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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

Rami al-Jamarat: The Ritual of Stoning the Devil during Hajj

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Rami al-Jamarat: The Ritual of Stoning the Devil during Hajj
“Surely Satan is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy. He only invites his followers to become inmates of the Blaze.” (Quran 35:6)

Introduction-What is Rami al-Jamarat?

Rami al-Jamarat, commonly referred to as the Stoning of the Devil, is one of the most profound and symbolic rituals performed during the annual pilgrimage of Hajj in Mecca. This ritual marks the rejection of Satan by the Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and his steadfast faith in Allah (SWT). Every year, millions of pilgrims gather to partake in this influential act, which marks a pivotal moment in the Hajj, reflecting deep spiritual meaning and personal purification.


This involves throwing pebbles at three pillars, known as the Jamarat, representing the Devil at three locations. The act of Stoning symbolizes the pilgrim’s rejection of evil, casting away their sins and misdeeds in a physical manifestation of their commitment to Allah (SWT).


Historical Background and Significance

The Rami symbolically is the actions of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) when he was commanded to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismail (AS). In response to the command, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) demonstrated unwavering reliance and trust in the will of Allah (SWT).


Read More: Tawakkul in Allah (SWT)


On the way to carry out the act of sacrifice, Satan repeatedly tried to tempt him into disobeying Allah’s (SWT) command. However, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) remained steadfast in his faith. When they reached the location where Jamarat is situated today, Satan tried to discourage Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) again. Hazrat Jibril (AS) instructed Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to throw seven stones at Satan, which he did, and Satan fled. They continued to Jamarat al-Wusta, where Satan appeared again. Again, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) threw stones at Satan, and he fled. Finally, they reached Jamarat al-Ula, where Satan appeared for the last time. Once again, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) threw stones at him, and Satan fled for the third time.


Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) resisted temptation each time and remained steadfast in obeying Allah’s (SWT) command. Pilgrims reenact this act of opposition against Satan during the Hajj. It teaches us the importance of trusting in Allah’s (SWT) plan, even when it seems difficult or impossible to understand, and the rewards that come with steadfast faith and unwavering devotion.


The Night in Muzdalifah

The night spent in Muzdalifah is an essential part of the Hajj pilgrimage. It takes place right after the Day of Arafat, the high point of the Hajj. This night is known for its simplicity and spiritual reflection and serves as a preparation for the Rami al-Jamarat.


During the night before Rami al-Jamarat, pilgrims gather pebbles in Muzdalifah for the Rami. The pebbles are collected in Muzdalifah as a symbolic act of careful preparation and adherence to the Sunnah (practices) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).


For more information about Muzdalifah, read this blog post: Muzdalifah – A Night of Reflection and Preparation during Hajj.


The Process of Rami al-Jamarat

The act of throwing stones at three pillars that represent the Devil is called Rami al-Jamarat. This act of worship is performed during the Hajj pilgrimage and symbolizes the rejection of temptation. Here is a step-by-step guide on how the Stoning is conducted during Hajj:


  • Before starting, make sure you are in a state of wudu (ritual purity).
  • The ritual is performed in the State of Ihram, showing the pilgrim’s intent to renounce evil.
  • The process begins by pelting stones at the smallest pillar, Jamarah al-Ula, followed by the medium one, Jamarah al-Wusta, and ends with the largest, Jamarah al-Aqaba.
  • Stand at least 15 feet (5 meters) from the pillar and hold seven or more pebbles in your left hand. Position yourself in a way that Mina is on your right and Makkah is on your left.
  • When throwing each pebble, grasp it between your thumb and index finger, raise your hand high, and recite the Takbir (“Allahu Akbar”). Once the first pebble hits the target, stop repeating the Talbiyah. Continue the process until you have thrown all seven pebbles.
  • Once you have completed the Stoning, step aside from the crowd to make dua (supplication) while facing the Qibla (direction of the Kaaba). This act of devotion carries deep meaning for Muslims, reaffirming their faith and commitment to living a life guided by the principles of Islam.

Stoning of the Jamarat: A Detailed Guide

Yawm al-Nahr is the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah and the third day of Hajj. On this day, pilgrims perform the Rami at Jamarah al-Aqaba. However, there are various times of the day when pelting is more virtuous than other times. These times are as follows:


  • Before Fajr Salah: Pelting is not allowed during this time.
  • Between Fajr Salah and Sunrise: It is disliked (Makruh) for men to perform Rami, but it remains valid and permissible for women, older people, and the infirm.
  • Sunrise to midday (10 minutes before the beginning of Dhuhr salah) – sunnah. Try to perform Rami at this time, provided it isn’t too crowded.
  • Between Sunset and Fajr Salah (of the 11th): It is Makruh for men to perform Rami, but it is still valid and permissible for women, older people, and the infirm.

It is not Makruh for a man who is a Mahram to assist a woman in pelting during the times it is Makruh for other men.


