Fasting on the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah, the month in which Hajj is performed every year is very significant for Muslims all over the world. It is reported in an authentic hadith of prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) that whoever fasts on this day, his or her sins will be forgiven for two years- the year preceding the fast and the one following it. For those of us not performing the Hajj, this is a great opportunity to turn over a new leaf, and refresh our deen and iman. On this day we must resolve to perfect our lives as Muslims, and give up all sinful activities, and all actions and thoughts that cause deviation from the path of Islam.
This day is also known as the day of Arafat, when all the pilgrims performing Hajj gather on the plain of Arafat to pray to Allah. This is a time of great significance as Allah listens to their prayers and grants them bounties from His mercy. Pilgrims are prohibited from fasting because they are travelers, and moreover, they are already undergoing the rigors of Hajj and Allah does not wish to burden them any more. However, Muslims all over the world who are not performing Hajj, can fast and pray on this day to gain the favor and forgiveness of Allah.