Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wukuf at 'Arafah.

Wukuf at 'Arafah.
Muhammad Fathi

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and May Allah blessings and peace be upon His Messenger.

 After the sun rises on the Dzul-Hijjah 9, the pilgrims clad in their Ihram would converged at ‘Arafah for Wukuf [Grand Essembly]. The wukuf in ‘Arafah is a major pillar of the Hajj. As such the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) stressed: "Hajj is [the assembly at] ‘Arafah."

The durations for the wuquf begin from the Zuhur Prayer on Dzul-Hijjah 9 until the fajar of Dzul-Hijjah 10. It is valid to stay for any portion of time within that time. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) stayed in ‘Arafah until the sun set of Dzul-Hijjah 9 and proceed Muzdalifah, after Solat Fajar move to Mina arriving before sunrise on Dzul-Hijjah10 .

At 'Arafah one may conduct jamak for Zuhur and ‘Asar prayers, joining them at the time of Zuhur if possible to qasar, that is shortening each of them to two raka'ahs.

It is of a great benefit at ‘Arafah, one to be preoccupied with continuous dzikir, tasbih, du’a, and seeking for Allah's forgiveness as the Day of ‘Arafah is a very blessed day. 'A'ishah r.a narrated a Hadith that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

“There is no day in which Allah frees a greater number of His servants from the Hellfire than the Day of ‘Arafah. Allah comes close to His servants and boasts about them to the angels then asks (a rhetorical question): "What do these servants seek for?"


The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) also said, the best supplication is that of the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing that I and other Prophets before me said:

"Lailaha Illallahu Wahdahu Lasyari Kalah, Lahul Mulkuwalahul Hamdu Yuhyi Wayumiit, Wahuwa ‘Ala Kulli Syai'in Qadeer."
(There is no God but Allah. He has no associate. To Him belong the Sovereignty and all the Praise. He has the sole power over everything.)

Mistakes to Be Avoided at ‘Arafah

Some pilgrims do not recite the Talbiyah aloud on their way from Mina to ‘Arafah. It was proven that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) continued to recite the Talbiyah until he threw the pebbles of Al-‘Aqabah on the day of 'Eid.

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 stay in these places have not performed Hajj. There are big and clear signs showing the boundaries of ‘Arafah.

Some people think that they have to go to the place where the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam)  stood beside the mountain and to stand there. They put themselves through a great deal of trouble in order to reach that place. This is wrong. It was proven that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said, "I am standing here but all of 'Arafah is the place of standing."

Some pilgrims thought that the mountain by which the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) stood is holy, so they would converge there and climb it and seek blessings from the stones and soil around it. These are indeed wrong and unacceptable bid’ahs (innovations in religion).

Some people thought that it is essential to pray Zuhur and ‘Asar Prayers with the imam in the mosque, seeking that place from far away. This causes them a great deal of difficulty and many of them go astray, which makes Hajj extremely hard for them, and they crowd one another and upset one another.

The Night of Dzul-Hijjah 9

After spending some time in ‘Arafah, preferably from Zuhur till Maghrib Prayers, pilgrims leave for Mina through Muzdalifah. One may perform Jamak and qasar for Maghrib and 'Isyak prayers.

On the way from ‘Arafah, keep on dzikir to Allah SWT and seek His forgiveness.

On reaching Muzdalifah one would enough pebbles for the three Jamarats. In Muzdalifah, one may sleep till dawn. This is the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) . However, according to some scholars due to the throng of people at Muzdalifah one can leave after midnight.

Muzdalifah is an open area; you will find no tents there. One must ready with blankets or sleeping bags; these will prove very useful, especially if it is cold that night.

[Exerpted from Muhammad Fathi, Al-Azhar University, in Islamic Studies. He is Syari'ah Editor.]


GenkiGirl said...

Hi there. I was recently living in a small town in Turkey and I really miss many things about the Islamic culture. I especially miss hearing the Call to Prayer five times a day. We lived a stone's throw away from a mosque so sometimes we would wake to the sound of the imam. It always filled me with a very good feeling, there is something very special about it.

Umairah said...

I am really studying what you have written. InsyaAllah, I'll perform my haj. My flight is this Friday.