day of Arafah Compulsory?
The Day of Arafah is one of the most important days in the Islamic calendar. Even though it’s not compulsory to fast on this day, it is highly recommended, especially for those not performing pilgrimage (Hajj).
Summary – Fasting on the Day of Arafah
There are many benefits of fasting on the day of Arafah as it is the day Allah SWT forgives. Though not compulsory, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) highly recommended that Muslims who are not performing Hajj should observe fast on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah. He also said that as a return, Allah SWT forgives all sins of the person and saves them from hellfire.