Why does the fasting of ‘Aashooraa (the 10th day of Muharram) expiate [the sins] of a year, [whereas] the fasting of ‘Arafah [expiates the sins] of two years?
Ibn al-Qayyim said,
“Firstly, the day of ‘Arafah is in one of the [four] sacred months, and is preceded and succeeded by a sacred month, contrary to ‘Aashooraa. Secondly, fasting the day of ‘Arafah is from the specifics of our legislation, contrary to ‘Aashooraa, so it is multiplied by the blessings of the chosen one (Muhammad) صلى الله عليه وسلم.” End translation. [Badaai’ al-Fawaaid: (4/211)]
What is the wisdom behind the precedence/preference of fasting ‘Arafah over ‘Aashooraa?
Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said,
“Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah is more virtuous than fasting the Day of ‘Aashooraa. Verily, it has been said regarding the wisdom behind that that the Day of ‘Aashooraa is attributed to Moosaa عليه السلام and the Day of ‘Arafah is attributed to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, and it is therefore better for that reason.” End translation. [Fath al-Baaree: (4/249)]
قال الشيخ عبد الله البسّام – رحمه الله :
Ash Shaykh Abdullah Al Bassam, rahimahullah, said,
صوم يوم عرفة هو أفضل صيام التطوع بإجماع العلماء .
“The fast of the day of Arafat is the best voluntary fast by consensus of the scholars”. End translation.
[ توضيح الأحكام (٢٠١/٣)]
[Tawdeehul Ahkaam 3/201]
Majid Jawed Al-Afghanee