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Stoning Satan in Hajj: Beyond Symbolism

Questioner

Chen

Reply Date

Aug 18, 2018

Question

I am a new Muslim; and I am wondering about the logic behind throwing the pebbles in hajj. What does the ritual itself symbolize? How can the devil (Satan) weaken the power of pleading, invocation, unity...etc.?

Consultant

Answer


Stoning Satan

Short Answer: Muslims learn in Hajj how to turn a deaf ear to the call of Satan who calls upon them to love worldly matters. With this in mind, Muslims give a pledge to their Creator in the Hajj season that they will remain steadfast. They commit to fighting all evil inclinations inside them, and commit that they will not listen to Satan anymore. In fact, they will kick Satan out of their life, and as a confirmation of this, we have the symbolic ritual of stoning Satan.

_____________________________________

Salam Dear Chen,

First of all, I would like to thank you for this timely question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Lessons from Hajj

Hajj is the fifth great ritual of Islam and it is performed by any Muslim who is physically and financially able to take up the journey, once in a lifetime.

All of the rituals of Hajj represent, on various levels, meanings that should be lived and enjoyed by a Muslim—not only during the time of Hajj, but after he returns to his home.

Trust in Allah

One of the main lessons of Hajj is that it teaches us how to trust Allah with everything in our life. It teaches us how to find in Him a compensation of everything.

When Muslims leave their homes and families and embark upon this blessed journey, they learn that Allah is the utmost Protector.

They place their families and belongings in the trust of Allah and put in His care everything they own, with certainty that He will preserve them.

In Hajj, a Muslim also learns how to unite with other Muslims in the amazing bond of equality.

They seek to serve Allah as one body without superiority due to anyone over the other, regardless of the merits or privileges.

Money Well-Spent

They also learn that any amount they spend in this blessed journey is not going in vain.

Rather, it is kept in their store of good deeds, and they receive its reward in full on the day when no money and no children will avail; only good deeds will prove to be beneficial.

Also, in Hajj, Muslims learn how to turn a deaf ear to the call of Satan who calls upon them to love worldly gains, to be greedy, and to do anything to fulfill this greed, whether it is lawful or unlawful.

Muslims know that their Hajj is only accepted if their money is earned through lawful means.

Therefore, they think twice before adding any amount coming from a doubtful source because they are not ready to take up all the trouble of the journey only to then come back home empty-handed.

All these meanings are entrenched in the heart of a Muslim through the Hajj experience.

Kicking Satan Out

With this in mind, Muslims give a pledge to their Creator in the Hajj season that they will remain steadfast. They commit to fighting all evil inclinations inside them, and commit that they will not listen to Satan anymore.

In fact, they will kick Satan out of their life, and as a confirmation of this, we have the symbolic ritual of stoning Satan.

This ritual has a great wisdom, as it can be likened to the final signature Muslims place on a contract between them and Allah that they will not have any connection with Satan or listen to him anymore.

This simple ritual is supposed to be the outcome of will and determination. It should be an indication that people have decided to leave no space for Satan in their lives.

They do not only decide this with firm determination but take it further, and full of bravery, stone the pillars that represent Satan. They declare their submission to Allah with each pebble they throw at him.

After such an experience and once people complete all actions of Hajj, they return home completely free of their sins.

Of course, this is because they have willingly and adamantly thrown Satan out of their lives and declared a war against him, and thus showed their full submission to Almighty Allah.

Life After Hajj

But the question is: how will people live their lives after Hajj?

Are they going to start a new life, and confirm their disconnection from Satan by treading on the path of righteousness?

Will they remind themselves of the pledge they have given to Allah during their pilgrimage?

Or are they going to fall back to their previous ways and resume their lives as if no change has occurred?

This is really an important question each person has to answer.

Hajj is an experience, a limited experience in terms of time and place. Yet, it is supposed to be a life-changing experience.

Unless we bring its lessons into life by acting upon them and observing them in all situations, they will remain dead and inactive.

In this case, we will be turning the whole experience of Hajj into a mere memory that probably remains in our photo albums to be remembered only when we flip through them.

Unless we confirm the throwing of the pebbles at Satan by actually freeing ourselves from the manipulation of Satan in every minute of our life, it will feel as if these paths of Makkah have never been trodden and these pebbles have never been thrown.

I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.

Salam.


This is from AboutIslam’s archives and was originally published in August 2016.

Satisfy your curiosity and check out these other helpful links:

Stoning Pillars During Hajj: Did Devils Turn into Stone?

 

What Is the Time For Throwing the Pebbles?

 

Responding to the Precious Call of Hajj (Hadiths & Experiences)

 

Should I Perform Ablution for Hajj Rituals?

 

 




About Sheikh Ahmad Saad

Ahmed Saad is the founding director of Ihsan Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies-UK. An international speaker and dynamic scholar. ()

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