The Rites of Muzdalifah and Mina

Truth be said, the moment some pilgrims leave the ‘Arafah after sunset for the Muzdalifah, they recoil back to their lassitude as if the whole event terminates once the standing at ‘Arafah is done.

If that were the case, I seriously then wonder why doesn’t the whole pilgrimage just consist of the day of ‘Arafah?

Without a doubt the day of ‘Arafah holds tremendous importance, but this by no means debases the importance of the other days, and we have to continue with our supplications with sincerity.

Therefore, in this article we shall talk about the events following the standing in ‘Arafah.

Yawm Al- ‘Arafah is the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah and pilgrims should witness the sunset in the field of ‘Arafah.

So when the Sun sets the pilgrims should leave the ‘Arafah for Muzdalifah – going with calmness and tranquility, not jostling or pushing the people.

Linguistically, the word “Muzdalifah” is an adjective derived from the Arabic word “izdilaf’ which means closeness, and Muzdalifah is so-called because when leaving Arafah, the pilgrims become closer to it.

Muzdalifah is also referred to as Jam’ (i.e. gathering), as pilgrims gather there.

It is called Al-Mashar Al-Haram (the Sacred Landmark) as well.

Ibn Qudâmah, an eminent Hanbalî scholar said, “Muzdalifah has three names: Muzdalifah (i.e. close), Jam’ (i.e. gathering) and Al-Mashar Al-Haram (i.e. the Sacred Landmark).”

It is worth mentioning that a pilgrim may stay anywhere at Muzdalifah, as the whole area between the two bottlenecks of Arafah and to Batn Muhassir (excluding the valley of Batn Muhassir itself) is called Al-Mashar Al-Haram (the Sacred Landmark), as the Prophet ﷺ said:

“The whole of Arafah is a mawqif, except the middle of Urana, and the whole of Muzdalifa is a standing-place, except for the middle of Muhassir (Batn Muhassir).”

The rites of going and staying in the Muzdalifah are:

  1. A pilgrim should keep on asking Allah’s forgiveness, remembering Allah all through his way from ‘Arafah to Muzdalifah, supplicating Him devoutly, for a pilgrim at that stage is still shifting from one ritual to the other. Allah, Exalted be He, says:

“Then depart from the place from where [all] the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran: Al-Baqarah: 199)

  1. Upon arriving at Muzdalifah, a pilgrim is to perform the Maghrib (Sunset) and the Ishâ (Night) Prayers, shortening the Ishá to two rak’ahs and combining them with one prayer call and two immediate prayer calls (one for each) before encamping.
  2. Spending the night at Muzdalifah and offering the Fajr Prayer at its due time.
  3. After that, while standing at Muzdalifah, facing the Qiblah, a pilgrim keeps on supplicating Allah until the daylight spreads.
  4. Then, before sunrise, a pilgrim proceeds to Mina.

Spending the night at Muzdalifah is one of the duties of Hajj. The one who misses the standing in Muzdalifah until dawn, when he was able to, must offer a sacrifice because he missed this compulsory act. But if he cannot sacrifice he must fast ten days.

  • As regards feeble pilgrims such as old people, women, children and the like, as well as those who take care of them, they are allowed to head for Mina after midnight or when the moon disappears instead of waiting at Muzdalifah until dawn.
  • However, healthy pilgrims who do not have any weak people with them should not leave Muzdalifah before offering the Fajr Prayer, and they should stay until the daylight spreads.
  • A pilgrim who enters Muzdalifah before midnight must not leave before dawn.
  • As for a pilgrim who arrives there after midnight, it is sufficient for him to spend any length of time there. Still, it ¡s much better to stay until dawn, offering the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer and following it with supplicating Allah.
  • It is permissible for those pilgrims who have legal excuses, such as sick people who need to be hospitalized and those helping them, as well as shepherds and water providers etc. not to spend the night at Muzdalifah, as the Prophet (ﷺ) gave permission to shepherds not to spend the night at Muzdalifah.

