Practices at The Beginning of Dzulhijja and Arofah Fast
All praises be to Allah, Who still bestow upon us His graces, and enable us to welcome the month of Dzulhijja. Below we’ll explain about the excellences of performing righteous deeds at the first days of the month Dzulhijja and the recommended practices during that time. Hopefully it’ll be useful for you all.
Excellences of the first ten days of the month Dzulhijja
Among the indications of the excellence of the first ten days of this month is a hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas, in which the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “There are no days in which the righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days” meaning the (first) ten days (of Dzul-Hijjah). They asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in Allah’s cause?” He said: “Not even Jihad in Allah’s cause.” He said: “Except for a man who goes out, himself and his wealth, and does not return with any of that.” 
In these days, there are Arofah and the eid al Adha days. Both are noble days, as mentioned in a hadith of Abdullah Ibn Qurth, in which the Prophet of Allah said, “The greatest of all days before Allâh is the Day of Nahr (Sacrifice), and then the Day of Qurr (day after the day of slaughtering)” 
Excellences of Performing righteous deeds at the first ten days of the month Dzulhijja
Ibn Rajab A Hambali said, “Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas shows that the righteous deeds performed in the first ten days of the month Dzulhijja are dearer to Allah than in the other days, without exception. If it is said so, then performing righteous deeds during that time is of great importance in His side.”
Even, if one perform a lesser practice in excellence during those days, it might be more excellent than doing an excellent deed outside these days. Because the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, when being asked, “Not even jihad in Allah’s cause?”. He replied, “Not even jihad in Allah’s cause.” whereas we know that jihad is a great, and virtuous deed. But righteous deeds at the then first ten days of the month Dzulhijja are not of lesser in excellence than jihad, even though the deeds itself are of lesser in excellence compared to jihad..
Ibn Rajab Al Hambali said, ” It indicates that deeds that lesser in excellence, if being performed at the excellent time to perform it, will be greater than excellent deeds outside of that time. Deeds performed at the excellent time will have more rewards, because the rewards if it will be multiplied.”. Mujahid said, “(The rewards of) deeds performed at the first ten days of the month Dzulhijja will be multiplied.” .
Practices at the Beginning of Dzulhijja
The excellence of the first ten days of the month Dzulhijja applies on all kind of righteous deeds, it is not limited to particular deeds. . Among the recommended practices to do during these days is fasting. From Hunaidah Ibn Khalid, from his wife, (she said that) several of the Prophet’s wives said, “The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- used to fast at the first nine days of Dzulhijja, at the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram), and fast three days in every month..,..”.
But there is a narration from Aisha that said, “I’ve never seen the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- fast at the first ten days of the month Dzulhijja.” Regarding this narration, Imam Ahmad explained that the stronger narration is the one that establish the fasting at the nine days of the month Dzulhijja, that is the first one. But in another explanation, Imam Ahmad stated that the meaning of ‘Aisha’s narration is that the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- didn’t fast for the whole ten days at the beginning of Dzulhijja, whereas the meaning of Hafsa’s narration is that the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- fasted on the majority of those days. Thus, it is suggested to fast on some days and not fast at the rest of it. .
Conclusion: It is alright to fast for the whole nine days at the beginning of the month of Dzulhijja (from 1-9 of Dzulhijja) or fast on some days of it.
Note: Sometimes It is mentioned in the hadith about fasting on the first ten days of the month Dzulhijja. It means the majority of those ten days, and the eid Al adha is not included in it, and it is not allowed to fast on the day of ied. 
The excellence of Arofah day
Among the excellences of Arofah day (the 9th of Dzulhijja) is as mentioned in the following hadith, “Among the days wherein Allah free many men from the Hell is the day of Arofah (for those who stay at the field of Arofah that day). He will come closer to them and show their excellences to the angels. Then Allah decreed, “What do they want?” 
The other excellence of this day is the granted of prayer during it. It is narrated from ‘Amr Ibn Shuhaib, from his father, from his grandfather, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him said, “The best of prayer is the prayer at the Arofah day.” . Meaning that this kind of prayer is the fastest to be granted. . Thus, for muslims to use this blessed time to increase their prayers to Allah. The prayer during this day is granted because it is performed at the excellent time.
Don’t leave the Arofah fast!
For those who do not perform pilgrimage to Mecca to fast during the day of Arofah, that is the 9th day of the month Dzulhijja. It is based on a hadith from Abu Qatada, that the Prophet-peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “The Arofah fast erases the sins of a year past and a year to come. The Ashura fast (10th of Muharram) will erase the sins committed a year before”. . It shows that the Arofah fast is better in virtue than the Ashura fast. Among the reasons is that Ashura fast originates from Prophet Moses, while Arofah fast comes from our prophet, Muhammad-peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-. . The excellence of Arofah fast is to erase two years of sins, and the sins mentioned here is the minor sins. Or, it is possibly mean that the major sins will be lightened or one’s degree may be raised..
