Ruling on rubbing oneself against the walls of Masjids at Al-Rahmah Mountain in `Arafah

Q: In the area of Al-Rahmah Mount in `Arafah there are three adjacent Masjids (mosques) with their Mihrabs without ceilings. The pilgrims go to these Masjids to rub themselves against their walls and Mihrabs. Sometimes, they put money at the Mihrabs. They offer two Rak`ahs at each one of these Masjids. Sometimes they perform Salah at these Masjids at times when prayer is prohibited. Also men and women mingle in crowds there. The pilgrims do all these acts during the days immediately preceding the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah. We hope that Your Eminence will inform us of the legal ruling on these acts, may Allah reward you with best reward!

A: First: `Arafah is a place where one of the rituals of Hajj is to be performed according to Allah's orders. This ritual is staying at `Arafah on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah and the night of `Eid-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice). However, it is not a place for people to dwell in. So there is no need for building Masjids at its well-known mountain (Al-Rahmah Mountain). Masjid Namirah is located at that area where the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered the Zuhr and `Asr Prayers in the Farewell Pilgrimage. So, pilgrims may pray in it when they come to stay at `Arafah. In that Masjid, people may offer Zhuhr and `Asr Prayers on that day. Also, we do not know that the Salaf (righteous predecessors) built Masjids (Part No. 2; Page No. 504) in the area known as Al-Rahmah Mountain. Therefore, building one Masjid or more there is an act of Bid`ah (innovation in religion). Likewise, offering two Rak`ahs (units of Prayer) or more at these Masjids is another act of Bid`ah as well as offering Salah at the times when optional Prayer is prohibited. Second: Going to these Masjids, rubbing one's self against their walls and Mihrabs to attain blessings is Bid`ah. It is similar to the acts of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) which the disbelievers used to do in the Pre-Islamic period to attain blessings from their idols. So, it is the duty of the rulers and officials to destroy these Masjids to block the means leading to this evil. This way the pilgrims will not find any reason to go to that mountain to receive blessings or perform Salah there.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.