Let’s Stone the Devil!
By Humaira Nasim
I cannot forget the night spent at Muzdalifah while performing the ritual of Hajj. It was a night that demanded an utmost form of surrender. I was in my Hajj outfit, which I had been wearing for some days now. I could not brush my hair or groom myself the way I used to do on normal days. That shabbiness and the feeling of being completely worn out in order to seek Allah and his pleasure are still deep-seated within me.
We had to spend the whole night under the sky without covering our faces at any moment. I had few options. I could try to sleep, which seemed next to impossible given that we were to sleep on stony, dusty ground, surrounded by mountains and crowds of strangers. Or I could sit and wait for the night to end trying to do something which could pull me through the night without losing my cool. I tend to seek adventures in challenging times like these to add some fun. We had to collect pebbles for the stoning ritual the next day and there was a small hill some meters away. I decided to climb the hill. This would not only give me an opportunity to collect the pebbles but also some time in solitude to consciously reflect over this momentous time of my life.
I reached the top of the hill and sat in silence. I planned to collect the pebbles but before that I was seeking a meaningful purpose to do so. I pondered over the purpose behind this ritual. What does Allah want me to achieve by doing this? As I reflected in that starry silence, I had an ‘Aha’ moment and I spontaneously cried out loud: Subhan Allah (Glory belongs to Him alone)! I realised the ritual was to symbolically fight off the evil whispers of Shaitan.
I reflected on the following questions:
- What are the devil’s whispers in my life that I often entertain?
- What are the diseases of my heart that burden my soul?
I started taking mental notes. In my mind’s eye, I visualised the three Jamrat that I would stone one after another. What did each of them represent for me?
Introspection revitalized me and I enthusiastically and energetically started to collect pebbles. I was now impatiently looking forward to this incredible ritual the next day.
After offering the Fajr prayers we left for Mina. Our bus got stuck in traffic halfway through and we had to walk to Mina with our belongings. It was a hard thing to do considering all the exhaustion and fatigue we had been undergoing since the past few days but the excitement of stoning the Jamrat in the place where Ibrahim (as) had stoned away the devil kept me going.
As I was walking towards Mina, I thought to myself: if stoning the devil could give power to Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his beloved and only son for Allah against the evil whispers of Satan, just imagine if I was able to exercise even a minute fraction of that will in my life – what awesomeness that would hold for me! With determined and decisive steps, I kept on moving. A brand-new life was awaiting me – a rebirth just like a newborn, pure from all sins. The thought made me super-charged and excited.
I gave a personal meaning to each Jamraat which I will be sharing with you in my next few blogs. At the same time, I suggest you reflect and ask yourself: If you had been in my place what would each Jamrat symbolise for you?