Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
What is the significance of the 9th of Dhu’l Hijjah?
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The 9th of Dhu’l Hijjah is known as ‘the Day of ‘Arafa,’ because the pilgrims at Hajj gather at ‘Arafa in worship, which is one of the three central integrals of the Hajj rituals.
Its importance is such that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Hajj is ‘Arafa.” [Nasa’i; Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud; Ibn Majah; Darimi]
The Day of ‘Arafa is important for those not at Hajj, as well.
Abu Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Fasting the Day of ‘Arafa [9th of Dhu’l Hijjah] expiates for two years, one prior and one forthcoming.” [Muslim; Abu Dawud; Nasa’i; Ibn Majah]
As such, the scholars concur that it is highly recommended (mustahabb) to fast the Day of ‘Arafa [9th of Dhu’l Hijjah], even for the one on Hajj in the Hanafi school, if it does not weaken the pilgrim from spending the day busy in worship. [Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Kasani, Bada’i‘ al-Sana’i‘]
The Day of ‘Arafa is one of the days when supplications (du‘a) are more likely to be accepted. [Ibn al-Hajj, al-Madhkhal; Saffarini, Ghidha’ al-Albab]
This is based on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, “The best of supplications are those on the Day of ‘Arafa.” [Tirmidhi; Ahmad; Malik]
Imam al-Baji explained this as meaning, “Having most baraka, the greatest reward, and the quickest in being answered.” [Baji, al-Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwatta]
The Takbirs of ‘Id Start on This Day: The Fiqh
Allah Most High commanded us to, “Remember Allah through the appointed days.” [Quran, 2:203]
It is narrated from both ‘Ali and ‘Ammar (may Allah be pleased with them) that they said, “The Messenger of Allah used to make the takbirs from the Fajr prayer of the Day of ‘Arafa and would stop them after the Asr prayer of the final day of the Days of Tashriq [13th of Dhu’l Hijjah].” [Hakim, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn]
There is, however, a weakness in the chain of narrators, as Imam Bayhaqi mentioned. There are numerous hadiths that have been mentioned on this, as Imam Jamal al-Din al-Zayla‘i expounded in his Nasb al-Raya [2.266-269]
This has been established by the consensus of the Companions of the Beloved of Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). [Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni 2.126 #1431]
The Legal Status
It is necessary (wajib) for every Muslim (male or female, whether praying in the congregation or alone) to make the following takbir (declaration of the greatness of Allah) immediately after each obligatory (fard) prayer.
From: the Fajr Prayer on the 9th of Dhu’l Hijjah (the Day of ‘Arafa)
To: the Asr Prayer on the 13th of Dhu’l Hijjah.
Thus, these takbirs last 5 days, i.e., 23 prayers.
The Wording of the Takbir
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Llah.
Wa Llahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahi Lhamd.”
“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no god but Allah.
And Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.”
Rulings Related To This
- The wajib is to recite this takbir once. If done more than this, it is good. [Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar – quoting ‘Ayni]
- The position related above that it is obligatory for 23 prayers, whether in a congregation or alone, for every Muslim, is the position of Abu Hanifa’s students, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, and it is the position acted upon and chosen for fatwa, because of the strength of their evidence and the inherited practice being on it, and because it is more cautious. [Haskafi/Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya – quoting al-Zahidi]
Abu Hanifa’s position, that it lasts only eight prayers, is supported by evidence, too, though, including the practice of some major Companions such as Ibn Mas‘ud (Allah be pleased with him), and was taken by some major Hanafi imams, though a minority, such as Ibn al-Humam in his Fath al-Qadir.
- It is not wrong (rather, it is recommended) to also perform it after the ‘Id prayer itself because the Muslims have performed it generation after generation, so it is proper to follow their inherited practice (that has been accepted by generation after generation of scholars). [Haskafi/Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]
- The followers must perform it, even if the imam leaves it. [Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar]
- Latecomers [=those who missed one or more rakat of the congregational prayer] must perform it, but after completing their prayer.
- It is necessary for the congregation to perform it out loud. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar – quoting Quhustani]
- It is necessary to make the takbirs immediately after the salams. If one talks, loses one’s wudu or performs other actions completely foreign to the prayer, one has missed the wajib. [al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya; Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar]
- The Ten Days of Dhu’l Hijja: Merits & Striving in Spiritual Works
- Fasting in Dhu’l Hijja
- A Reader on Eid al-Adha
And Allah alone gives success.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.