Mina, A Witness of Victory over Satan

Mina is the place where pilgrims spend certain nights of Dhul-Hijjah to throw pebbles at the three Stone-Built Pillars (Jamarat). Allah Almighty says: “Do celebrate the praise of Allah during the appointed days.” These are the days of Mina, `Eid and the three Post-`Eid Days of Tashreeq. Mina is a small suburb cut by a road alongside of which are two rows of houses. That road begins from Makkah and reaches `Arafah. The houses of Mina are built with hard solid rocks. Most of these houses are of two levels and are not used only in the period of Hajj “Pilgrimage”. This suburb extends between Jamarah Al-`Aqabah from the direction of Makkah and by Muhassir Valley from the direction of Al-Muzdalifah.

The Name “Mina” Why?

There are many reasons behind giving this suburb such name:

1- Due to the sacrifices being slaughtered in pilgrimage for the sake of Allah. This is the most famous reason behind the name.

2- Because Adam wished for Paradise therein.

3- And because people used to come together therein, as Arabs call the place where people come together and meet one another as “Mina”.

The Borders of Mina

Ibn Juraij said: “I asked `Ata’: ‘Where is Mina?’ He (`Ata’) replied: It extends from Al-`Aqabah to Muhassir Valley.’” Al-Fasi also said that Mina’s border is straightly from Al-`Aqabah to Muhassir. While Imam Ash-Shafi`i said: “The borders of Mina are between the villages of Muhassir Valley and the nearest Jamarah to  Makkah, i.e. Al-`Aqabah Jamarah at which Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, took the pledge of allegiance from Al-Ansar. Neither Muhassir nor Al-`Aqabah nor any of their plains nor mountains nor their inhabited or uninhabited areas is considered a part of Mina. However, the surrounding mountains facing Mina are considered of Mina, while the mountains facing the other side are not considered of Mina.

The Distance Between Mina and Makkah

The distance between Mina and Makkah is, according to Ar-Rafi`i, six miles. But An-Nawawi confirms in many of his books that it is three miles. In his book “Al-Qura”, Al-Muhib Al-Tabari states that the distance between Mina and Makkah is four miles.

The Dwellings of the Prophet and his Companions in Mina

The Prophet’s residence in Mina used to be on the left of the Imam’s Musalla (Place of Prayer). He used to let his wives dwell in the House of Imarah, while he used to make his Companions dwell behind that House. Also the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, made gesture to the people to stay and dwell in certain places. In another narration, “He (the Prophet) used to make Al-Muhajirin settle down in their Mountain Paths “Shi`b Al-Muhajirin” and make Al-Ansar settle down in their Mountain Paths “Shi`b Al-Ansar”. However, Mina’s mountain paths are behind the House of Imarah.

When `Umar Ibn Al-Kattab, may Allah be pleased with him, asked Zaid Ibn Sujan: “Where is your residence at Mina?” He replied: “At the left-hand side of Mina.” Then `Umar said: “This is the residence place of the merchants, so don’t reside therein.” On the authority of Sufyan, `Umar added: “My residence is at the merchants’.” The Messenger of Allah settled down in Al-Kheif Mosque. `Abdullah Ibn Abu Bakr reported the Messenger of Allah as saying: “When we reach Makkah, Allah willing, we will stay in Al-Kheif. Al-Kheif is a mosque in Mina in which the Confederates-“Al-Ahzab) allied against us”. I (`Abdullah Ibn Abu Bakr) then asked `Uthman: “What ally? He (`Uthman) replied: “The Confederates.”

The buildings of Mina have special merits and are of great importance. Isma`il Ibn Umaiyah reported that `A’ishah, Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, asked the Messenger of Allah for permission to build a water closet in Mina but he refused. That is why `Umar Ibn `Abdul `Aziz, used to forbid hiring the houses of Makkah. He also used to command for the leveling of Mina. However, the people used to pay for lease and abide therein secretly.

The Wells of Mina

There are fifteen wells in Mina, including Al-Hijamiya near Jamarat Al-`Aqabah, Kiddanah, `Ammarah, Al-Kulaibiyyah, Al-Sha`abaniyah, Umm Al-Humam renewed by the wife of Al-Mansour, the governor of Yemen; in addition to some other wells.

Mina in the Pre-Islamic Era

`Amr Ibn Luhay was the first one to bring idols to Mina as he placed seven idols therein. He placed an idol on the road between the mosque of Mina and the first Jamarah, another on the First Jamarah, and a third one called `Adim in a nearby place. On the Middle Jamrah, there was a fourth idol while on the brink of the valley a fifth one was placed and another idol on the Greatest Jamarah. The last one is also near the Greatest Jamrah. He then divided the pebbles to twenty one using them each three pebbles for an idol to be thrown accompanied by saying: “You (the idol being thrown by the pebbles) are greater than that one (the next).

Throwing the Pebbles “Jimar

Throwing the Pebbles is one of the rituals and obligatory acts of Pilgrimage, as explained by Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, in his well-known Farewell Pilgrimage. Throwing the Pebbles is a symbol of the unity of all Muslims on one goal. If Muslims realize this unity and work for it, their victory over their enemy will easily be achieved. 

The Meaning of Throwing the Pebbles

The word “Jimar” refers to two things: 1- the small pebbles. 2- the Stone-Built Pillars (Jamarat) at which pilgrims throw these small stones in the Day of Sacrifice and the three Post-`Eid Days of Tashreeq. The Stone-Built Pillars “Jimar” are three; the Greatest Jamarah of Al-`Aqabah; the Middle Jamarah and the Smallest Jamarah. All these Jamarat are in Mina from the direction of Makkah. The distance between one Jamarah and the other is one hundred and twenty meters. However, throwing the pebbles means hurling the small stones at the stone-built pillars in a specific way and order.

The First One to Throw Pebbles

It was Prophet Ibrahim, peace and blessings be upon him, the first one who threw pebbles. It has been reported that when Gabriel took Ibrahim to show him the rituals of Pilgrimage, he passed by the Jamarah of Al-`Aqabah, while Satan was there blocking their way. At that moment, Gabriel asked Ibrahim to pronounce “Allahu Akbar” Allah is Most Great and to throw pebbles at him (Satan). That was repeated twice again at the second and the third Jamarah. The time of Throwing the Pebbles is due to be in the period between staying in Muzdalifah and standing for worship there. The first Jamarah of Al-`Aqabah is to be thrown after sunrise on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah. On each day of the Days of Tashreeq, there are three Jamarat to be thrown by twenty one pebbles; with seven pebbles at each one of the three Jamarat.

However, it is permissible for a pilgrim to do the throwing in two days instead of three and to leave on the third day as Allah Almighty says: “But if any one hastens to leave in two days there is no blame on him, and if anyone stays on there is no blame on him, if his aim is to do right.” Pebbles are to be picked from Al-Muzdalifah, but, according to Ahmad, one may pick pebbles from anywhere one wants.