• Masjid al-Mashar al-Haram

    Masjid al-Mashar al-Haram (Arabic: مسجد المشعر الحرام) is a mosque in Muzdalifah. It marks the area where the Prophet ﷺ supplicated during his Farewell Pilgrimage. It is located midway between Masjid al-Khayf in Mina and Masjid al-Namirah in Arafat. It’s situated within the vicinity where Hajj pilgrims stay on the second night of Hajj.

    The Prophet ﷺ Masjid Mashar al-Haram

    Upon reaching Muzdalifah on the second day of the Farewell Hajj, the Prophet ﷺ stopped at the location where Masjid Mashar al-Haram is situated today, in close proximity to Mount Quzah. The hillock was named after a pre-Islamic deity of thunder, and fires would be lit in this area by the tribe of Quraysh during the age of Jahiliyyah. They would often quarrel with other Arab tribes who would station themselves at Arafat during the pilgrimage, advocating that they, the Quraysh, were the chosen people of God. He instructed his companions: “The whole of Muzdalifah is a standing place, except for the middle of Muhassar.”1Malik, Hadith No. 175.

    Maghrib & Isha

    After alighting from his camel, the Prophet ﷺ performed wudhu and instructed Bilal I to recite the adhan.

    The Prophet ﷺ and his companions then offered the two prayers of Maghrib and Isha, shortening the latter to two rak’ahs, during the time of Isha. No supererogatory prayers (sunan) were performed between Maghrib and Isha. Jabir ibn Abdullah I reported:

    The Messenger of Allah ﷺ moved until he came to Muzdalifah, where he prayed Maghrib and Isha with one adhan and two iqamas, and he did not offer any prayer in between them.2Muslim, Hadith No. 1288; al-Nasa’i, Hadith No. 657.

    The Night

    The Prophet ﷺ then went to sleep until shortly before the break of dawn, choosing not to engage in night worship as he normally did. He was most certainly exhausted, having spent the day worshipping, travelling and teaching.

    Fajr & Wuquf

    Masjid al-Mashar al-Haram in 1908

    After dawn broke on Saturday the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, the Prophet ﷺ performed Fajr salah with one adhan and one iqama, just as the time for the prayer had begun. He observed the prayer slightly earlier than what he was normally accustomed to. Abdullah ibn Masud I narrates:

    I never saw the Messenger of Allah ﷺ offer any prayer except at the proper time, apart from Maghrib and Isha in Muzdalifah and Fajr on that day, which he offered before the usual time.3Al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 1682; al-Nasa’i, Hadith No. 3038.

    After completing the prayer, he mounted his she-camel and ascended Mount Quzah, which overlooked the mosque. He turned towards the Qibla and raised his hands in supplication until it had become light. The Prophet ﷺ thanked, praised and glorified God, all the while reciting the Talbiyah, thereby fulfilling the divine instruction:

    فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ عِندَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ

    But when you depart from Arafat, remember Allah at al-Mashar al-Haram.
    [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:198]

    During this supplication, the Prophet ﷺ smiled. Upon seeing this, Abu Bakr I and Umar I asked him why he was cheerful. Al-Abbas ibn Mirdas al-Sulami I narrates:

    Abu Bakr and Umar said to him: ‘May our mother and father be ransomed for you, this is not a time when you usually laugh. May Allah make your years full of laughter, why are you smiling?’ The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘The enemy of Allah, Iblis, when he came to know that Allah answered my prayer and pardoned my nation, took some dust and started to sprinkle it on his head, uttering cries of woe and dejection, and what I saw of his anguish made me laugh.'4Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 3013.

    The supplication that the Prophet ﷺ made for his Ummah at Arafat had now been accepted.

    History of the Mosque

    At the onset of the third century AH (9th century CE), Masjid al-Mashar al-Haram was square-shaped, modest in size, and didn’t have a roof. It featured six entrances, with a door facing the Qibla, two on the right wall, two on the left wall, and one at the rear. According to historian Al-Azraqi in his book Akhbar Makkah, the mosque was enclosed by a square-shaped wall without any interior canopies. Additionally, the mosque boasted fifty-seven balconies on its eastern walls.

    Over time, it underwent various renovations and changes. Initially, it was demolished, leaving only a wall to the west, facing the Qibla. In 760 AH (1359 CE), the Mamluk Emir Yalbugha al-Umari initiated a rebuilding effort. Subsequently, in 842 AH (1439 CE), the Mamluk Sultan al-Zahir Sayf al-Din Jaqmaq undertook another renovation. In 874 AH (1470 CE), Sultan Qaytbay further renewed the mosque. Later, in 1072 AH (1662), the Ottomans renovated the building.

    During the Saudi era, in 1395 AH (1975 CE), the mosque was reconstructed and expanded into a rectangular shape at a cost of five million riyals. Its area expanded to 5040 square metres, with a capacity to accommodate 12,000 worshipers. The mosque measures 90 metres in length from east to west and 56 metres in width from north to south. Additionally, it features two minarets at its rear, standing 32 metres tall, and three entrances on each of its eastern, northern, and southern sides.

    The Mosque Today

    The mosque is only open during the days of the Hajj. On the second day of Hajj, many pilgrims stay near it during their overnight stay in Muzdalifah.

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