Observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah if it coincides with a Friday

Question: It is known that the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) coincided with a Friday. We observed Sawm (Fast) on that day based on the Hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah expiates for the previous year and the coming one. (Related by Muslim) The Imaam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) of our Masjid (mosque) told us that it is not permissible to observe Sawm on a Friday unless one observes Sawm a day before or after it. Therefore, most of us broke our Sawm, while the others continued their Sawm even though they were confused.

Please note that our Sawm was in reverence for the Day of `Arafah, seeking its reward, and not out of preference for Friday. Please give us a Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar), may Allaah benefit you. Who is right: the Imaam of our Masjid and those who broke their Sawm on that day, or those who continued their Sawm? What should we do if the Day of `Arafah or `Ashooraa’ (10th of Muharram) coincides with a Friday?

Answer: It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade singling out Friday for observing Sawm and he ordered that one is to observe Sawm one day before or after it… read more here.

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Relying on the calendar for determining Sawm and `Eed

Question: In India, the beginning of Ramadaan and `Eed Al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) are determined based on the annual calendar which is issued by the Indian Parliament; namely, the beginning and the end of Ramadaan are predetermined at the beginning of the year. By the same token, `Eed Al-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice) is also predetermined based on the annual calendar, and not based on the Day of `Arafah. Moreover, Muslims in India usually sacrifice their animals after the time other Muslims, especially in Arab states, sacrifice their animals.

Now, our question is: Concerning the fast of Ramadaan, we usually start our fast when we receive a confirmation of the beginning of Ramadaan by calling our families in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, or in the Gulf States in general. Our commence of the fast usually occurs before the fast of Muslims in India. Is our fast valid or invalid in this case, taking into consideration that most of the Muslim foreign students in India fast after the new moon is sighted in the Gulf states. Please provide us with a Fatwa on this matter.

Answer: You should observe the fast with Muslims in your country, and it is not permissible to have differences among the residents of the same country in this regard, due to the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying: The beginning of Ramadaan is the day when you begin fasting, the end of Ramadaan is on the day when you end it, and ‘Eed Al-Ad-haa is on the day when you sacrifice. It is noteworthy that the legal confirmation of the beginning of the lunar month is legally established by sighting the new moon with the naked eye or by adopting the means which help the eye sight the new moon. If the new moon can not be sighted, then it is an obligation to complete the month as thirty days. For the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Making up for supererogatory Sawm (fasts)

Question: I observe Sawm for three days every month. One month, I felt ill. Therefore, I could not observe Sawm (Fast). Do I have to make up or expiate for them?

Answer: There is no making up for the missed days of supererogatory Sawm even if a person missed them willingly. But it is better for the Muslim to continue doing good deeds according to the Saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): The deed liked most by Allaah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small. So you do not have to make up or expiate for your missed supererogatory Sawm… read more here.

Fasting on the Day of `Aashooraa’ (عاشوراء)

Question: What is obligatory for a Muslim to do on the Day of ‘Aashoora’ (10th of Muharram)? Should they pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on that day?

Answer: It is permissible for a Muslim to observe Sawm (Fast) on the Day of ‘Aashoora’. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered his Sahaabah (Companions) to observe Sawm on that day. However, when the Sawm of Ramadaan was enjoined, it became permissible either to fast or not to fast on the Day of ‘Aashooraa’. There is no Zakaat-ul-Fitr due on the Day of ‘Aashooraa’, similar to that paid after Ramadan on the Day of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast)… read more here.

Fasting on the first nine days of Thul-Hijjah

Question: Is the Prophet (peace be upon him) authentically reported to have observed Sawm for the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah?

Answer: It is not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed Sawm the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah – better described as the nine days preceding `Eed-ul-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice). However, he (peace be upon him) urged people to do good deeds during these days. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have stated: “No good deed performed on other days are superior to those performed during these (first ten days of Thul-Hijjah).”.. read more here.

Voluntary Sawm and delaying making up for the missed obligatory Sawm

Question: What is the ruling on observing the optional Sawm (fast) of the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) while one has yet to make up for days of Sawm missed during Ramadaan?

Answer: If someone observes Sawm on the Day of `Arafah voluntarily while one has to make up for days of Sawm missed during Ramadaan, his Sawm is valid. However, it is encouraged by Sharee`ah not to delay compensation because one’s soul is in Allaah’s Hands and one does not know when death will come. Thus, observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as compensation for a missed day of Ramadaan is better than observing voluntary Sawm on that a day. Undoubtedly, obligatory acts of worship are to be given priority over supererogatory acts and should be given greater attention… read more here.

Making up for a missed day in Ramadaan by fasting the Day of `Arafah

Question: I broke my Sawm (fast) one day of Ramadaan due to severe illness. Is it permissible for me to make up for it on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) – the Day marking the Hajj – bearing in mind that I had already observed Sawm on that day?

