Learn your rituals (by seeing me performing them
All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )
(O you who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]
( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )
(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you). [An-Nisa: 1].
( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )
(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].
If you may ask me about the best night in the sight of Allâh, the Almighty, I will tell you that it is Lailatul-Qadr (the night of power or decree). And if you ask me: What is the day in which more slaves are set free from the hellfire? I will reply you that it is the day of Arafah. However, if you reiterate saying: What is the greatest of days in the sight of Allâh? I will reply to you without hesitation that it is the Day of Sacrifice. Then if you say, then which day? I will hasten saying, then it is the day of Al-Qarr (resting and settlement).
The proof of the latter is the words of the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him): « The greatest day in Allâh’s sight is the day of sacrifice and next is the day of resting » (Abu Dawud).
The Day of Sacrifice was so named because it is the day in which the sacrificial animals are sacrificed or slaughtered, which is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, which follows the day of Arafah. It is also called: «the greatest day of Hajj» because it contains the night of the day of standing at Arafah and passing the night at the Sacred Shrine (Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram which is Muzdalifah), and in its day is the casting of the pebbles, Sacrifice, shaving the hair, making Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah) and Sa’y (hastening between mounts Safa and Marwah).
The day of resting and settlement (Al-Qarr) is the day that follows the Day of Sacrifice, and it was so named because the pilgrims settle and rest on it in Mina, i.e.: settle down and relieve themselves of the fatigue incurred during the past three days: The Day of Tarwiyah, the Day of Arafah and the Day of Sacrifice, with all the acts of pilgrimage they involve.
The Day of Resting contains the first of the days of Tashreeq, which are three days after the day of sacrifice. It was so named because the people used to cut and dry the sacrificial meat on it in the sun. Some said it was so named because the Eid prayer is offered after the sun had shined, and that if they miss the congregation on the Day of Sacrifice they would offer it on that day. Others said, it was so named because the sacrificial animals both for Eid and for Hajj are not slaughtered until when the sun rises.
Slaves of Allâh! The Day of Sacrifice is singled out with certain acts that are desirable to be performed in it, namely: casting the pebbles, then slaughtering, then shaving the head and then circumambulating the Ka’bah. However, if any of these acts is done before the other there is nothing wrong with that according to majority of learned scholars owing to the Hadith of Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas, that the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) stopped (for a while near the Jimar) at Mina during his last Hajj for the people and they were asking him questions. A man came and said, “I forgot and got my head shaved before slaughtering the Hadi (sacrificial animal).” The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “There is no harm, go and do the slaughtering now.” Then another person came and said, “I forgot and slaughtered before casting the pebbles.” The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “Do the casting now and there is no harm.” The narrator added: So on that day, when the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) was asked about anything (as regards the ceremonies of Hajj) performed before or after its due time, his reply was “Do it (now) and there is no harm» (Agreed upon).
With the casting of the pebbles on the Day of Sacrifice, and shaving or reducing the hair, the pilgrim will have attained the first state of disengagement from Ihram (first tahallul). Meanwhile everything that was forbidden to him in the state of ihram becomes permissible. Hence, he may apply perfume and wear clothes except going to the women (for sexual intercourse). When he has done the tawaf Al-Ifadwhah, which is a major tawaf of Hajj, everything that was forbidden due to Ihraam even the women becomes lawful to him. This is the second and final tahallul (state of disengagement from Ihram).
This is all about it in brief. Let us now review the acts of the Day of Sacrifice in some detail.
The first act: casting the three stone pillars. This is the established practice of our father Ibrahim, peace be upon him. Ibn Abbas narrated attributing it to the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) and said: «When Ibrahim the chosen friend of Allâh came to perform the hajj rites, the devil appeared to him at Jamrah Al-Aqaba. He stoned him with seven pebbles until he disappeared into the earth. Then he appeared to him at the second Jamrah, and he stoned him with seven pebbles until he disappeared into the earth. Then he appeared to him at the third Jamrah, and he stoned him with seven pebbles until he disappeared into the earth ». Ibn Abbas said: «It is the devil that you stone, and it is the religion of your father that you follow » (Al-Hakim and Bayhaqi).
The pebbles are small stones, all the stone pillars to be cast are three, and all are in Mina. The first is Jamrah Al-Aqaba Al-Kubra, and it is the major stone pillar, which is to the left of one entering Mina.
The second is Jamrah Al-Aqaba Al-Wusta, which is after the first, the third is Jamrah Al-Aqaba As-Sughra, which is the Minor, and it is next to Al-Khaif mosque.
