Chief Imam of Young Muslim Brothers and Sisters (YOUMBAS), Ogun state and Republic of Benin chapter, Imam Najeemdeen Yusuf Aduralongba, has urged Muslims who are not in Mecca for pilgrimage to observe fasting tomorrow, Saturday, corresponding to the Day of Arafat. Aduralongba who noted that fasting on this day is not compulsory, maintained that this act is highly recommended for those who will not be on the plain of Arafat tomorrow.
Delivering a Friday sermon entitled: “Excellence of Fasting on the Day of Arafah,” at the YOUMBAS International Mosque, Obada Oko, Abeokuta, the cleric who doubles as the Mufti of Bode Olude community said; “Since tomorrow, Saturday is the Day of Arafah; Fasting on it expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year. Don’t miss this great reward!! “Fasting on the Day of Arafah, which is the ninth day of Dhul- Hijjah is not compulsory but it is highly desirable.
“Since the day of Arafat is the day that the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. It is Mustahabb (highly recommended) for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day,” he said. According to him, the Prophet Muhammed (Peace of Allah be upon him) “was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah, so he said, “It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.
“Likewise, the Prophet (Prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said, There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking?’ Imam At-Tirmidhi said, The People of Knowledge consider it recommended to fast on the day of Arafah, except for those at Arafah. “For many Muslims, the Day of Arafat proves to be the most memorable part of the hajj pilgrimage, and one that stays with them forever. And so for non-pilgrims Muslims around the world who are not participating in the pilgrimage, they often spend this day in fasting and devotion. “Both government offices and private businesses in Islamic nations are generally closed on the Day of Arafat to allow employees to observe it.
“The Day of Arafat is, therefore, one of the most important holidays in the entire Islamic year. It is said to offer expiation for all sins of the prior year, as well as all sins for the upcoming year.” He continued: “The Day of Arafat falls on the second day of pilgrimage rituals. At dawn on this day, nearly 2 million Muslim pilgrims will make their way from the town of Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat, which is located about 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from Mecca, the final destination for the pilgrimage. Muslims believe that it was from this site that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life.
“Every Muslim is expected to make the pilgrimage to Mecca once during his or her lifetime; the pilgrimage itself is not considered complete unless the stop at Mount Arafat is also made. Thus, the visit to Mount Arafat is synonymous with the Hajj itself. Completion involves arriving at Mount Arafat before noon and spending the afternoon upon the mountain, remaining until sunset.”