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:
These are some of the mistakes made by some pilgrims at Arafah:
1- Not reciting the talbiyah aloud on their way from Mina to Arafah
2- Stopping outside Arafah and staying there until the sun sets, then leaving for Muzdalifah.
3- Busying themselves with making duaa facing the mountain by which the Prophet stood rather than facing the qiblah.
4- Thinking that they have to go to the place where the Prophet stood.
5- Thinking that the trees in Arafah are like the trees in Mina and Muzdalifah, that is, it is forbidden to cut a leaf or a branch from them.
6- Thinking that the mountain by which the Prophet stood is holy so they climb it seeking blessings from its stones and soil
7- Thinking that it is essential to pray Zhuhr and Asr with the imam in the mosque
8- Leaving Arafah before the sun sets and going to Muzdalifah
9- Wasting time in matters that are not beneficial.
Elaborating on the mistakes that some pilgrims make at Arafah, the late Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen, a prominent Saudi Muslim scholar (may Allah shower mercy on his soul), issued the following fatwa:
It was narrated that on the day of Arafah the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stayed in Namirah (a place near Arafah) until the sun had passed its zenith (which is the beginning of the time for Zhuhr Prayer).
After that the Prophet rode and stopped at the bottom of Wadi `Arnah (a valley between Namirah and Arafah), where he prayed Zhuhr Prayer and `Asr Prayer, shortening them to two rak`ahs and joining them together at the time of Zhuhr Prayer with one Adhan and twoIqamahs.
Then the Prophet rode on until he came to the place of standing and stood there. He said, “I am standing here but all of Arafah is the place of standing.” Then he remained standing, facing the qiblah, raising his hands, remembering Allah, and calling upon Him until the sun had completely set; then he went on to Muzdalifah.
Some mistakes that are made by some pilgrims at Arafah are as follows:
1- Some pilgrims pass by and you do not hear them reciting the talbiyah. They do not recite the talbiyah aloud on their way from Mina to Arafah. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) continued to recite the talbiyah until he had thrown the pebbles of Al-Aqabah on the day of Eid.
2- One of the most serious mistakes that some pilgrims make is to stop outside Arafah and then stay there until the sun sets, after which they leave for Muzdalifah. Those who stand in these places have not performed Hajj because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Hajj is Arafah” (At-Tirmidhi). Whoever does not stand in any place at Arafah and at the specified time for the standing, his Hajj is not valid because of the hadith referred to above.
3- Some people busy themselves with making duaa at the end of the day, so you see them facing towards the mountain by which the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) stood, even though the qiblah may be behind them or to their right or left. What is prescribed for du`aa’ on the day of Arafah is for the person to face the qiblah whether the mountain is in front of him or behind him, or to his right or his left. The Prophet (peace be upon him) only faced this mountain because he faced towards the qiblah and the mountain was between him and the qiblah, so he had no choice but to face the mountain, too.
4- Some people think that they have to go to the place where the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood beside the mountain and stand there. So you see them putting themselves through a great deal of trouble in order to reach that place. They may be walking and may be unfamiliar with the routes and get hungry and thirsty if they cannot find food and water, and they may also get lost and suffer a great deal of harm because of this mistaken notion. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I am standing here but all of Arafah is the place of standing.”
5- Some people think that the trees in Arafah are like the trees in Mina and Muzdalifah, that is, it is not permissible to cut a leaf or a branch from them and so on because they think that cutting the trees has something to do with ihram, as hunting does.
This is incorrect because cutting trees has nothing to do with ihram; rather the rule on cutting trees is concerned with the place.
6- Some pilgrims think that the mountain by which the Prophet (peace be upon him) stood is holy, so they go and climb it seeking blessings from the stones and soil around it. They hang pieces of cloth from its trees and do other things that are well known. These are bid`ah (innovations in religion).
It is not prescribed to climb the mountain, to pray there, or to hang pieces of cloth on its trees because none of that was narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him).
7- Some people think that it is essential to pray Zhuhr and Asr Prayer with the imam in the mosque; hence you see them going to that place from far away. This causes them a great deal of difficulty and many of them lose their way, which makes Hajj extremely hard for them, and they crowd one another and upset one another. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The earth has been made a mosque (place of prayer) and a means of purification for me.”
So if a person prays in his tent in a calm and dignified manner without being disturbed or disturbing others and without experiencing trouble that makes Hajj extremely hard, that is better.
8- Some of them leave Arafah before the sun sets and go to Muzdalifah. The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) did not leave Arafah until after the sun had set and the orange afterglow had somewhat diminished.
9- Some of them waste time in matters that are not beneficial. So you see people from the beginning of the day until the end engaged in conversations that may be innocent and free from gossip or they may not be, in which case they are slandering people’s honor and eating their flesh.”
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.