09 Dhul Hijjah 1439
Due to the many reminders of Qiyamah that lie within the Hajj journey, it is often assumed that Arafah will be the location for the final Resurrection and gathering of mankind before their Lord. But is this assumption based on fact? What does the Qu’raan and Hadith have to say about this question?
Scholarly authorities who have considered this question have written that there is no Saheeh evidence indicating towards Arafah as the place of resurrection.
Rather it is proven in the saheeh hadeeth that the gathering will be in al-Shaam (Greater Syria, including Palestine). It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Al-Shaam is the land of the gathering and the resurrection.” (Narrated by Ahmad).
Al-Manaawi said in Fath al-Qadeer: “i.e., it is the place where the people will be gathered for the Reckoning. They will be resurrected from their graves then they will be driven to that land. It has been singled out for this because it is the land of which Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): ‘the land which We have blessed for the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)’ [al-Anbiya’ 21:71]. Most of the Prophets were sent from that land and their laws spread throughout the world, so it is appropriate that it should be the land of the gathering and the resurrection.” (Fayd al-Qadeer by al-Manaawi, vol. 4, p. 171).
The Hadith narrated by Maymoona (RA) indicates the same:
Sayyidatina Maymuna (RA) reported: I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah[SAW], tell us about Bait al Maqdis’. He said: ‘It is the place of Judgement Day where everyone will be called. Come and pray in it, for one prayer in it is like one thousand prayers elsewhere’. ‘What is one cannot go there?’ I asked. He replied, ‘Send oil for its lamps; for whoever does so, it is as if they went there’” (Musnad Imam Ahmed)
Imam al Qurtubi in his tafseer has mentioned regarding the following ayah:
و استمع يوم يناد المناد من مكان قريب
Surah Qaaf Surah no. 50 Ayat no. 41
و قد زادت السنة هذاه الاية بيانا , فروى الترمذى عن معاوية بن حيده عن النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم فى حديث ذكره قال و اشار بيده الى الشام فقال ” من ها هنا الى ها هنا تحشرون ركبانا و مشاة و تجّرون على وجوهكم يوم القيامة
.Tafseer al-Qurtubi Vol 17-18 Pg 31 (Darul Hadith Cairo)
He states that, narrated by Imaam at- Tirmidhi that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) indicated towards Shaam and stated “from this area to this area you will be resurrected some people riding some walking and some dragged on their faces on the day of Qiyamah.”
Furthermore, Imam al Qurtubi explains the exact location to be close to the rock at Masjid-al-Aqsa, Palestine.
و قيل : المكان القريب صخرة بيت المقدس
Tafseer al-Qurtubi Vol 17-18 Pg 31 (Darul Hadith Cairo)
Imam al Qurtubi also narrates in his book at-Tazkirah , commentating on the ayah:
” فاذا هم بالساهرة”
(Al Quraan – Surah an-Naazi’aat )
He quotes Imaam as-Thawri as saying that the land of resurrection is Shaam.
و قال الثورى : الساهرة ارض الشام
At-Tazkirah Pg 168 (Darul Hadith Cairo)
Thus, the gathering of people on Hajj at ‘Arafaah reminds the Muslim and is symbolic of the gathering of all of mankind for the Reckoning. However, textual evidence indicates towards Shaam, Palestine and the surroundings of Masjid al-Aqsa as being the actual location for the ultimate gathering and reckoning for Qiyamah.
And Allaah knows best.