Jabir narrated saying, I saw the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) flinging pebbles while riding his camel on the Day of Sacrifice, and he was saying: Learn your rituals (by seeing me performing them), for I do not know whether I would be performing Hajj after this Hajj of mine» (Al-Bayhaqi). This casting is compulsory according to the majority of learned scholars but it is not a basic element and pillar of Hajj. However, if anyone abandons it, he will atone for it by slaughtering an animal.
Furthermore, the Sunnah practice is to cast using small pebbles like the chickpeas. On the authority of Ibn Abbas: Al-Fadl bin Abbas narrated to me saying: The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said to me on the day of sacrifice: «Come and pick some pebbles for me », and I picked up some pebbles for him as small as chickpeas. Thereupon he said: « You should cast with such pebbles because those that were before you perished due to extremism in religion » (At-Tabarani).
If one casts with a large stone, he will have gone against the Sunnah. Although, the majority of learned scholars opine that it will suffice him but it is undesirable. Yet Imam Ahmad said that it will not be sufficient for him, until he casts with small pebbles, because such is the practice of the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), and for the Prophet’s prohibition of that. Suleiman bin Amr bin Ahwas narrated, from his mother saying, I saw the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), casting Jamrah Al-Aqaba from the bottom of the valley on the day of sacrifice, and saying: « O people! Do not kill one another, do not harm one another, and ‘when you stone the Pillar, throw small pebbles’”» (Ahmad).
The majority of learned scholars have interpreted these hadiths and used them as evidence of priority and desirability but not obligatoriness.
It is Sunnah for one who casts the pebbles at the Minor and Major Stone pillars to stand and invoke Allâh, facing the Qiblah direction with his hands up.
The days for casting the pebbles are three or four: the Day of Sacrifice, and two days, or three days of the days of Tashreeq. Allâh, the Almighty, said:
( وَٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ فِىٓ أَيَّامٍ۬ مَّعۡدُودَٲتٍ۬ۚ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِى يَوۡمَيۡنِ فَلَآ إِثۡمَ عَلَيۡهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلَآ إِثۡمَ عَلَيۡهِۚ لِمَنِ ٱتَّقَىٰۗ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّڪُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ)
And remember Allâh during the appointed Days. But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, if his aim is to do good and obey Allâh (fear Him), and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him [Al-Baqarah: 203].
The time chosen for casting is the Day of Sacrifice at mid-morning after sunrise; for the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), only casted at mid-morning of that day. However if one delays it to the end of the day, it is permissible. The weak one are exempted from this rule. Abdullah, the freed slave of Asma, narrated that during the night of Jam’, Asma’ got down at Al-Muzdalifa and stood up for (offering) the prayer and offered the prayer for some time and then asked, “O my son! Has the moon set?” I replied in the negative and she again prayed for another period and then asked, “Has the moon set?” I replied, “Yes.” So she said that we should set out (for Mina), and we departed and went on till she threw pebbles at the Jamrah (Jamrah-Al-`Aqaba) and then she returned to her dwelling place and offered the morning prayer. I asked her, “O you! I think we have come (to Mina) early in the night.” She replied, “O my son! Allâh’s Messenger (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) gave permission to the women to do so» (Agreed upon).
In addition, Aisha narrated saying: « We got down at Al-Muzdalifah and Saudah asked the permission of the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) to leave (early) before the rush of the people. She was a slow woman and he gave her permission, so she departed (from Al- Muzdalifa) before the rush of the people. We kept on staying at Al-Muzdalifa till dawn, and set out with the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) but (I suffered so much that) I wished I had taken the permission of Allâh’s Messenger (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) as Saudah had done, and that would have been dearer to me than any other happiness » (Agreed upon).
This is in spite of the fact that it is better not to cast the pebbles until after sunrise as well, if that is not difficult for them, because Ibn ‘Abbas said: The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) sent ahead some boys from Banu Abdul-Muttalib on donkeys on the night of al-Muzdalifah. He began to pat our thighs (out of love) and said: O young boys! Do not throw pebbles at the Jamrah till the sun rises» (Abu Dawud).
The second act: slaughtering the camels or sacrificing the livestock. This is obligatory for the Mutamatti’ and Al-Qarin (one performing Hajj At-Tamattu’ and Al-Qarin kind of Hajj). This is based on the saying of Allâh, the Almighty:
( فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِٱلۡعُمۡرَةِ إِلَى ٱلۡحَجِّ فَمَا ٱسۡتَيۡسَرَ مِنَ ٱلۡهَدۡىِ)
And whosoever performs the ‘Umrah in the months of Hajj, before (performing) the Hajj, (i.e. Hajj-at-Tamattu’ and Al-Qirân), he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford [Al-Baqarah: 196].