Answer: If you have already observed Sawm on the Day of `Arafah to make up for the day you did not fast in Ramadaan, it will replace making up for the day you missed. However, it is preferable to make up for the days of Sawm one misses on a day other than the Day of `Arafah, so that one may dedicate oneself to Thikr (Remembrance of Allaah), Du`aa’ (supplication) and other acts of worship during Hajj or to fast it voluntarily outside of Hajj. By doing so, one may combine both virtues of observing Sawm voluntarily on the Day of `Arafah and compensation reconciling the opinions of scholars regarding whether compensating for days of Sawm missed during the first nine days of Thul-Hijjah is Makrooh (disliked)… read more here.

Multiplicity of intention for the same deed

Question: Is it permissible to perform an act of worship with more than one intention? For example, one may have to observe Sawm (Fast) to make up for a day missed during Ramadaan. Is it permissible to intend both, making up for that day and observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah), i.e. having two intentions; one for compensation and another for voluntary Sawm? Another example, may one combine the performance of Hajj and `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) at the time of Hajj? Please inform us, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: It is permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as the day one has to make up for, which replaces that day. However, by doing so, one will not receive the exclusive reward of observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as there is no evidence to substantiate it. As for combining the performance of Hajj `Umrah, it is approved of by the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) statement: `Umrah has been incorporated in Hajj until the Day of Resurrection... read more here.

The Day of `Arafah coinciding with a Saturday

Question: People here differed regarding observing Sawm (Fast) on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) this year as it coincides with Saturday. Some said they observed Sawm on the Day of `Arafah because it was the Day of `Arafah not because it was Saturday on which observance of Sawm is prohibited. Others did not observe Sawm because it was Saturday, the Jews’ day of worship, and they wanted to act in contradiction to the Jews. As for myself, I was of the latter opinion. I am confused as to what the Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ruling is on this issue. I researched it in many religious and Sharee`ah books; however, I did not reach a decisive ruling on observing Sawm on such a day. I hope that Your Honor will guide me to the Shar`ee ruling and send it me in a written document. May Allaah reward you for this in this life and the Hereafter and for the beneficial knowledge you give to all Muslims.

Answer: Observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah on its own, whether it coincides with Saturday or otherwise, is permissible. In fact, coincidence with any day of the week will make no difference in this regard, as observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah is an independent Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet). Moreover, the Hadeeth prohibiting observing Sawm on Saturday is Da`eef (a Hadeeth that fails to reach the status of Hasan, due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) as it is Hadeeth Mudtarib (a Hadeeth with disagreement over a transmitter or the text) that conflicts with authentic Hadeeth... read more here.

The Day of `Arafah coinciding with a Friday

Question: Controversy arose among the seekers of religious knowledge, not to mention the masses, regarding observing Sawm (fast) on Friday if it coincides with the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah). Is it permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah alone if it happens to be on a Friday? Or, should a person observe Sawm on a day preceding or succeeding it, bearing in mind that the former case conflicts with the Hadeeth prohibiting the observance of Sawm on Friday alone? We hope that Your Eminence will make this issue clear providing the sound Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ruling. May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: It is permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah alone if it happens to be on a Friday without observing Sawm on a day preceding or succeeding it as the Prophet (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have urged people to observe Sawm on this day highlighting its superiority and the great reward for observing Sawm on it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Fasting the Day of `Arafah forgives the sins of two years: the previous and the following. As for the Day of `Aashoora’ i.e. the tenth of Muharram, it forgives the sins of the previous year. Related by Ahmad, Muslim and Aboo Daawood... read more here.

Fasting a day along with the Day of `Arafah

Question: May we, in our country, observe Sawm (fast) for two days as a precaution to be sure of observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah)? Radio broadcasts tell us that tomorrow is the Day of `Arafah, while it coincides with the 8th of Thul-Hijjah according to our calendar.

Answer: The Day of `Arafah is the day when pilgrims stand in `Arafah (performing one of the rituals of Hajj). Observing Sawm on this day is permissible except for a person who is actually performing Hajj. Thus, if you like, you may observe Sawm on this day... read more here.

Slaughtering animal regularly on the day of `Arafah

Question 276: What is the Islaamic ruling on people who slaughter a sacrificial animal on the Day of ‘Arafah (9th of Dul-Hijjah) on a regular basis, even when they are not performing Hajj? They call this sacrifice “I‘rafah” and perform the slaughter with the intention of doing it on behalf of one of their deceased relatives, such as a parent, a son, a daughter, or a sibling.

Answer: The habit of slaughtering a sacrifice on the Day of ‘Arafah as a Qurbah (a good deed by which Allaah’s Pleasure is sought) is not permissible, because it constitutes a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion), whether the people intend to dedicate the Thawaab (reward from Allaah) for it to their deceased relatives or any other people. There is no Shar‘ee (Islaamic legal) evidence for such a practice, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islaam) will have it rejected.... read more here.