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5 Incredible Reasons You Should Fast on Arafah

by Musa Bukhari

Fasting is one of the best acts of worship you can do. It is beloved to Allah, and it builds and shows your sincerity to Him. There are times when we are obligated to fast, i.e. in Ramadan, and then there are times when it is recommended to fast, i.e. the 6 days of Shawwal, the 9th and 10th of Muharram (Ashura), and then of course, the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, or the Day of ‘Arafah. The Prophet (SAW) told us of the incredible reward of fasting on this blessed day, so let’s dive right into it, shall we?

1. Get Your Past AND Future Sins Forgiven

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.” (Sahih Muslim)

Every single day, we commit countless sins–things that we might not even think about, but we do them and they build up. In the Qur’an, Allah mentions the Raan (covering) that covers the heart of the people who sin without repentance. This veil covers their hearts until they can no longer see clearly. Their spiritual hearts become blind. This is a dangerous phenomenon because it slowly chips away at our ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

This hadith about fasting on the Day of Arafah is a HUGE blessing, because it shows us the incredible generosity of Allah! He wants to forgive us! He wants to give us chances! Allahu Akbar!

2. Be Free From Hell-fire

When asked why he fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, the Prophet (SAW) said, “Deeds are shown (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting. (At-Tirmidhi)

On Arafah, he (SAW) specifically said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafah.” [Muslim]

We know the great importance of the Day of Arafah (regardless of what day of the week it is), wouldn’t we want to present ourselves to Allah in a fasting state? This is because Allah is happy with the fasting person.

3. Your Du’a Will Not Be Rejected

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Three supplications will not be rejected, the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveller.” (Tirmidhi)

This hadith is incredibly full of hope and optimism. Who wouldn’t want their du’as to be answered? Imagine the Prophet (SAW) telling you that you had a guaranteed way to get your du’as answered. Well, this hadith does just that. Arafah is the day of making du’a and begging Allah for forgiveness, so we should do everything we can to maximize our du’as on this day.

4. You Will Be Following the Sunnah

Following the sunnah is the best way to earn Allah’s love.

Allah tells the Prophet (SAW) in the Qur’an to tell the believers: “Say, [O Muḥammad], "If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (3:31)

Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet (SAW) narrates, “Four things the Messenger of Allah never neglected: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura, ‘Arafah, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.” (Ahmad, An-Nasa’i)

Following the sunnah in any way we can is always a good idea. But imagine the rewards of following the sunnah on the day of Arafah, on the day that Allah frees people from the Hell-fire! Allah loves the Prophet (SAW) more than He loves anyone else. If we fast on the day of Arafah, that is one of the best acts of following the sunnah that we can possibly do.

5. Fasting is a Source of JOY on the Day of Judgment

There are different deeds that intercede for us in the grave and on the Day of Judgment, such as prayer, fasting, and charity.

The Prophet (SAW) informed us that fasting will say on the Day of Resurrection: “O Lord, I prevented him from his food and physical desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Fasting will come on the Day of Judgment personified and it will intercede on our behalf. What a beautiful intercession!

We also know from another hadith how much Allah loves fasting.

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: Fasting is Mine and it is I who give reward for it. [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for my sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in Allah's estimation than the smell of musk.” (Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah)

On a Day that is the scariest day known to mankind, wouldn’t we like our fasting to become a JOY for us? Wouldn’t we want Allah to be smiling at us because of the things we gave up for His sake?

Then let’s make the intention to fast with ihsan on the Day of Arafah, inshaAllah.

May Allah grant us all the benefits of fasting. May He cause our fasting to change our hearts and to draw us closer to Him. May Allah forgive all our major and minor sins. May Allah free us and our families and all of the Muslims from the Hell-fire. May Allah accept all our du’as in the best way and grant us the character of His Beloved (SAW). May Allah grant us joy on the Day when we meet Him. Ameen.

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