Is Staying at Arafah Essential in Hajj?

30 July, 2020
Q Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Is spending the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah at `Arafah an essential part of Hajj? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer

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:

There is consensus among Muslim scholars that spending the Day at Arafah is the most important part of Hajj. The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered an announcer to proclaim “Hajj is (spending the day at) Arafah, so he who joins other pilgrims on the night of Muzdalifah before dawn will be considered as having performed Hajj.” (At-Tirmidhi)


In this regard, Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states in his well-known book Fiqh Us-Sunnah

Hajj is spending the day at Arafah

Staying at Arafah means physical and mental presence in any part of Arafah, whether one is awake, asleep, riding, sitting, lying down, walking, and regardless of whether one is in a state of purity or not, for example a menstruating woman, or one giving birth, or a person having a wet dream.

There is consensus among Muslim scholars that spending the Day at Arafah is the most important part of Hajj. Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan have reported from Abdur Rahman ibn Yamur that the Prophet (PBUH) ordered an announcer to proclaim; “Hajj is (spending the day at) Arafah. So he who joins other pilgrims on the night of Muzdalifah before dawn will be considered as having performed Hajj.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Time for Staying at Arafah

Most Muslim scholars are of the opinion that the time to spend in Arafah begins from noon of Dhul-Hijjah 9 until dawn of Dhul-Hijjah 10. A pilgrim may spend any part of this period of time, day or night, in Arafah (to fulfill this condition).

A pilgrim, choosing to spend the day time at Arafah, must stay there until after the sunset. But if someone spends the night at Arafah he is not obligated to stay for any specific length of time. Ash-Shafi`i holds that extending the stay at Arafah until nightfall is sunnah.

Almighty Allah knows best. 

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.