Fasting on the sacred day of Arafat: What did Prophet(SAW) said?
The day of Arafat is indeed a sacred day for us. We learn in a hadith that if a person is able to fast on that day, their sins of the previous and upcoming years will be expiated:
Abu Qatadah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked about fasting the day of Arafat and he said, “It will expiate the sins of the previous and upcoming years.” Then, the Prophet was asked about fasting the day of Ashura and he said, “It will expiate the sins of the past year.” (Sahih Muslim)
The day of Arafat is also described in Islam as the day that has the greatest sanctity. It is a great opportunity for us to earn many rewards by increasing our Ibadah, however much we can. No minute of extra zhikr or du’aa will ever goes to waste. We read in a hadith:
“Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said during his farewell sermon, ‘Which month do you know has the greatest sanctity?’ They said, ‘No doubt, this month of ours, Dhul Hijjah.’
Prophet said, ‘Which city do you know has the greatest sanctity?’ They said, ‘No doubt, this city of ours, Mecca.’
The Prophet said, ‘Which day do you know has the greatest sanctity?’
Then they answered, ‘No doubt, this day of ours, Arafat.’ The Prophet said, ‘Verily, Allah Almighty has sanctified your lives, your wealth, and your honour, except by right of justice, like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this city of yours, in this month of yours…’…” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Arafat is also the day on which a particular verse was revealed to the Prophet (SAW).
Umar ibn al-Khattab reported:
A man from the Jews said, “O leader of the believers, there is a verse you recite in your book and, had it been revealed to us as Jews, we would have taken that day as a celebration.” Umar said, “Which verse is it?” The man recited the verse, “Today I have completed your religion for you, perfected My favour upon you, and have chosen Islam as your religion.” (5:3)
Umar said, “I know the day and place in which this verse was revealed to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. It was while he was standing on the day of Arafat on Friday.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
We also learn that no day is better to Allah than the day of Arafat. The Prophet (SAW) said:
“…No day is better to Allah than the day of Arafat…” (Sahih Ibn Hibban)
May Allah enable us to make the most of the day of Arafat and increase our Ibadah in any way we can – indeed we are all in different situations. Aameen. Allah is the only one who truly knows what each person is facing. Indeed, He is Al-Baseer (The All-Seeing).