Rituals carried out on the 10th Day of Zhul Hijjah- Yawm An -Nahr

  1. After praying Fajr Salah and supplicating Allaah, the pilgrim heads for Mina (whilst still reciting the Talbiyah) shortly before sunrise (of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah. i.e. the Day of Sacrifice), as Umar Ibnul-Khattâb (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“The polytheists did not use to depart from Jam, i.e. Muzdalifah until the sun had risen and they used to say, ‘Let the sun shine on you, O Thabîr (a mountain in Makkah which overlooks Muzdalifah), so as to let us depart.’ Therefore, the Prophet contradicted them and departed (from Muzdalifah) before sunrise.”

  1. Pilgrims should leave in a state of tranquility and calmness, but when they pass through the valley called Batn Muhassir, they should go faster.
  2. It is preferable for a pilgrim to pick up the pebbles, with which he intends to do the ritual of stoning, while he is on his way to Mina. Still, it is permissible for a pilgrim to pick them up from Muzdalifah, Mina or elsewhere) as lbn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“In the morning of the Day of Al- ‘Aqabah (the day of throwing the pebbles at Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah), Allah’s Messenger said to me, ‘Pick up pebbles for me.’ ¡ picked up seven pebbles for him as large as beans. He then started shaking them while saying, ‘You should throw pebbles as large as these ones.’ Then, the Prophet said, O people! Beware of excessiveness in religion, for those (nations) before you were ruined because of excessiveness in religion.

Now, I know, that most pilgrims come with anger burning in their hearts, hatred gnawing at their emotions, blood rushing into their heads and with the thought of finally getting the opportunity of hitting satan, and so, specifically choose large rocks, shoes and bricks for the stoning ritual.

But think about it, will the satan be more hurt by large rocks hit with great vengeance or by Muslims humbly following the Sunnah of the Prophet and using pebbles in this ritual.

Contemplate, are you literally hitting the satan or are your intentions to please Allah by carrying out these rituals in the way prescribed by our Messenger.

  • From the above hadith, it is evident that the pebbles should be as large as beans, i.e. slightly bigger than chickpeas.
  • It should be noted that it is insufficient to use stones or to use anything other than small pebbles for this purpose, for the Prophet ﷺ used small pebbles (as large as beans) for stoning. So, we have to follow in the Prophet’s footsteps, as he ﷺ said:

Learn your rituals from me (by seeing me performing them).

  1. Upon reaching Mina, which is between the valley called Batn Muhassir and Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah, pilgrims are to head for Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah (the nearest Jamarah to Makkah which is called the Great Jamarah) and stone it with seven consecutive pebbles.

It is an act of the Sunnah to start throwing pebbles at Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah as soon as a pilgrim arrives at Mina and before doing anything else, for it is regarded as a sign of greeting to Mina. On the other hand, it is desirable for a pilgrim to utter the Takbir upon throwing each pebble, saying:

Allahu Akbar (Allah’s The Greatest)


It is important to point out that a pilgrim should by no means throw pebbles at any jamarah other than Jamaratul- Aqabah on the Day of Sacrifice (the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah), as this ritual is restricted to Jamaratul- Aqabah on that day.


  1. After stoning Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah, ¡t is preferable for a pilgrim who performs Hajj tamattu’ or qiraan to slaughter the obligatory sacrificial animal.
  2. Afterwards, a pilgrim shaves his head or cuts his hair short, yet shaving is better, for Allah, Exalted be He, says:

….With your heads shaved and (hair) shortened…”
(Quran: Al-Fath: 27)

Moreover, lbn Umar narrated:

The Messenger of Allah got his head shaved on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj.

Furthermore, The Prophet ﷺ invoked Allah three times to be merciful to those who have their head shaved, and invoked Him only once to be merciful to those who got their hair cut short

  • If a pilgrim chooses to shorten his hair, then he must shorten all his hair and not only some of it. The aforementioned verse indicates that shaving or cutting should be applied to the whole head, not only some or certain parts of it.
  • As for a female pilgrim, she should only shorten her hair by cutting a small part equivalent to a fingertip of each hair braid (or of the tips of her hair). This is because it was narrated by Ibn Abbas that the Prophet ﷺ said:

Shaving (the hair) is not a duty laid on (pilgrim) women; only clipping their hair is incumbent on them.

  • Another reason is that shaving a woman’s head is in fact a sort of disfigurement for her. It is worth mentioning that if a female pilgrim does not have her hair braided, she may gather it and clip a part equivalent to a fingertip.
  • However, it is forbidden for a pilgrim (or any Muslim) to shave his beard or cut it short, as the Prophet ﷺ enjoined growing the beard and forbade shaving it off or cutting it short, and Muslims should obey the Prophet’s commands and avoid what he forbade, especially pilgrims, who are undergoing such a glorious act of worship.
  • In the case of a bald man who has little or no hair at all, it is desirable to pass a razor over his head as if he is shaving his head, for the Prophet ﷺ said:

If I order you to do something, then do (of) it as much as you can.

  1. After stoning Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah and shaving or cutting the hair short, a pilgrim becomes in a state of semi-consecration, namely the first (partial) release of Ihram and everything becomes lawful for him, such as wearing sewn clothes, etc., except for having sexual intercourse with his wife.

A pilgrim reaches this first (partial) release of Ihram after fulfilling two of the following three rituals:

  1. Throwing the pebbles at Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah
  2. Having the hair shaved or shortened
  3. Performing Tawaf Ifadah (Going-forth) followed by sa’y (going between As-Safa and Al-Marwah) for those obliged to perform sa‘y

However, the second (complete) release of Ihram is achieved after performing all the aforesaid three rituals; when a pilgrim fulfils them, everything that was unlawful due to Ihram becomes lawful for him, even sexual intercourse.

  1. After throwing the pebbles at Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah, slaughtering the sacrificial animal, and shaving or shortening the hair, a pilgrim then proceeds to Makkah to perform Ifadah (Going-forth) Tawaf. (Performing Tawaf Ifadah is essential for Hajj and if not performed Hajj won’t be accepted)
  2. After that, a pilgrim performs sa‘y if he is performing Hajj tamattu’, or for Qiraan or Ifraad if he has not performed it following the Arrival Tawaf (Tawaf Qudoom).

Yet, if a pilgrim is performing Hajj Qiraan or Ifraad and has already performed sa’y following the Arrival Tawaf then he does not have to perform another sa’y after Tawaf Ifadah.

  1. The person drinks from Zamzam water and then returns to Mina and stays there for the three days and nights of Tashreeq.

These four rituals are to be performed in the following order, if possible;

  1. stoning Jamaratul- ‘Aqabah,
  2. slaughtering the sacrificial animal
  3. shaving or shortening the hair,
  4. And performing the Ifadah Tawaf followed by sa’y.

Performing these rituals in this order is an act of the Sunnah, so there is no sin on a pilgrim if he has to perform them in a way other than the aforesaid order.

This is because on the Farewell Hajj (the Prophet’s one and only Pilgrimage) whenever a pilgrim violated that order of rituals and told him, he ﷺ replied.

‘Do it and there is no harm (sin).’

However, sticking to this order is better, for the Prophet ﷺ performed them in that way.

Please refer to the article titled ‘how to perform Umrah’ to learn the procedures of performing Tawaf and Sa’y.

Some rulings regarding Tawaf Al- Ifadah

With this we come to the conclusion of this long article. May Allah reward you for your patience, in the next article we shall cover the rites of days of tashreeq and farewell Tawaf. We shall also cover the rulings of stoning In Sha Allah

May Allah accept this from us

Please click on the highlighted texts for the references of the ahadith and fatwas

References: Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence by Sheikh Salih Al-Fawzan (member of the Permanent Committee of Fatwa and Research)

The pilgrims Provision by Mohammed Saleh Al Mounajjed (Supervisor of

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