10th Dhul Hijjah – Yawmun-Nahr
The third day of Hajj is the 10th day, known in Arabic as Yawmun-Nahr (the day of sacrifice).
There are two opinions on the origin of this name:
1. The first refers to incident wherein Allah commanded Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) to sacrifice his son Isma’eel (alayhissalaam). This act itself is called nahr (slaughter or sacrifice). Some scholars reported this incident to have happened on this day of the year.
2. The second refers to the actual practice of sacrificing animals on the day of ‘Eid. Because the sacrifice takes place on a massive scale, this day was named accordingly. This day—the day of ‘Eid al-Adha—is the most blessed and virtuous day in the entire year. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “The best day with Allah is Yawmun-Nahr, and then Yawmul-Qarr (the 11th day; the day that follows, when the pilgrims reside in the camps of Mina for worship).” [Ahmad]
Allah made ‘Arafah (9th day) an introduction to the Day of Nahr. On the Day of ‘Arafah, pilgrims stand humbly, earnestly beseeching Allah for His Expansive and Far-Reaching Forgiveness, and to accept their repentance, seeking His Eternal Satisfaction. And thus, the obligatory tawaf that pilgrims ideally perform on the 10th day is called tawaf-uz-ziyarah (the visiting circumbulation); after having their sins forgiven on the Day of ‘Arafah, Allah grants them permission—rather demands from them—to visit His House on the Day of Nahr. The Day of ‘Arafah can be likened to a purification process, a preparation for the Day of Nahr.
What do the pilgrims do on the 10th day of Hajj?
In the early hours of Yawmun-Nahr, after Fajr, most pilgrims will begin their day at the plains of Muzdalifah. Once they complete the morning prayer, they remain in the site/plains of Muzdalifah until close to sunrise. They then march to Mina.
On this day, the pilgrims are obliged to perform four specific rites of Ḥajj; these four do not have to be performed in any specific order:
1. To stone the major jamarah (‘aqabah) with seven stones.
2. To offer a sacrificial animal whether by hand which is the most preferable method or by proxy. This rite is an obligation on those who perform the Hajj in the form of tamattu‘ or qiran in which the pilgrims perform both ‘Umrah and Hajj, joined or separate. Anyone who performs Hajj as a single ritual without ‘Umrah is not required to offer this sacrifice.
3. To shave the head and to clip a bit of the hair for women.
4. To perform tawaf and sa’i. This tawaf is known as tawaf-ifadah or tawafuz-ziyaarah. It is compulsory.
The pilgrim remains in a full state of ihram until these rites are fulfilled. He is in a partial state of ihram as long as the ṭawāf remains incomplete. Once the tawaf is complete, the pilgrim is permitted to leave the state of ihram.
The pilgrims then return to Mina to spend the night (or most of the night) in their camps.
11-13th Dhul Hijjah – Ayyamut-Tashriq
These are the final days of Hajj. They are called Ayyamut-Tashriq (the days of Tashriq).
Perhaps the strongest opinion on their name is because in the past the pilgrims used to slice the meat they acquired from their sacrificial animals, season it with salt and then let it dry in the sun. The dehydration of the meat allowed pilgrims to preserve it from spoiling whilst on their long journeys back. This was prior to the invention of refrigeration. This process is called Tashriq, and it linguistically has a connection to sunrise or sunshine. The process entails the exposure of the meat to the sun for a long time.
The days of Tashriq are considered days of celebration and worship. It is recommended to enjoy these days by feasting. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “The days of Tashriq are days of eating and drinking.” [Muslim]
What do the pilgrims do on these last few days?
1. The pilgrims are required to spend most of the night, preferably the entire night and day, in Mina.
2. During these days, the pilgrims recite the takbir until the end of the Hajj season. Since these are the last days of a blessed season, and as pilgrims complete the rituals of Hajj, it is recommended for pilgrims and others to end this season with the remembrance of Allah.