The Days of Drying Meat (Ayyam al-Tashreeq) fall on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul Hijjah, which are days four, five, and six of the Hajj. During these days, pilgrims perform Rami at all three pillars each day. Traditionally, the meat from the sacrificed animals was used for drying and processing.


The Hadith reported by Hazrat Jabir (RA) in Sahih Muslim guides the timing and sequence of these acts performed by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) during Hajj.

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) flung pebbles at jamra on the Day of Nahr after sunrise, and after that (i. e. on the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhu’l-Hijja when the sun had declined.

[Sahih Muslim 1299b]

Here are some practical tips for performing the Stoning of the Jamarat


  • The Stoning of the Jamarat can be crowded and intense. Keep your composure, move slowly, and be patient with others.
  • Make sure you are well-hydrated and rested before undertaking the ritual. Dehydration and fatigue can exacerbate the challenges of the crowded environment.
  • Try to perform the ritual during off-peak hours when the crowds are smaller, such as early morning or late evening.
  • Use small pebbles for the Stoning, as large stones can cause injury to yourself or others.
  • If you need help during the ritual, don’t hesitate to ask nearby pilgrims or authorities for help.

By following these practical tips, you can securely and respectfully perform the Stoning of the Jamarat and enhance your spirituality.


Rami on Behalf of Others

Pelting can be done on behalf of others if he is:

  • Too old
  • Sick
  • Very weak
  • Pregnant

Large crowds are not an excuse to have Rami perform on your behalf. If you are feeling apprehensive or anxious about the ritual, perform Rami at a time when it is less crowded. If you appoint someone to pelt on your behalf for this reason, it won’t be valid and will incur a penalty.


You are pelting on someone’s behalf, make sure you have their permission and they are happy for you to do so. If you don’t get their permission, it will be considered invalid.


The method of pelting on behalf of someone else is as follows:

  • Pelt your seven pebbles at the Jamarah, one at a time.
  • Pelt the seven pebbles for the person you’re deputising for, one at a time.
  • Move to the next Jamarah and repeat the process (if it’s the 11th, 12th or 13th).

Both men and women can pelt on behalf of someone else.


Safety Measures and Modern Arrangements

Saudi authorities have implemented safety measures and modern arrangements to manage crowds during the Stoning of the Jamarat. Here are some of the key safety measures and modern arrangements:


Improved Infrastructure

Saudi Arabia expanded and renovated the Jamarat bridge to improve crowd flow during the stoning ritual as part of their investment in infrastructure to accommodate more pilgrims.

Multiple Levels of Jamarat Bridge

The Jamarat bridge has multiple levels to ease the movement of pilgrims, preventing overcrowding and ensuring a smoother flow during the ritual.

Surveillance and Crowd Management

Authorities use advanced surveillance technology, such as CCTV cameras and crowd monitoring systems, to oversee pilgrims’ movements. This allows them to identify potential risks or overcrowding situations and take proactive measures to ensure safety.


Overall, the safety measures and modern arrangements established by Saudi authorities aim to ensure a smooth and secure experience for pilgrims during the Stoning of the Jamarat.


FAQs About Rami al-Jamarat

Q. Is Rami al-Jamarat mandatory for all pilgrims?

Yes, Rami al-Jamarat is mandatory for all pilgrims performing the Hajj pilgrimage. It is one of the integral rituals of Hajj and involves the symbolic Stoning of three pillars representing Satan.

Q. Can the Stoning be performed on behalf of someone else?

It is generally not permissible for someone else to be stoned on behalf of another person as a legal punishment. However, during the Hajj pilgrimage, if someone cannot carry out the Stoning due to serious illness, insanity, unconsciousness, or other unbearable hardship, another person can perform the act on their behalf. This is only allowed if the person believes they cannot carry out the Stoning during the ritual period. For more specific guidance, please consult a reliable religious authority.

What should one do if we miss the Stoning on one of the days?

If someone misses the stoning ritual during the Hajj pilgrimage, it’s important to make up for it as soon as possible.

What happens if a pilgrim cannot perform the ritual themselves?

When a pilgrim cannot perform a ritual, such as in the case of the Hajj pilgrimage in Islam, provisions exist that allow others to assist or represent them.


Conclusion

Rami al-Jamarat serves as a powerful reminder of the spiritual journey that pilgrims undertake during the Hajj. This symbolic act helps pilgrims purify their souls and strengthen their devotion to Allah (SWT). The experience unites them and helps them find renewed purpose as they continue their pilgrimage towards spiritual enlightenment.


The Hajj pilgrimage is a perfect example of the deep connection between the physical actions and spiritual meanings of the pilgrims. The series of physically demanding yet spiritually important rituals are intended to instil a sense of humility, devotion, and submission to Allah (SWT). These rituals serve as a reminder to the pilgrims of the fleeting nature of earthly life and the significance of prioritizing spiritual growth and divine accountability.

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