The Fast of ʿArafah

Question

Should the Fast of Arafah be observed on the 9th of Dhū l-Hijjah according to our regional moon sighting or when the hujjāj are on Arafah?

The unfortunate misrepresentation of fact—both in Sharīʿah and in history—that accompanied the recent attempt to resurrect debates of three decades ago has necessitated that the Fatwa Committee of the MJC make the following declaration:

  1. The MJC remains committed to observing occasions on our religious calendar in line with a regional sighting of the moon. This includes Ramaḍān, both Eids, as well as the fast of the Day of ʿArafah.
  2. Correlation between what the ḥujjāj do at ʿArafah, and the fast of the Day of ʿArafah, is a fallacy unknown in the history of Islam until the very recent past.
  3. The significance of the Day of ʿArafah is neither restricted to, nor contingent upon the proceedings of the ḥujjāj at ʿArafah. In Madīnah, RasūluLlāh ﷺ and the Ṣaḥābah observed the fast of ʿArafah up to the year 8AH when no one but polytheists were present at ʿArafah.
  4. The historical record presents clear evidence to the effect that in the very year that RasūluLlāh ﷺ performed ḥajj, the moon for Dhu l-Ḥijjah was seen in Madīnah one day later than in Makkah. (See al-Suhaylī, al-Rawḍ al-Unuf vol. 7 pp. 578-579; Ibn Kathīr, alFuṣūl fī Sīrat al-Rasūl, p. 220)
  5. This local sighting continued to be followed in Madīnah. For almost a millennium and a half there is absolutely no evidence of Madīnah or any other city ever attempting to align their fast of the Day of ʿArafah with what transpires on the plain of ʿArafah.
  6. The preferred day to observe the fast of the Day of ʿArafah will be the day corresponding to the 9th of Dhu l-Ḥijjah according to our regional sighting of the moon.
  7. Fasting on any day of the month before the local 9th remains an act of great merit, as it forms part of a period in which good deeds are most beloved to Allah.
  8. In matters of Sharīʿah, the MJC is neither governed by the preferences of its leaders and officials, nor bound by any agreement concluded on grounds deemed to lack persuasive Sharʿī foundation. As ʿUlamā, the General Majlis of the MJC as well as the Fatwa Committee have exercised, and continue to exercise oversight over its elected leaders.
  9. While the above is our unequivocal position, we look with respect upon the views of those who differ with us in this regard. In the hope that this attitude will be reciprocated, we earnestly beseech those responsible for resurrecting this issue to act in the best interests of our community.

واﷲ تعالى  أعلم 

And Allah knows best.

MJC (SA)

Other Fatwa

Mufti Taha Karaan

Brazilian Hair Treatment

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته 1. It is undeniable that this treatment causes the formation …

Read More →
Fasting

Qada salah and fast stated in a Will

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته   1. As a rule, the Shāfiʿī madhhab does not …

Read More →
Mufti Abdurragmaan Khan

Ruling On Retail Forex

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته   In presenting the ruling on retail forex, a few …

Read More →
Marriage

Are Hair Extensions Permissible?

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته   1. Abū Hurayrah raḍiyaLlāhu ‘anhu narrated from the Prophet …

Read More →
Marriage

Secret Nikah

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته   1. In Islam, when a girl who is of …

Read More →
Fasting

Fasting The 6 Days of Shawwāl

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته   1. Virtue of Fasting the Six Days of Shawwāl …

Read More →
Fasting

The Qunut in Qiyam al-Layl

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته 1. Qunūt is divided into two types: General Qunūt and …

Read More →
Mufti Taha Karaan

Zakah on an Access Bond

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته   1. There is no zakāh on the amount available …

Read More →
Marriage

Performing Nikah in a Masjid

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته 1. The prevailing opinion among scholars, including those of the …

Read More →
Children

Stepfather and Rights of Biological Father

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته   1. When a man marries a woman who already …

Read More →
Scroll to Top