10th Dhul Hijjah: Eid-al-Adha
Four important acts are to be performed. First and foremost is rami. The rest may be done in any order:
Rami is the act of stoning three stone pillars. These pillars are known as Jamrat. Seven pebbles are thrown at each of the pillars, and Allah o Akbar is to be recited while throwing each pebble. This is done in remembrance of Satan trying to tempt Prophet Abraham (pbuh) to disobey Allah’s command of sacrificing his son, and Prophet Abraham (pbuh) driving him away by throwing stones at him at three places, now marked by the stone pillars.
Upon reaching Mina, pilgrims are to go to Jamrat and perform rami on the largest pillar only (Jamrah al Kubra).
Women, the weak, sick or elderly may have someone else perform rami for them.
Remember! The pillars are not the devil! This is all symbolic. Try not to let all your pent up frustration and anger out at the pillar. You might hurt other people in the process. The idea is to drive all the temptations and distractions away from yourself and from your life in order to be able to focus on following the path given to us by Allah. Pray that Allah gives you the strength of faith and character that He gave Prophet Abraham (pbuh).
Note that the Jamrat building consists of many levels, and I’m sure that more will continue to be added over the years.
The top floors will be the least crowded. There are escalators, elevators and staircases leading up and down.
The crowd gathers more towards the end of the pillar closest to them when entering. Try to walk all the way to the far end of each pillar. It will be less crowded there.
Please try not to hit other people, and use small pebbles. Watch out! Some people also have their kids with them.
Your compulsory sacrifice (hadi) will likely be underway if your travel agency is taking care of that for you. You will be given a receipt of the slaughter. All the meat is packed and distributed to Muslims in need all around the world. My husband recalls that back in Pakistan, after the Afghan war, meat would come from Saudi Arabia after Eid al Adha for the Afghan refugees on the Pak-Afghan border.
This is done to call to mind perhaps one of the toughest tests that Prophet Abraham (pbuh) had to go through. Allah ordered Prophet Abraham (pbuh) to perform the slaughter of his own son as a sacrifice to Allah. Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and his son proved themselves even in this extreme test of faith by submitting to Allah’s command. No doubt this pleased Allah, and He rewarded His faithful servants; when Prophet Abraham (pbuh) removed the blindfold he was wearing while performing the sacrifice, he saw that he had sacrificed not his son, who was completely unharmed, but a ram. In remembrance of this act, Muslims around the world offer an animal sacrifice according to what they can afford and the meat is distributed among their family, friends and the needy.
If a pilgrim cannot afford to offer a sacrifice, then he must fast for 3 days during hajj and for 7 days after returning home (10 in all).
A compensation sacrifice (fidiyah) must be given if you failed to perform an obligatory act of hajj or violated the rules of ihram.
These sacrifices can only be done in the Mina/Mecca/Muzdalifah area and not in your home country or anywhere else.
Men shave or cut their hair (shaving is preferred) and women clip about an inch from a strand of their hair.
Tawaf-i-Infada is to be performed on the day of Eid. But because of the large crowds, the consensus is that it may be performed on the day after Eid as well. According to whatever your group leader tells you, you will do this tawaf at some point in these two days. You must also do saee after this tawaf. Without performing this tawaf, hajj is considered incomplete.
In the meantime, shower if you can, put on your new clothes and perfume, apply mehndi, talk, laugh, relax and enjoy.