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Mina - The Heart of Hajj Pilgrimage

Discover the significance of Mina, the heart of the Hajj pilgrimage, in this insightful article. Learn about its location, the crucial role it plays during Hajj, and the profound stoning ritual at the Jamarat. Delve into the historical and religious importance of Mina, as mentioned in the holy Quran, and understand why millions of pilgrims gather here annually to perform these sacred rites.

Mina - The Heart of Hajj Pilgrimage

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What and where is Mina?

Mina is a valley encircled by mountains, situated to the 7 kms east of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. It is also famously known as the "City of Tents". This valley holds profound significance in the Islamic rituals of Hajj and Umrah. Each year, during the month of Dhul Hijjah, approximately 3 million pilgrims gather in Mina, staying in the 100,000 tents provided there.


During the pilgrimage, Mina is where pilgrims spend the nights of the 8th, 11th, 12th, and sometimes the 13th of Zul Hijjah.

Mina Tents - HowSaudi
Mina Tents at Sunrise

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The Importance of Mina in Hajj

Hajj involves several key religious practices, and after completing their tawaf, pilgrims return to Mina. Many travel by foot or bus to this holy site, where they spend entire days and nights in tents provided for their comfort. This period is known as Layali al-Tashriq.


Staying overnight in Mina is a significant practice. Pilgrims engage in prayers, recite the Quran, worship Allah, listen to Islamic lectures, and perform Zikr throughout the night. At dawn, they leave Mina to travel to the plain of Arafat, continuing their Hajj journey.


The Stoning Ritual at Jamarat and why it is done?


Mina is also the place where the Jamarat is located, the site of the important stoning ritual. Here, pilgrims symbolically strike three stone pillars as part of the Hajj tradition known as stoning the devil.


On the third day of Hajj, pilgrims move to Mina before sunrise to participate in the Ramy or the stoning ritual. They collect stone pebbles the day before and throw them at the three pillars in Mina, known as Jamrat al-Aqaba (the largest), Jamrat al-Wusta (the middle), and Jamrat al-Sughra (the smallest).


This ritual is rooted in the Islamic belief that Satan attempted to persuade Hazrat Ibrahim to disobey God’s command to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismail. The act of throwing pebbles at the pillars symbolizes Hazrat Ibrahim’s rejection of Satan’s temptation, demonstrating a profound test of faith. Following this ritual, pilgrims often partake in the slaughtering of animals and distributing the meat to the needy.


Mina in the Holy Quran

The significance of Mina during Hajj is also mentioned in the Holy Quran. Surah Baqarah references the importance of remembering Allah during the prescribed 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. Whether pilgrims choose to leave Mina after two days or stay until the third day, there is no sin upon them, as long as they are God-fearing and mindful of Allah’s presence.


Mina holds a pivotal role in the spiritual journey of Hajj, representing devotion, faith, and obedience to Allah. Understanding its significance enriches the experience of the pilgrimage, connecting believers to the profound history and traditions of Islam.

Mina Tents - HowSaudi
Mina Tents
 

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