Q: After the sunset of the day of `Arafah on 9 Dhul-Hijjah, 1404 A.H., my friend and I drove two cars, each of which was loaded with women and some men and boys. We moved from `Arafat to Al-Muzdalifah with other Hajij (pilgrims). After part of the night had elapsed and before midnight, we reached Al-Muzdalifah, but the authorities did not allow us to enter the borderlines of the open areas there, and security soldiers kept telling us: " Move it! Move ahead!", so that when we reached the middle of Al-Muzdalifah, we did not find any entrances to these open areas, as the entrances were closed with the cars of the pilgrims - there were few entrances - and the other sides were blocked by iron road-blocks through which the cars could not pass, it was also impermissible for us to stand in front of these blocks, for the police kept preventing us and our cars, then they made us get out of it (Al-Muzdalifah) before offering Maghrib (Sunset) and `Isha' (Night) Prayers, although we delayed them until it was almost midnight. After leaving Al-Muzdalifah, we unwillingly lost each other. My friend went to throw Jamrat (stone pillars at which pebbles are thrown during Hajj) Al-`Aqabah and perform Tawaf-ul-Ifadah (final obligatory circumambulation around the Ka`bah in Hajj), for he was not able to return to Al-Muzdalifah as he did not know the way back. But I, following the traffic line, went to Mina, then Makkah and thereof, I headed for `Arafat, then I finally dismounted once again to Al-Muzdalifah, nearly at the end of night after tiresome and exhausting efforts. My question is: 1- should my friend and his companions expiate for not spending the night at Al-Muzdalifah or not? (Although it was out of his hands?) 2- Should I also expiate even though I kept wandering all night, and despite the great trouble that I suffered without properly spending the night as it should be spent, for it was only a little part of the night?

Please enlighten us, knowing that there were many available places that we could not reach due to road blocks, tents and other barriers.

A: If the case is as mentioned, none of you or your companions should expiate for not spending the night at Al-Muzdalifah, for you did your best to spend the night there, but you could not make it, Allah (may he be Exalted) says:Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 286 Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. And:Surah Al-Ma'idah, 5: 6 Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty and He (Exalted be He) also says:Surah Al-Taghabun, 64: 16 So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can But throwing Jamrat Al-`Aqabah, offering Tawaf-ul-Ifadah, and Sa`y (going between Safa and Marwah during Hajj) before midnight, is not considered to be fulfilling the obligatory acts. Thus, whoever did this should repeat Tawaf, Sa`y and throwing the pebbles. However, there is no time limits for repeating Tawaf and Sa`y, but a person should hasten to offer them as soon as they know that they have to. As for throwing pebbles, people have to offer a Hady (sacrificial animal offered by pilgrims) for not doing it if they did not repeat it during the four days of Mina; the Day of `Eid (Muslims Festival day) and the Days of Tashriq (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah). But if it was offered after midnight, this would suffice, and there will be no sin upon a person for this Insha`a Allah (If Allah wills). On the other hand, you will be rewarded Insha`a Allah (If Allah wills) for your effort and for the hardship that you faced.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'
Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz