Muzdalifa is one of the obligatory duties of Hajj. On the 9th day of Dhul Hijja, the pilgrim will leave Arafat to reach the valley of Muzdalifa. It is recommended to leave Arafah quietly and in a dignified manner. The distance between the two areas is about 8-9 kilometers. At Muzdalifa, the pilgrim spends the night in the open valley and the following Fajr, the 10th of Dhul Hijja, will leave for Mina to perform stoning ceremony.

The Prophet at Muzdalifa

It was reported by Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, “When the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, reached Muzdalifa, he offered both Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers, then he lay down to sleep. He slept until dawn, then he got up and offered Fajr prayer, and mounted his she-camel, Al-Qaswa. When he reached Al-Ma’shar Al-Haram he stopped there until there was light all around, then before sunrise, he left the place” (Muslim, 2803). When you reach Al-Ma’shar Al Haram, make dua until the brightness of daylight is widespread before the actual sun rises.

Prayer

Shaykh Mohammad ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) has written about the mistakes that pilgrims have made in Muzdalifa in his work Daleel al-Akhta allati yaqa’ fiha al-Haaj wa’l-Mu’tamir (Mistakes Made by Pilgrims Performing Hajj and Umrah). He states that the Prophet, peace be upon him, “did not pray until he reached Muzdalifah. He entered it after the time for ‘Isha’ prayer had begun and he prayed Maghrib and ‘Isha’ there, joined at the time of ‘Isha’”. However, if the time for ‘Isha’ prayer is passing while the pilgrim is traveling to Muzdalifa, and they are afraid of missing it, they should stop to pray Maghrib and ‘Isha’ where ever they are. Many delay their prayer until they reach Muzdalifa, but that “this is not permissible; it is haraam and is a major sin, because delaying prayers until the time is over is haraam according to the evidence of the Qur’aan and Sunnah.”

Supererogatory Prayer

Regarding extra prayers at Muzdalifa, Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen states that “praying qiyaam, reading Qur’aan and reciting dhikr” is “contrary to the Sunnah, because the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not worship Allah in this manner on this night. Rather, in Saheeh Muslim, it is narrated from the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that after the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had prayed ‘Isha’, he lay down until dawn came, then he prayed Fajr. This indicates that there is no tahajjud or worship or tasbeeh or dhikr or reading Qur’aan on this night.” Muzdalifa offers pilgrims rest and sleep before traveling to Mina.

Gathering Stones

The stay at Muzdalifa may offer the most convenient time to gather pebbles to stone the Jamrat al-‘Aqabah in southwestern Mina. However, the pebbles can be taken from anywhere, even from Mina. One should make sure to have at least seven stones, but is encouraged to have more to avoid losing or miss throwing some of them[1].

Leaving Muzdalifa

After Fajr prayer, pilgrims will begin to exit Muzdalifa. This is done by “mentioning the name of Allah, and reciting the Talbiya until you stone Jamrat al-‘Aqabah[2]”. Pilgrims should not leave until they have prayed Fajr, unless they have a valid excuse. Crowding at Muzdalifa may be difficult for the elderly, some women, and the old, upon which the excuse will apply. Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen states in his work that the “Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, granted a concession to the weak among his family, allowing them to leave Muzdalifah at night. Asma’ bint Abi Bakr used to watch for the setting of the moon, and when the moon disappeared she left Muzdalifah and went to Mina.” In regards to the moon, he continues to state that “it is when the moon sets on the night of the 10th of Dhul Hijja, which is definitely after midnight, approximately two-thirds of the night have passed.”


[1] Mohamed, Mamdouh N. Hajj & Umrah: The Islamic Pilgrimage from A to Z. page 47
[2] Ibid, 46

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