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Is the Replacement of the Pillars at the Mount of Mercy With a Wall Problematic?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum

1. Why a symbol of satan (which is a white pillar) is on the Mount of Mercy?

2. Why was it changed to wall?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The pillars are markers indicating (a) the Mount of Mercy (jabal al-rahma) and (b) the place where the pelting is to take place. The replacement with a wall at the place of stoning was seemingly in light of safety considerations. Note that the pillar is not intended in and of itself, rather, it is a means to fulfil the obligation by demarcating the place at which the pelting is to occur.

Please also see: A Hajj Reader

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Photo: Omar Chatriwala of Al Jazeera English

Should I Avoid to Fast on the Day of Arafat to Avoid to Make Guests Feel Uncomfortable?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum

My family has invited guests over on the day of Arafat and so my parents have told me that none of us can fast as it will make the guests feel uncomfortable. However I feel guilty and was wondering whether it would still be better to fast as it is such an emphasised fast.

What should I do?

Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

In general, yes, if you have a sincere intention in the case of a valid excuse, then you will get the reward of the fast even if you do not actually keep it. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The intention of a believer is greater than his action.” [Tabarani]

As for breaking the fast for a guest, this would only be permitted if it occurs before midday, namely, the halfway point between Fajr and Maghrib. After that point, breaking it would be permitted for your parents until `Asr.

Note that all of this is in the case that the guest or host would be hurt or uncomfortable eating alone, and you are reasonably confident of making the fast up (qada’).

[`Ala’ al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya (174)]

Please also see: A Reader on Sincerity, Intention, and the Purpose of Spiritual Routines and: Eating After Dawn & Breaking The Fast For An Invitation

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

How Long Must One Stay at Arafat During Hajj?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I read that on Hajj a pilgrim should also be sure that he has spent any part of the night –even a few minutes-within ‘Arafaat. I need a little clarification. What does ‘a part of the night ‘refer to? Does it mean a time period after sunset or does it mean a time period after complete darkness? Also, usually Hajj guides mention to stand in Arafah until sunset. If someone is waiting for sunset at the boundary of Arafah and just after complete sunset he exits from Arafah boundary then, You may say he has stood a moment in Arafah after sunset instead of a few minutes as mentioned above to do. Did he not discharge his duty?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Yes, it is mandatory (wajib) to be in Arafat for at least a moment after sunset, i.e., to not depart before sunset. So when maghrib comes in, the pilgrim must be within the area of Arafat. After at least a moment, he may leave.

However, it is also wajib to wait until the head imam leaves before leaving Arafat.

It states in ‘Ascent to Felicity’: “It is mandatory (wajib) to leave both after sunset, as well as after the head imam departs. If one leaves beforehand, he must sacrifice a sheep as expiation, unless he returns to Arafat before sunset and then departs afterwards, in which case he is absolved of the expiation. If the imam himself delays his departure and remains in Arafat after sunset, the pilgrim may leave, since the imam failed to follow the sunna. Finally, in general there is no harm for a pilgrim to wait in Arafat for some time after sunset and after the imam departs, whether due to high traffic or otherwise. Yet to delay departure (after the imam leaves) for a long time without any excuse is considered wrong (isa’a) (Durr, Radd 2:176; Tabyin 2:27).”

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Day of “Am I Not Your Lord?”

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Would you please tell me what is ‘ruz-e-alast’?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

The day of “Am I not your Lord?” (Alastu bi Rabbikum) is the day when all of the children of our father Adam were made to acknowledge the oneness of their Lord and Creator.

This is the day mentioned in the words of Allah Most High, “When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): “Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?”- They said: “Yea! We do testify!” (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: “Of this we were never mindful”” [7:172]

Imam al-Haddad mentions in his work The Lives of Man (Sabil al-Iddikar wa al-`Itibar) that this event occurred at Nu`man, a valley near `Arafat. Though, as Qurtubi mentions in his tafsir, there are a number of narrations as to where and when this covenant took place, some said that it was after Adam’s descent to earth, others said that it happened just before or after, and others said it happened in Heaven. The upshot however, is that all of mankind was brought to life, testified, and returned to the loins of their father Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Itfaysh relates in his Taysir al-Tafsir that Allah Most High said to them, “Realize that there is no god but I, there is no Lord for you but Me, and I will take vengeance from he who associates partners with Me, and I will send to you those who will remind you of this covenant, and I will send down scriptures.”

They affirmed this (Bala) and testified against themselves, lest they should say on the day of reckoning that they were unaware of such a covenant, “Of this we were never mindful.”

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani