JEDDAH – As the faithful from all over the world gather today on the Plain of Arafat, Muslim scholars have called on all Muslims to scrupulously observe the requirements of this great day in the Islamic tradition by fasting and reviving the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and staying away from parochialpolitical affiliations and conflicts as all Muslims should be united for one cause when Allah descends to the nearest Heaven to observe the faithful today.
The Prophet (peace be upon him)said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’” (Saheeh Muslim)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Allah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of Isha on the Day of Arafat, about the people of Arafat. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” (Ahmad – classed as Saheeh by al-Albani)
Shiekh Adnan Al-Zahrani said that according to the Sunnah fasting the day of Arafat for non-pilgrims expiates the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year. It is not recommended for the pilgrims to fast on this day according to the Sunnah, he said. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not fast on this day when he was on attendance in Arafat, he said. It was narrated that he forbade fasting on the Day of Arafat, he added.
Muslim scholars argued that prohibiting the pilgrims from fasting on these days is a great mercy for them, for fasting will entail undue hardship on the person performing the Haj, while they are primarily concerned with their pilgrimage.
Above all, the pilgrim would not be fasting anyway because he or she is traveling.
“Arafat is a great day to for prayers to be answered,” said Sheikh Khaled Al-Harbi. It is a day of mercy and forgiveness, he said, urging pilgrims to offer prayers facing Qiblah when they are in attendance on Arafat today. Shiekh Al-Harbi urged Muslims on this day to reclaim their faith and worship Allah as commanded in the Qur’an and Sunnah. The pilgrim should repent of their sins and ask for forgiveness from Allah on this Day, he said.
Academics Muhammad Al-Ghamdi and Zaid Al-Fadheel asked the pilgrims to stay away from disseminating political ideologies in Haj and concentrate on the true spirit and virtues of Haj as revealed. – Okaz/SG