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What is Jamarat? The Three Stone Pillars

Jamarat are three stone pillars in the tent city of Mina. Pelting or stoning of these pillars is an obligation in Hajj in remembrance of steadfastness of Prophet Ibrahim against Satan.

Hajj is the main Ibadah that is a total accumulation of sunnah’s of Prophet Ibrahim and His family.

These three pillars are named as:

  1. Jamarah-al-Oola or Jamarah Sughra (the first or the small Jamarah),
  2. Jamarah-al-Wusta (the middle Jamarah),
  3. Jamarah-al-Uqbah or Jamarah-al Kubra ( last or the largest Jamarah)

These are named so as to explain the strength with which devil tried to persuade Prophet Ibrahim from completing his sacrifice of His beloved son, Prophet Ishmael.

Jamarah-al-Oola/Sughra is the place that is at a greater distance from the point of sacrifice and Satan did his least effort here, whereas Jamarah-al-Uqbah/Kubra is nearest to that point and devil tried his utmost effort of persuasion at this point.

The sacrifice of Prophet Ishmael by Prophet Ibrahim was being carried out after Prophet Ibrahim had same dream for three consecutive nights seeing this sacrifice. This was when he decided that those dreams were a message; as dreams of a Prophet are always true.

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He took his son and set off for sacrifice and on the way revealed his dream and its message to Prophet Ismael and He agreed readily to fulfill the God’s will.

Each time when Satan tried to divert Prophet Ibrahim’s attention, Prophet casted seven stones on him following the command of  Jibril. This laid the basis for pelting/rami of Jamarat pillars as an acceptance that Muslims should not be carried out by Satan.

Read: The Story Behind the Stoning of Satan During Hajj

This stoning is carried out from 10th of Dhul Hijjah till the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. On Eid Day i.e. 10th Dhul Hijjah only the Jamarat al-Uqbah is pelted and on the following three days all three are to be pelted.

The standing position for pelting should be such that Makkah is on left and Mina on the right side. The stones for this purpose are collected from Muzdalifah ideally (but can be picked from Mina as well).

The size of these stones should not be bigger than beans; the stone should be thrown seven times separately not all seven at once. This ritual has to be performed by each individual but in case of sickness or weakness an agent can be hired to carry out this act.

This obligatory ritual, if mistakenly or deliberately, is overlooked or missed due to any reason or if a part of it is missed, one should return to Mina and perform it on any other day. But, if one recalls after leaving Makkah it is not important to return instantly; it can be performed any time in the following year before next Hajj.

On 11th, 12th and 13th Dhul Hijjah the Pelting is in the sequence of the pillars Sughra, then Wusta and lastly Uqbah. It is masnoon (advised) to make dua after pelting Sughra and Wusta, but not after Uqbah. This act has to be performed as per directives given to pilgrims.