Furthermore, if he cannot afford a sacrificial animal he may fast ten days, three days during the pilgrimage and seven when he comes back to his family, for the saying of Allâh, the Most Glorified and Exalted after that:
( فَمَن لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَـٰثَةِ أَيَّامٍ۬ فِى ٱلۡحَجِّ وَسَبۡعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعۡتُمۡۗ تِلۡكَ عَشَرَةٌ۬ كَامِلَةٌ۬ۗ ذَٲلِكَ لِمَن لَّمۡ يَكُنۡ أَهۡلُهُ ۥ حَاضِرِى ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِۚ)
But if he cannot afford it, he should observe Saum (fasts) three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (to his home), making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Al Masjid-Al-Haram (i.e non-resident of Makkah) [Al-Baqarah: 196].
Third act: Shaving or trimming the hair. This is one of the obligatory duties of Hajj, which must not be done except after the slaughter, as Allâh, the Most High, says:
( وَلَا تَحۡلِقُواْ رُءُوسَكُمۡ حَتَّىٰ يَبۡلُغَ ٱلۡهَدۡىُ مَحِلَّهُ ۥ)
And do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. [Al-Baqarah: 196].
The obligation is to encompass the entire head with shaving or trimming during Hajj, or Umrah, and he is not obliged to trim from each hair in particular. However, if one trims the forehead only out of ignorance and then disengages from his ihram, that will not count, and he must strip himself of sewn garments, wear a loincloth, uncover his head and shave or trim the whole head with the intention of At-Tahallul (disengagement from the state of Ihram).
If he had intercourse with his wife during this period, he has to sacrifice an animal in Makkah and distribute it to the poor of the Haram. But if he could not do so, then he may fast ten days.
Besides this, it is not recommended for the pilgrim to shave or trim after the major Tahallul (disengagement from the state of Ihram), having shaved or trimmed his hair during the first Tahallul.
Fourth act: Circumambulation (Tawaf Al-Ifadwah) when one leaves Arafat. It is also called (Tawaf Az-Ziyarah) i.e. Tawaf of visitation. It is a major pillar of Hajj, though it does not involve Ar-Raml (between slow and fast pace walking) nor Al-Idtiba’ (uncovering the right shoulder and placing the edges of the garment under the left armpit). On completion of the Tawaf, he should offer two rak’ahs behind the station of Ibrahim (Maqam Ibrahim) or otherwise in any place in the Sacred Mosque. The last time to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadwah is the end of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah. After this tawaf, the pilgrim goes back to Mina. Ibn Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) « performed the obligatory circumambulation (Tawaf al-Ziyarah) on the day of the sacrifice; he then offered the noon prayer (Dhuhr) at Mina when he returned » (Muslim).
All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone, and may the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the last Prophet.
O believers! With this, the acts of the day of Sacrifice are completed, and thereafter comes the three days of Tashreeq. The most prominent act of Hajj in these days is casting of the pebbles. The chosen time for casting in these three days starts from when the sun attains its meridian until sunset. Observing an order in casting the three stone pillars is obligatory according to majority of learned scholars. It has been proven that the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) began by casting the first stone pillar that is next to Mina, then the middle pillar which is next to that, and then he casted Jamrah Al-Aqabah.
Moreover, the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) has said, « Learn your rituals (by seeing me performing them) » (At-Tabarani).
However, the followers of Imam Abu Hanifah uphold that observing order in this is a Sunnah practice.
It is not permissible for the pilgrim to delay the casting of Jamra Al-Aqabah to the second or third day of the days of Tashreeq without excuse. Anyone that delays it to the days of Tashreeq without excuse has violated the Sunnah practice and will have been deprived of some reward in his Hajj.
O slaves of Allâh! Allâh, the Most Glorified and Exalted says:
( فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِى يَوۡمَيۡنِ فَلَآ إِثۡمَ عَلَيۡهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلَآ إِثۡمَ عَلَيۡهِۚ لِمَنِ ٱتَّقَىٰۗ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّڪُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ )
But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, if his aim is to do good and obey Allâh (fear Him), and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him [Al-Baqarah: 203].
This implies that anyone that casts the pebbles on the twelfth day in the afternoon, he may hurry to go out of Mina before sunset, and this is called the first Nafr (the first possible day for leaving), but as for he that stays back at Mina and spends the night preceding the thirteenth day and casts the pebbles in the afternoon on the thirteenth day, it is the better practice; because such was the practice of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) and it is called the second Nafr (the second possible day for leaving).
O Allâh! Teach us that which will be advantageous to us and accept our Hajj and Umrah rites from us…
Invoke prayers and blessings of Allâh upon the one Allâh, the Most Exalted and Glorified, has commanded you to do so when He said,
( إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا )
Allâh sends His Salâh (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salâh on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].