Fasting Day of Arafat
Abu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah is an expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of ‘Ashurah is an expiation for the year preceding it.” [This is related by “the group,” except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]
Hafsah reported, “There are five things that the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) never abandoned: fasting the day of ‘Ashurah, fasting the [first] 10 [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting 3 days of every month and praying two rak’ah before the dawn prayer.” [This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa’i]
‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “The day of ‘Arafah, the day of sacrifice, and the days of tashreeq are ‘ids for us–the people of Islam–and they are days of eating and drinking.” [This is related by “the five,” except for Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi grades it sahih]
Abu Hurairah stated, “The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade fasting on the day of ‘Arafah for one who is actually at ‘Arafah.” [This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah]
At-Tirmidhi comments: “The scholars prefer that the day of ‘Arafah be fasted unless one is actually at ‘Arafah.”
It is Sunnah to say Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”), Tahleel (“La ilaha ill-Allaah”) and Tasbeeh (“Subhaan Allaah”) during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allaah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allaah, may He be exalted. Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allaah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)…” [al-Hajj 22:28]
The majority of scholars agree that the “appointed days” are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, because of the words of Ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father), “The appointed days are the first ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah).”
The Takbeer may include the words “Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allaah; wa Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahil- hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah; Allaah is Most Great and to Allaah be praise),” as well as other phrases.
Takbeer at this time is an aspect of the Sunnah that has been forgotten, especially during the early part of this period, so much so that one hardly ever hears Takbeer, except from a few people. This Takbeer should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is sound evidence that Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them. The idea behind reminding the people to recite Takbeer is that each one should recite it individually, not in unison, as there is no basis in Sharee’ah for doing this.