Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 2 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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What is the ruling if one stands on ‘Arafat during hajj on the wrong day?

What is the ruling if one stands on ‘Arafat during hajj on the wrong day?

Answer

Al-Bayhaqi recorded that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The day of ‘Arafat is the day on which people get to know one another.” He also said: “Fasting is on the day when everyone fasts, breaking the fast is on the day when everyone breaks the fast, and the day of sacrifice is the day when everyone one offers a sacrifice.” If the pilgrims stand on ‘Arafat on 10th Dhul Hijja and then realize their mistake, they should not go back and then return to ‘Arafat due to the hardship this would involve. This is what has been mentioned by many scholars of the Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools, and these opinions correspond with the sound opinion in the Shafi’i school.

On the other hand, if they stand on ‘Arafat on 8th Dhul Hijja and then become aware of their mistake and are able to correct it before it is too late, they do not need to repeat their actions according to Imam Ahmad though the rest of the jurists see otherwise. Unlike the Shafi’is and Malikis, Hanafi scholars maintain that the pilgrims who realize their mistake and cannot correct it, are not blameworthy and their standing is valid. Al-Kasani from the Hanafi school said that if the people are confused about the sighting of the moon for Dhul Hijja and stand on ‘Arafat after completing 30 days of Dhul Qi’da, and then hear from someone that the moon was sighted on such-and-such date and they realize that the day on which they stood on ‘Arafat is the day of sacrifice, their standing is valid and their pilgrimage is complete based on juristic preference.”

Imam Al-Nawawi’s position on the same issue is that if the pilgrims made a mistake in determining the day of ‘Arafat by a two day difference, whether after or before ‘Arafat, i.e. they stood on ‘Arafat on 7th or 11th Dhul Hijja, their standing does not count due to their negligence. But if they stand on ‘Arafat with a one day difference such as on 10th Dhul Hijja, their standing is valid and their pilgrimage is complete and it is not necessary to repeat it.

Imam Ibn Qudama Al-Maqdasi wrote: “If the people make a mistake and stand on ‘Arafat on the wrong day, their standing is valid based on what has been recorded by Al-Daraqutni on the authority of Abd Al-Aziz Ibn Abdullah Ibn Khalid Ibn Asid who said: “The day of ‘Arafat is the day on which people get to know one another. If some people are correct and others are incorrect regarding the day of standing, this does not count as they are not exempt in this matter.”
Based on this, we give weight to the opinion of Imam Ahmed as it entails ease for Muslims.
And God the Almighty knows best.
 

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