In fact, this is a common tradition legislated after the completion of acts of worship, “And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or (lying) on your sides,” [Qur’an4:103] and “And when the prayer has concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allāh, and remember Allah often that you may succeed,” [Qur’an 62:10] and “And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your (previous) remembrance of your fathers or with much greater remembrance.” [2: 200]
3. The most important practice in these days is the throwing of stones at the jamaraat site.
The timing of this rite is critical. The standard opinion is that it should be performed after the time of zawaal or when the time of Zuhr is already in until right before sunset.
After completing the throwing of stones at each station, the pilgrims stand on the side, away from the traffic, facing Makkah and raise their hands with du’a and praise, and then move on to the next station. There is no du’a at the last station (major). Thereafter, they return to Mina.
4. The fifth day of Hajj is the 12th of Dhul Hijjah. Any pilgrim who desires to hasten and leave early can end his Hajj after performing the throwing of stones on that day. However, the pilgrim must leave Mina before sunset. If he remains in the vicinity beyond sunset then he is required to stay there for the extra night, the 13th, which is the last and final day of Ayyamut-Tashriq.
5. Once the pilgrims have completed all the essentials of Hajj, making sure nothing of their obligations are left without being fulfilled or compensated for, they prepare themselves for their departure to Makkah, for the finale rite. The sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam is to perform tawaful-wida‘ (farewell tawaf) right before leaving Makkah. It is considered obligatory for those who are able.
You will find, as the Hajj season draws to a close, many pilgrims depart Makkah with a mixture of sadness and happiness. Nevertheless, they all leave with hope that their Hajj was mabrur or faultless, and that Allah has accepted their offerings during these days of great sacrifice. They all leave with hope that this experience was a true redemption from sin and emancipation from the painful snares of both worlds.
Conclusion of the Hajj Season
On the last day of Hajj, Mina—the tent city—which came to life during the days of Hajj is now suddenly dormant again – a signal to the conclusion of the Hajj season.
The pilgrims, who stayed two days in Mina or chose to stay the extra day, are obliged to continue the same rites of Ayyamut-Tashriq. They are required to throw stones at the three posts of jamaraat, seven pebbles each, before they leave Mina.
As the pilgrims prepare to depart the tent city, they begin to collect their belongings, fold away their mats and tents and head towards their hotels in Makkah.
The sight of an empty Mina is saddening, especially after experiencing the most grand of days, undertaking the most excellent of actions at the most virtuous of sites. Their host was The King of kings, and a heavenly audience of Angels. Now all of that is about to draw to a close.
During their final stay in Makkah, the pilgrims make sure nothing of their obligations is left without being fulfilled or compensated for. So, if there was any violation committed during their ihram or stay in Mina, they make sure to amend it in the proper manner. In some cases, the pilgrims are required to pay expiation for some of these shortcomings. The expiation can be paid in the form of fasting, feeding the poor or offering a sacrificial animal.
Before leaving, the pilgrims seek permission from their King and Master. They entered the Sacred Kingdom in a state of istislam (surrendering and submitting to His Commands) and remained there in a state of istislam. It is therefore only befitting that they exit the Kingdom in a state of istislam i.e. the farewell tawaf.
Before departure, the able-bodied pilgrim is obliged to perform al-tawaf al-wida‘ (farewell tawaf). In case of a woman whose menstruating period had already started, according to the majority of Muslim jurists she is not obliged to perform that tawaf nor is she obliged to have someone do it on her behalf.
The best scenario for the pilgrims is to take care of their last minute shopping before they do their tawaf, for it is better and more befitting to keep the last moments in this Sacred Kingdom around the K’abah instead of the market place.
In this final tawaf, as the pilgrims encircle the House of their King— glorifying, praising, and extolling Him—they invoke their Generous and Caring Lord; thank Him for His Hospitality and show appreciation for being given the opportunity to mention and worship Him standing, sitting, lying down, walking and running; seeking forgiveness for their shortcomings therein, and asking for His Acceptance.
The pilgrims then depart with hope that their Hajj was mabrur (faultless and accepted), and that Allah has accepted their offerings during these epic days. They leave, hoping that their last few days was a true redemption from sin and an admittance to Jannah as the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam promised, “Whoever comes to this House and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back as the day his mother gave birth to him,” and “For an accepted Hajj, there is no reward except Paradise.” [Bukhari and Muslim]