Days before my Hajj journey in 1996, I was warned about the dangers of the Stone Throwing, Rami Al-Jaamarat ritual. Told that it would be the most arduous and life-threatening experience of the rituals performed, I really hadn’t the faintest clue of what to expect. I was advised to pay off all of my debts and say goodbye to everyone, asking forgiveness from anyone whom I might have wronged in life. In a strange way it was a subtle reminder of death, of the possibility that I was giving my final goodbyes. I was on my way to be cleansed, or so I hoped that Allah the Almighty would accept my attempt. I was blessed to have an opportunity to make the pilgrimage and was pleased with an amazing trip! The House of Allah was an amazing Beauty. The cubic structure was much more massive than I expected and the pilgrims circumambulated around it while the structure stood absolutely still. It was a contrast that gave me a feeling of its greatness. Following instructions and going through the rites of circumambulation tawaf and sa’i were refreshing and though the area was densely populated, I felt a sort of ease and spiritual comfort getting through them.

Jamarat at Mina - Hajj 2006

Recently, the system for pebble throwing has become very organized, however, during the time I visited Makkah for Hajj, it was very dangerous. Many who entered the stone throwing area were never to return home. Over time, the pebble-throwing rite had gained the worst reputation. Out of fear, people hastily entered and attempted to complete the throwing of the stones, fearing for their lives. It was very cluttered and many visitors to the Holy area were not aware of how to keep themselves safe as well as others.

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