Climbing Mount `Arafat and praying there

Fatwa no. 16 All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions. The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has read the request for Fatwa no.(1639), dated 1/11/391 A.H., sent by his Eminence, the Head of the Court of Makkah through his Eminence, the Minister of Justice to his Honor, the Chairman of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta', Da`wah, and Guidance. The request is referred by the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars no: (97/2) dated (18/01/1392) regarding the expansion of the passageway leading to the top of Al-Rahmah Mountain to solve the problem of crowdedness where pickpockets practice their evil. Therefore, this request for Fatwa is about removing the Musalla (a place for Prayer) from the passageway so as to expand the passageway.

After studying this request for Fatwa, the Committee's reply was the following: (Part No. 11; Page No. 207) First, it is not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) climbed Mount `Arafat, known as Al-Rahmah Mountain. Moreover, it was not the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to climb this mountain during Hajj or even to regard it as a site for Hajj rituals. In addition, he (peace be upon him) said: Take your (Hajj) rituals from me. Also, the rightly-guided Caliphs, all the Companions and those who followed them rightfully have not climbed this mountain during Hajj following the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). However, it is authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) stood at the foot of that mountain, specifically at the large rocks, then said: I have stood here and all of `Arafat is a place for standing and avoid standing at Batn `Uranah. Therefore, many scholars have said that climbing this mountain during Hajj with the belief that it is one of the rituals of Hajj, is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion). Such scholars include Imam Al-Nawawy, Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, and Shaykh Siddiq Khan. Hence, it should be known that this passageway should not be enlarged, because this involves the acceptance and facilitation of Bid`ah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: He who did any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected. It was not of the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to offer supererogatory Salah at (Part No. 11; Page No. 208) Mount `Arafat. In fact, he (peace be upon him) offered Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer and `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer shortened and combined in the Masjid (mosque) of Namirah. He did not build a mosque on Al-Rahmah Mountain for people to offer supererogatory or obligatory Salah on the day of `Arafah He (peace be upon him) only performed Zhuhr and `Asr Prayers and then he devoted himself to recite Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) such as Tasbih (glorification of Allah), Tahlil (Saying: "La ilaha illa Allah [There is no god but Allah]"), Tahmid (Saying: "Al-hamdu lillah [All praise is due to Allah]"), Takbir (Saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]"), Talbiyah (devotional expressions chanted at certain times during Hajj and `Umrah) and supplicating submissively to Allah (Exalted be He) till sunrise.Establishing a place for Salah at that mount so that the people who climb it may offer Salah therein is an act of Bid`ah introduced by ignorant people. Thus, the current Musalla has to be destroyed; not for expanding the passageway but for removing the Bid`ah and preventing evil people from deceiving new pilgrims who come to visit Allah's Sacred House. This Fatwa should put an end to the misguidance of those who lead the pilgrims to this mount or the Musalla exposing them to trouble and theft. Moreover, the place at that mount where people offer Salah does not have the same rulings as a Masjid (mosque). A unanimous opinion has been reached about this.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.