As for those who perform pilgrimage to Mecca, are not suggested to perform this fast. It is narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas, he said, “The Prophet-peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- did not fast at the field of Arofah. At that time he was served milk, and he drank it.”.
It is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that he was asked about fasting during the day of Arofah, at the field of Arofah. He said, “I performed hajj with the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and he didn’t fast at the day of Arofah. I also performed hajj with Abu Bakr, and he didn’t fast either. Also Uthman didn’t fast at that time. And I didn’t perform it too. I also didn’t order others to do it. Nor that I forbid one who perform it.” 
Based on this saying, it is better for the one who perform pilgrimage to break the fast on the day of Arofah, at Arofah, in order to follow the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and the caliphs (Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman), also to strengthen oneself in praying and uttering remembrances at Arofah. This is the stance of the majority of the scholars.
The Tarwiyah Fast (8th of Dzulhijja)
There is a narration that says, “Fasting on the tarwiya day (8th of Dzulhijja) will erase the sins committed a year before,” Ibn Al Jauzi , Ash Shaukani , and Sheikh Al Albani commented that it is a weak hadith. .
Therefore, there is no need to intend specifically to fast on the 8th of Dzulhijja because tha hadith regarding this matter is weak. But it is allowed to fast on that day for those who do it to obtain the excellence of righteous deeds during the first nine days of Dzulhijja. And Allah knows best.
What if the 9th of Dzulhijja in Saudi Arabia differs with Indonesia
If the wuqoof at the Arofah priors to the 9th of Dzulhijja in Indonesia, which one to follow to perform the Arofah fast?
Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shalih Al ‘Uthaymeen said, “in the case of Arofah fast, you should follow your country.”. He reasoned that we should follow the crescent cycle of our country and not the Saudi’s. If the crescent emerged in our country a day after it’s emergence in Mecca, thus the 9th of Dzulhijja in Mecca is the 8th of Dzulhijja in our country, then we should fast at the 9th of Dzulhijja according to the emergence of the crescent in our country, although it means that we are fasting at the 10th of Dzulhijja according to Mecca’s date. This is the strongest stance regarding this problem, because the Prophet-peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadân), start observing Saum (fast) and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwâl), stop observing Saum.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
May Allah ease us to perform righteous deeds sincerely for Him and in accordance to the guidance of His prophet.
 Narrated by Abu Daud in hadith no. 2438, by At Tirmidhi no. 757, Ibn Maja no. 1727, and Ahmad no. 1986, from Ibn ‘Abbas. Sheikh Al Albani commented that this is a sahih hadits. Sheikh Shuhaib Al Arnauth said that the status of this hadith is good, according to the requirements of Bukhari and Muslim.
 Narrated by Abu Daud in hadith no. 1765. Sheikh Al Albani commented taht it is sahih.
 See: “Latho-if Al Ma’arif”, page. 456.
 See: “Latho-if Al Ma’arif”, page. 457 and 461.
 Similar to no. 4.
 See: “Latho-if Al Ma’arif”, page. 458.
 See: “Tajridul Ittiba'”, by Sheikh Ibrahim bin ‘Amir Ar Ruhailiy, page. 116, 119-121, Published by: Dar Al Imam Ahmad.
 The parameter in this matter is Hijriya months, and not Christian months.
 Narrated by Abu Daud in hadith no. 2437. Sheikh Al Albani said that it is sahih.
 Narrated by Muslim no. 1176, from ‘Aisha.
 See: “Latho-if Al Ma’arif”, page. 459-460.
 See: “Fathul Bari”, 3/390 and “Latho-if Al Ma’arif”, page. 460.
 Narrated by Muslim no. 1348, from ‘Aisha.
 Narrated by Tirmidhi no. 3585. Sheikh Al Albani said that it’s status is good.
 See: “Tuhfatul Ahwadziy”, by Muhammad ‘Abdurrahman Ibn ‘Abdurrahim Al Mubarakfuri Abul ‘Ala, 8/482, published by Mawqi’ Al Islam.
 Narrated by Muslim no. 1162, from Abu Qatada.
 See: Fathul Bari”, 6/286.
 See: “Syarh Muslim”, by An Nawawi, 4/179, published by Mawqi’ Al Islam.
 Narrated by Tirmidhi no. 750. Tirmidhi said that it is hasan-sahih. Sheikh Al Albani said that it is sahih.
 Narrated by Tirmidhi no. 751. Sheikh Al Albani said that it’s narrational chain is sahih.
 See: “Shahih Fiqih Sunnah”, by Abu Malik, 2/137, Published by: Al Maktabah At Taufiqiyah.
 See: “Al Mawdhu’at”, 2/565, cited from http://dorar.net
 See: “Al Fawa-id Al Majmu’ah”, page. 96, cited from http://dorar.net
 See: “Irwa’ul Gholil” no. 956.
 See: “Majmu’ Fatawa wa Rosa-il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen”, 17/25, Asy Syamilah
Author: Muhammad Abduh Tuasikal
Article of www.whatisquran.comcom