Hajj Days Overview;
Day 3 and 4-6 of Hajj;
10th Dhul Hijjah – Yawm al-Nahr
The third day of Hajj is the 10th day, known in Arabic as Yawm al-Nahr (The day of sacrifice).
There are two opinions on the origin of this name:
1. The first referring to Ibraaheem ‘alayhis-salaam and when Allaah commanded him to sacrifice his son Isma’eel. This act itself is called nahr (slaughter/sacrifice). Some scholars reported this incident to have happened on this day of the year.
2. The second referring 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 after it.
Thus on this glorious day; the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah; the blessed ‘Eid al-Adhaa – it is called the Day of Sacrifice because during it the Muslims seek nearness to their Guardian and King, Allaah, by sacrificing designated animals. On this day, those performing Hajj sacrifice their hady, and the Muslims in all other parts of the world sacrifice their udhiyah – all seeking nearness to Allaah by their deed.
This day is the most blessed and virtuous day in the entire year. The Messenger (SAW) said:
“The best day with Allaah is Yawm al-Nahr, and then Yawm al-Qarr (the 11th day, the day that follows, when the pilgrims reside in the camps of Mina for worship).”
Allaah made ‘Arafah (9th day) an introduction to the Day of al-Nahr. After having their sins forgiven on the Day of ‘Arafah, Allaah demands from them to visit His House on the Day of al-Nahr. In fact, the Day of ‘Arafah can be likened to a purification process; a preparation procedure for the Day of al-Nahr.
What do the pilgrims do on the 10th day of Hajj?
In the early hours of Yawm al-Nahr, after Fajr, the majority of the hujjaaj will start their day from the plains of Muzdalifah. Once they finish Fajr prayer, they stay in the Mash’ar al-Haraam or the site of Muzdalifah until close to sunrise then they start their march to Mina.
On this day, the pilgrims are obligated to perform four specific rites of Hajj:
1. To stone the major jamarah (‘Aqabah) with seven stones
2. To offer the sacrificial animal
3. To shave the head or shorten the hair for men, and to clip a bit of the hair for women.
4. To perform tawaaf (Circling seven times around the Ka’bah) and Sa’y (to run between the two hills of Safaa and Marwaa).
The hujjaj then are all required to continue their Hajj by moving to Mina again to spend the night or most of the night in the camps there.
11th, 12th and 13th Dhul Hijjah – Ayyaam al-Tashreeq
These are the final days of Hajj. They are called ayyaam al-tashreeq (The days of tashreeq).
Perhaps the strongest opinion on why they are called ayyaam al-tashreeq is because in the past the pilgrims used to slice the meat they acquired from the sacrifices, season it with salt and then let it dry in the sun. The dehydration of the meat allows the pilgrims to preserve it from spoiling on their long journeys back. This was prior to the invention of refrigeration. The process in itself is called tashreeq, 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
These days are considered days of celebration and worship. It is recommended to enjoy these days by feasting. The Messenger (SAW) said:
“The days of tashreeq are days of eating and drinking.”
What do the pilgrims do on these last few days?
1. The hujjaaj are required to spend most of the night, preferably the entire night and days, of the days of tashreeq in Minaa.
2. During these days the hujjaaj recite the Takbeer until the end of the Hajj season.
“And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allaah standing, sitting, or (lying) on your sides.”
Also, after performing Hajj:
“And when you have completed your rites, remember Allaah like your (previous) remembrance of your fathers or with much greater remembrance.”
3. The most important practice of these days is the throwing of stones at the jamaraat site each day.
The timing of this rite of Hajj is critical. The standard opinion is that this should be performed after the time of zawaal or when the time of Zuhr is already in until right before sunset.
After finishing throwing the stones at each station the hujjaaj 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 starting from the minor, the middle and then the major one for last. Note there is no du’aa at the last station.
Once the hujjaaj are done, they ought to 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 or her Hajj after they perform the throwing of the stones on that day, and they have to be out of Mina before sunset. If they stayed in Minaa after sunset then they are required to remain there for the extra day, the 13th, which is the last and final day of ayyaam al-tashreeq.
Once the hujjaaj have taken care of all the essentials of Hajj, making sure nothing of their obligations is 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 wa sallam is to perform Tawaaf al-Wada’ or the Farewell Tawaaf right before the departure from Makkah. It is considered waajib (obligatory) to perform this tawaaf for those who are legally able.
You will find as the Hajj season draws to a close, many of the hujjaaj depart from Makkah with sorrow and grief, and just as they arrived with tears and joy, they are now leaving with tears and a mixture of perplexing sadness and happiness. Nevertheless, they all leave with hope that their Hajj was mabroor or faultless and that Allaah 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.
The Days of Hajj series by Yaser Birjas
Beneficial Creedal Lessons from The Hajj by Abd Al-Razzaaq al-Badr