Is it permissible to stay in the masjids for supplication and remembrance on the night of Arafah in all countries, or is it only for the people on Mount Arafah?
O Muslims, servants of Allah: One of the characteristics of the Day of Arafah: The day in which Allah the Exalted, frees the most slaves from the Fire, is the Day of Arafah. Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih from the hadith of the mother of the believers, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no day in which Allah releases more servants from the Hellfire then the day of ‘Arafah. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want?”
This is specific to the people of Arafah not for all Muslims, but is exclusive for the people of Arafah.
And it came in the hadeeth of Abdullah bin Amr and Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with them both, in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, with the statement that Allah the Almighty said: “Look at my servants, disheveled in dust”.
Allah boast about them to the angels because of their great work of standing in reverence in the obedience and humiliation to their Lord.
Based on this, it is not permissibile to stand except in Arafah. As it is not legislated to stand except in Arafah, not at Jerusalem, or other than it. So it is not permissible to gather on the day of Arafah except for those who were on Arafah. Hammad, Al-Nakha’i, al-Thawri, Imam Malik, and a number of scholars all disapprove of that.
They condemned the gathering on the day of Arafah intending to resembling the people of Arafah.
All of the hadiths came with the wording restricting this gathering to those standing on Arafah and those that were on Arafah and not all Muslims.
And what occurs on the day of Arafah from people standing at other than Arafah likening it to the people of Arafah is one of the innovated actions which groups from the salaf have previously disapproved of.
As for what was narrated on Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, that he used to stay up making dua on the eve of Arafah, this was not confirmed upon him.
For this reason Oh Muslims it is said: Whoever stays in the masjid on the day of Arafah and desires to pray and fast, there is no objection to this. As for this glorification of the day of ‘Arafah for the purpose of imitating the people of Arafah, then this has not been legislated.
And what has resulted from this of sending messages over the internet urging people to gather in the masjids on the night of Arafah, because Allah descends on the night of Arafah.
Yes, our Lord descends, as befits His Majesty, on the night of Arafah, boasting of the people of Arafah only, as stated in the hadiths, this must be understood and understood well.
And from the examples of how the people are being incited today is the spreading that the night of decree in which angels descend is in the night of Arafah, when the Lord of the worlds descends.
The response to this is that the descending and closeness of Allah in all His Majesty on the night of ‘Arafah, is His boasting of the people of Arafah to the angels and none other than them.
He ﷺ clarified this in his statement: “Allah the Almighty descends every night when the third third of the night remains.”
Hence the Night of Decree is the descending of the angels therein, so this exaggeration is not needed.
And an even greater affair: The gathering of the people at the graves of those claiming Wi’layah (friendship of Allah) and nobility. They gather around their graves on the night of Arafah seeking blessing or perhaps calling upon them without Allah Almighty and all this is from misguidance, blindness and evil that the Muslims must avoid.
Taken from part of a sermon on the Eighth day of the month of Dhual-Hijjah 1440
Benefited from: Shaikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ba Jamaal (May Allah preserve him)
Translated by: Abu Yusuf Bilal ibn Howard Robinson