Praying on Mount `Arafat and touching the Masjid's mihrabs

Q: There are three adjoining roofless Masjids (mosques) on Al-Rahmah Mount at `Arafah. During the days preceding the ninth of Dhul Hijjah, the pilgrims visit these Masjids to touch the walls and mihrabs built in them. These mihrabs are completely crowded with men and women who sometimes put money and offer two Rak`ahs even if it is at a time when it is not permissible to offer supererogatory Salah. I hope that your Eminence will explain the ruling on these acts. May Allah reward you best.

A: First, the entire plain of `Arafah is an area where the rites of Hajj are performed. Pilgrims are ordered by Allah (Exalted be He) to stand on `Arafat on the ninth of Dhul Hijja corresponding to the night of `Eid-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice). This area is not a place for residence and there is no need to build one or more Masjids on it or on its mount known as Al-Rahmah Mount to offer Salah. There is Masjid Namirah in the place where the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered Zuhr (noon) along with `Asr (afternoon) Prayers during the Farewell Hajj. Therefore, the pilgrims can offer Salah in this Masjid on the day when they stand on `Arafah. Whoever is able to offer Zhuhr and `Asr Prayers in it on that day, is encouraged to do so. Moreover, it was not known that the Salaf (righteous predecessors) built Masjids on Al-Rahmah Mount. Therefore, building one or more Masjids on it, offering two or more Rak`has in (Part No. 11; Page No. 210) each Masjid and offering them at a time when it is not permissible to offer supererogatory Salah are Bid`ahs (innovations in religion). Second, visiting these masjids and rubbing their walls and mihrabs for the purpose of seeking blessings is a reprehensible Bid`ah. The officials there should order to have these Masjids removed so as to block the means that lead to evil and avoid Fitnah (misguidance). The pilgrims then will not be able to find anything that will attract them to climb the mount, seek the blessings and offer Salah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.