Continuing on my Hajj experience this article will be 3 days of the Jamarat stoning during the Hajj pilgrimage. During Hajj you have to do the Jamarat stoning 3 times as well as complete an Umrah which you can also do on the end. Since the process is pretty much the same there is no need to publish each day separately.
I will be speaking about the Tawaf / Umrah journey since we walked to Makkah and the fact I ended up interviewing the minister of Saudi Transportation in a different article as I feel it deserves its post on the process and logistics. Interviewing the minister was the most bizarre and interesting experience.
I had seen videos of the Jamarat stoning complex on YouTube documentaries but nothing prepared me for how massive the whole place is.
I have a YouTube video where I walk about the distances in Makkah and Medinah and I feel this falls into that.
If you want to start my Hajj experience from the beginning and how we ended up going for Hajj then make sure to check out:
Hajj Experience – Jamarat Stoning
After returning from our Muzdhalifa night, we ended up sleeping for a little bit since it was tiring and we had hardly slept for the past 24 hours.
Many people kept coming in throughout the day and some decided to do the stoning straight after coming back from Muzdalifah than relaxing. I do believe that there is a specific time you have to wait before you can start doing the stoning but honestly, I was so tired I don’t think I even remember.
We decided to start the journey just after Magrib since we also wanted to walk to Makkah and do Tawaf which is a requirement of Hajj. I will share that experience in a different post. Because boy was it an experience.
We equipped ourselves with our backpacks. The best thing I did during my shopping for Hajj was buy a drink bladder. This is something I picked during my Machu Pichu hike and initially, my husband laughed but then loved it.
I also brought my electrolytes which I highly recommend as well but these will be added to a new post with everything I think you should pack. My Amazon shop does have everything I bought for the trip links above.
We got ourselves some ice cream for the road and started walking towards Jamarat.
You definitely cannot get lost because so many people are walking back and forward and there are guards everywhere to make sure things run smoothly.
I have to say over the years I have been going to Umrah, the guards have improved their behaviour so much. They were polite and rarely shouted. If they did it was because people truly ignored them.
We only had one incident with a guard blocking the path but that was mostly his ego than anything. Some road closures didn’t make sense to me but hey, I don’t know the bigger picture of safety.
They pull guards from all parts of the country to make sure Hajj runs smoothly and I respect them for that because it is not an easy process to manage 2 million people in one place for 5 days. There is nowhere in the world that gets that level of organisation. The Saudi government gets my respect for that because and I know first-hand how much goes into it.
Distance from Mina Camp to Jamarat
Our Mina camp was in the middle of Mina, on top of a hill.
It took us around 50 minutes to walk from our Mina camp to the Jamarat complex, which is huge and I don’t think the photos do it justice.
In total, it would take close to 2,5 – 3 hours to complete one stoning. We had to do this three times.
They had sprinklers on the road and there were water stations as well as toilets. Though I would rather hold it than go there.
The whole stoning area is 3 floors, with the stoning pillars extending the full height. Very impressive structure and it is designed to make sure there is no stampede as this can easily be done.
Many times different floors were opened to make sure people were safe and we did end up getting lost on the top floor and having to walk all around adding an extra 5,000 steps.
We tried to “cut through” LOL it was all blocked and we ended up walking back. Just go with the flow, even if you are tired will save your legs unlike us.
The ritual of stoning the three pillars is to represent the devil and your sins. Some people really took this to heart and SubhanaAllah it was very emotional.
You can collect stones from Muzdhalifa if you want for the stoning but we did have stones given to us by the organisers so we didn’t have to do that. I believe many group packages do this to save people from looking for stones.
The Jamarat area is at the beginning of Mina and there are many restaurants and pharmacies there too. It is close to Aziziya-ish and you have to walk past to go to Makkah.
There are public toilets which you can also use and buy yourself food. They have KFC, Al Bail Fast Food and a few more options.
The toilets were filthy and very crowded. If you need to use them, take wipes, open sandals and a water bottle with the bidet attachment. All are linked on my Amazon page.
I didn’t use them but if you must then also make sure you queue before you are desperate. It can be a long wait.
You also can pay fidiya for anything you might have done wrong during Hajj. We also bought food for the workers and distributed it.
I really wanted a coffee and since we were walking to Makkah we did our Tawafalso ended up in a cafe in the Clock Tower as a reward for our hard walk. This had to be the best Eid meal we had and it felt so good.
The ritual of stoning Jamarat
As I have mentioned before the ritual of stoning during Hajj is not that long. It takes you less than a minute to throw the pebbles and then a few minutes to make dua.
There is however a lot of walking since depending on where your mina camp is located it can take you up to 2 hours to walk to Jamarat.
Many people would sleep on the streets and just wait around the area if they came close to the timings of Jamarat. Because you do have to do the stoning at specific times. For example, I know one of the days we had to wait until lunchtime.
Since stoning and Umrah are the only things you have left to complete your Hajj, you have a lot of time to pray and make dua during those days. There is a lot of idle time during Hajj which I didn’t realise.
I didn’t complete the second of the Jamarat stoning because I was sick. We had a sheikh friend who we asked questions if we needed of the right manner. They also have places throughout Mina where you can do the same thing and ask a sheikh a question if needed.
I almost fainted in the bathroom just before going for the second stoning. Since we had walked to Makkah on Eid day for Umrah and came back I didn’t eat.
If you have read my Mina camp post you know we had only 20 toilets for almost 2,000 women. Combine that with dehydration, being mildly sick due to the sweat and then Makkah mall AC and no proper food, it was the scariest experience I remember. I have never had tunnel vision before, I was white as a sheet. I kept thinking if I fainted here would they call my husband who was waiting for me?
So when he saw me after I managed to put myself together to go he put his foot down and told me to rest. I had to ask the sheikh but since it is a minor ritual, we were OK with him doing my stoning on my behalf. Allah knows best of course.
I did ask for a KFC burger and bless him he did walk extra to the end of Jamarat to get it for me. It felt good to eat something other than rice.
Not my smartest decision but honestly I was scared of a bad tummy, and spoiled food combined with the emotional state you are in can be taxing on the body. I felt bad not doing the stoning but SubhanaAllah sometimes you have to be kind to yourself.
As I mentioned before I am very resilient and push myself to my limit and this was hard.
I did get my strength back and then completed the last stoning before we departed.
Overall I found that the ritual of stoning was interesting, so many people in different emotional states.
It is very busy and the Jamarat complex is huge but also it was very well organised and safe.
Other posts you might enjoy
Are you wondering the best time to book Umrah & save money?
I have created an 18-page guide to help you plan an Umrah at the best time. Sharing tips and tricks in one place to save you time & of course, money.