Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Thanks to the modern technology, people all over the world can easily know the Day of Arafah (the day on which pilgrims stay on Mount Arafah). So, Muslims who are not performing Hajj should fast that very day.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
It is highly recommended for those outside the Hajj to fast the Day of Arafah. The day of Arafah proper is the day when the pilgrims perform the rite of wuquf (staying) in the plains of Arafat Mountain. In the past, people did not have the comfort of knowing the day of Arafah in advance.
Nowadays, however, they know it and even watch it as it unfolds from their own living rooms on Televisions or the Internet. So, it is only common sense that we fast the same day as the day of wuquf (i.e. when they perform the ritual of standing on Arafat).
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.