Fiqh-us-Sunnah - 5.99

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Fasting on the Day of Arafah

It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not fast on the Day of Arafah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Verily the Day of Arafah, the Day of Sacrifice (Yaum al-Nahr), and Ayam Tashriq (the 10th, 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah) are our days of festivities. These are the days of eating and drinking." It is also established that the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade fasting on the Day of Arafah while at Arafah (for pilgrimage).

This has led most of the scholars to conclude that in fact not fasting on the Day of Arafah is desirable, so that a pilgrim should be strong enough to devote himself wholeheartedly to worship and supplications.

Some of the ahadith that encourage fasting on the Day of Arafah concern the persons who are not staying at Arafah as pilgrims performing Hajj.

Combining Zuhr and 'Asr Prayers at Arafah

According to the authentic ahadith the Prophet (peace be upon him) combined Zuhr and 'Asr prayers while at Arafah. For this, adhan - call for the prayer - was given, then iqamah - the second call for prayer - was made. Then he offered Zuhr. After this, another iqamah was made and he offered 'Asr prayer.

Al-Aswad and 'Alqamah said: "For the completion of Hajj, Zuhr and 'Asr prayers must be offered at Arafah in congregation behind an imam."

Ibn Al-Mundhir said: "There is consensus among the scholars that the imam must combine Zuhr and 'Asr prayers at Arafah, and so should any one offering prayer with the imam." And in case one cannot combine these and pray behind an imam, one should combine them while praying alone.

It is reported that Ibn 'Umar used to reside at Makkah, but when he went to Mina he would shorten his prayers. 'Amr bin Dinar reported that Jabil bin Zaid told him: "Shorten your prayers at Arafah." This is reported hv Sa+id bin Mansur.

Returning from Arafah

According to sunnah, pilgrims should leave Arafah quietly and peacefully after sunset. The Prophet (peace be upon him) left Arafah very peacefully and quietly, holding the reins of his she camel so tightly that its head touched its back, while he said to the people, "O people, walk calmly; rushing or making haste is not a virtue." This is reported by Bukhari and Muslim. They also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) let his she camel go at normal pace, but when he found ample space in front of him he urged it to go faster." He did this out of compassion and consideration for the people.

It is desirable for pilgrims to utter talbiyah and make remembrance of Allah as much as possible. The Prophet (peace be upon him) repeated talbiyah right until he threw pebbles at Jamarah Al-'Aqabah. Ash'ath bin Sulaim reported from his father that he said, "I went with Ibn 'Umar from Arafah to Muzdalifah. He did not stop making remembrance of Allah and declaring His Oneness until we reached Muzdalifah." This is reported by Abu Daw'ud.

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