Building Masjids in ‘Arafah and seeking blessings in them

Question 175:  In the area of Al-Rahmah Mount in `Arafah there are three adjacent Masjids (mosques) with their Mihraabs without ceilings. The pilgrims go to these Masjids to rub themselves against their walls and Mihraabs. Sometimes, they put money at the Mihraabs. They offer two Rak`ahs at each one of these Masjids. Sometimes they perform Salaah 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 Dul-Hijjah. We hope that Your Eminence will inform us of the legal ruling on these acts, may Allaah reward you with best reward!

Answer: First, `Arafah is a place where one of the rituals of Hajj is to be performed according to Allaah’s orders. This ritual is staying at `Arafah on the ninth day of Dul-Hijjah and the night of `Eed-ul-Ad-haa (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 Duhr 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 Duhr and `Asr Prayers on that day. Also, we do not know that the Salaf (righteous predecessors) built Masjids in the area known as Al-Rahmah Mountain. Therefore, building one Masjid or more there is an act of Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). Likewise, offering two Rak`ahs (units of Prayer) or more at these Masjids is another act of Bidd`ah as well as offering Salaah 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 Bidd`ah. It is similar to the acts of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) which the disbelievers used to do in the Pre-Islaamic 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 Salaah there... read more here.

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