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Ramy al-Jamarat

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Ritual
Ramy al-Jamarat
Ramy al-Jamarat.jpg
One of Jamarat[1] in its old style.
رمی جمرات.jpg
One of Jamarat in its new style.
Time The day of Eid al-Adha on Dhu l-Hijja 10 and the next two days.
Place Mina
Origin Satan appeared to Prophet Ibrahim (a) three times in three spots and the prophet stoned him.
Symbolic
Objects
Three pillars in three places, Al-Jamarat al-Ula, Al-Jamarat al-Wusta and Al-Jamarat al-'Aqaba.
Symbolic
Meaning
Symbol of fighting and driving out Satan.
Supplication(s) اَللّهُمَّ هَذِهِ حَصَیاتِی فَأَحْصِهِنَّ لی وَ ارْفَعْهُنَّ فِی عَمَلی

Ramy al-Jamarāt (Arabic: رمي الجمرات) (Throwing pebbles) is one of the compulsory acts of Hajj rituals and it consists of throwing seven pebbles at three walls (formerly obelisks) that symbolize Satan. The act is performed on the day of Eid al-Adha and the next two days in Mina. Ramy al-Jamarat is a symbolic emulation of the Prophet Ibrahim's act.

Terminology

Jamara (pl. Jamarat and Jimar) is an Arabic word meaning: A piece of blazing fire, pebbles etc. In Islamic terminology, Jamarat or al-Jamart al-Thalath (three) are the name of three certain places in Mina. Jamarat are known by three obelisks (currently walls). They are called Jamarat because they are the place where thrown pebbles pile up or because the pebbles are thrown at them or because people gather around them. In addition, Ramy means to throw or to hurl.

It is discussed in jurisprudential texts that if Jamara means the standing pillar, the pebbles must hit the pillar; but if it means the place where the pebbles are piled at the bottom of the pillar, hitting the pillars is not necessary.

History

In some hadiths, Prophet Adam (a) is introduced as the first person who threw pebbles at Satan in this land. Hadiths narrated from Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Sajjad (a) and Imam al-Kazim (a) denote that Ramy al-Jamart has become a part of Hajj rituals because Satan appeared to Prophet Ibrahim (a) three times in the spots where now three pillars stand and the prophet stoned him, thereafter this act became a symbol of fighting and driving out Satan. In tafsir Manhaj al-sadiqin, Mulla Fath Allah Kashani has narrated this account in the middle of the story of Sacrifice of Isma'il, and concluded that Satan wanted to stop Ibrahim (a) from fulfilling God's order to sacrifice his son. Ramy al-Jamarat was a part of Hajj rituals even during Jahiliyya era, as Abu Talib mentioned it in one of his poems.

The Three Jamarat

  • Al-Jamarat al-Ula (the first Jamara) is the nearest Jamara to Masjid al-Khayf, and the farthest form Mecca.
  • Al-Jamarat al-Wusta (the middle Jamara) is located between al-Jamarat al-Ula and al-Jamarat al-'Aqaba. Formerly, it was a pillar shaped like an obelisk, but in 1425/2004 it was transformed into a 25-meter-long, 1-meter-thick wall.
  • Al-Jamarat al-'Aqaba is the nearest Jamara to Mecca. Al-Jamarat al-'Aqaba is located on a mountainside and the Ramy was done only on one side. In 1376/1956-1957 its surrounding area was flattened to make more space around Jamara to perform this ritual. During the last changes in 1425/2004, al-Jamarat al-'Aqaba was transformed to a 25-meter-long, 1-meter-thick wall. Al-Jamarat al-'Aqaba is also called: "al-Jamarat al-Quswa," (the farthest Jamara) "al-Jamarat al-Kubra," (the greatest Jamara) or "al-Jamarat al-Thalitha." (the third Jamara)

The approximate distance between the first Jamara and al-Jamarat al-Wusta is 156 meters and between al-Wusta and al-'Aqaba is 116 meters. In recent years, special multi-storey bridges were built and the structure of Jamarat were changed to ease the process of Ramy al-Jamarat for pilgrims; however, overcrowding is still taking its tolls. The most catastrophic incident happened in 1437/2015[2].

Time of Ramy

Ramy al-Jamarat must be performed on the day of Eid al-Adha and the next two days. According to majority of faqihs, it must be performed between the sunrise and the sunset, unless one has an excuse for not doing it during the day, for instance, being old or sick.

Ramy in Eid al-Adha

After finishing Wuquf al-Mash'ar (staying in Mash'ar), pilgrims enter Mina, where they first perform the Ramy of al-Jamarat al-'Aqaba, then perform the ritual of sacrifice and finally do Halq or Taqsir. For Ramy, seven pebbles must be thrown by hand and if possible one must make sure that they hit the Jamara.

Ramy in Ayyam al-Tashriq

On the 11th and 12th of Dhu l-Hijja, pilgrims must perform Ramy al-Jamarat in sequence, i.e. first al-Jamarat al-Ula, then al-Wusta and finally al-'Aqaba. They must perform that during the day, i.e. between the sunset and the sunrise. If a pilgrim stays the eve of 13th in Mina, he/she must perform Ramy al-Jamarat on the 13th day, as well.

Ramy of Women

Women can perform Wuquf al-Mash'ar on the eve of Eid al-Adha and also they can perform the Ramy of the day of Eid al-Adha at that eve, after entering Mina. However, they must perform the following Ramy al-Jamart during the day, unless due to overcrowding or other excuses for which they cannot perform it during the day, in which cases they can perform the Ramy at night.

Conditions of Pebbles

  • Pebbles must not be bigger than a knuckle nor so small that is no longer counted as pebbles.
  • The pebbles must be untapped (virgin), i.e. it is compulsory that the pebbles have not been used to hit Jamarat even in previous years.
  • The pebbles must be Mubah and not usurped (Ghasbi).

Conditions of Throwing

  • The pilgrim must have the intention of proximity to God while throwing the pebbles.
  • The pebbles must hit the intended Jamara.
  • The pebbles must be thrown by hand.
  • They must be thrown one by one, and not together.
  • Those who cannot perform Ramy, such as the sick, must hire someone to perform that on their behalf, if their problem covers all the appointed time for Ramy.

Recommendations

It is Mustahab:

  • To be tahir (having wudu or ghusl).
  • To Recite this supplication before Ramy: "O God! these are my pebbles, so count them for me and elevate them in my deed."[3]
  • To Say these phrases when throwing each pebble: "God is the greatest, …"[4]
  • To Throw the pebbles while standing.

Notes

  1. Morphologicly, "Jamarat" is plural in Arabic, whose singular form is "Jamara".
  2. For more detailed information about this tragic incident, please refer to page 2015 Mina Tragedy.
  3. اَللّهُمَّ هَذِهِ حَصَیاتِی فَأَحْصِهِنَّ لی وَ ارْفَعْهُنَّ فِی عَمَلی
  4. الله اَکبَرُ، اَللّهُمَّ ادْحَرْ عَنِّی الشَّیطانَ، اللّهُمَّ تَصدِیقاً بِکتابِک وَ عَلی سُنَّةِ نَبِیک، اللّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهُ لی حَجّاً مَبْرُوراً وَ عَمَلاً مَقْبُولاً وَ سَعْیاً مَشْکوراً وَ ذَنْباً مَغْفُور

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from رمی جمرات in Farsi Wikishia.