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Leaving for ‘Arafat instead of Mina

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding a hajji who head towards Arafat on the eighth of Dhul Hijjah instead of travelling to Mina to avoid congestion?

Answer:

All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

Yawm al-Tarwiya is on the eighth of Dhul Hijjah. The reason this day is called Tarwiya is because the Hajjis would gather water at Makkah as a provision for themselves and their camels before leaving for the journey to Mina. There would be a shortage of water at Mina and ‘Arafat, so the water gathered at Makkah would have to suffice them till the last days of Hajj.

It is a sunnah for a Hajji to depart for Mina at the time of Duha and read Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib and Isha there. He will do qasr (shorten) any four unit of prayer into two. He will not combine any salah. The night of ‘Arafat will be spent in Mina and the Fajr prayer will also be performed here. Once Duha time has started, he will set out for ‘Arafat.

However, if he anticipates overcrowding in Mina and he decides on the eighth of Dhul Hijjah to go to ‘Arafat, he will not be sinful, and his Hajj will still stand. By doing this he will have left a preferred method of performing the rituals, but it is hoped he will be rewarded due to difficulty of overcrowding. If the difficulty had not been present, he would have travelled to Mina first.

However, if any wajib act had been omitted then a compensation would have to be made.

And Allah ﷻ knows best.

This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari