Observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah if it coincides with a Friday
Q: It is known that
the Day of `Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah) coincided with a Friday.
We observed Sawm (Fast) on that day based on the Hadith 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.
The Imam (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 Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar), may Allah benefit you. Who is right: the Imam 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 `Ashura' (10th of Muharram) coincides with a Friday?
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. However, if the Day of `Arafah or `Ashura' coincides with a Friday, it is permissible to observe Sawm on it due to the significance of the day. Imam
Muslim related on the authority of
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Do not single out the night of Friday (i.e. Thursday night, as in the Hijri calendar the night precedes the day) for observing Qiyam (standing for optional Prayer at night) and do not single out its daytime (Part No. 9; Page No. 307) for observing Sawm except if it coincides with a day one normally fasts.
About the virtue of observing Sawm on these days (i.e., the Day of `Arafah and `Ashura'), it has been mentioned that they expatiate for a past year, while observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah expatiates for the coming year as well. Therefore, a person is to observe Sawm during these two days for this reason and this is permissible. It was related in the Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith of Imam
Muslim on the authority of
Abu Qatadah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
I seek a favor from Allah that observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah will expiate for the year preceding it and the one after it.
About observing Sawm on the Day of `Ashura', he (peace be upon him) said:
I seek a favor from Allah that it may expiate for the year preceding it.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.