Stoning at Jamarat is the most repeated ritual of the Hajj. Pilgrims perform the ritual at one Jamarat (Jamarat Al-Aqaba) on the first day of stoning on the Day of Sacrifice, Dhul Hijjah 10.
In the next two or three tashreeq days (Ayyam Al-Tashreeq), the pilgrims hurl seven stones each at the three pillars.
They stone first at Jamarat Al-Sugra (small pillar), then at Jamarat Al-Wusta (medium pillar) and lastly at Jamarat Al-Aqaba (largest pillar), seven times each.
Where do the pebbles go at the end of the stoning ritual at Jamarat? Saudi Gazette reports.
This year, 2023, more than 1.84 million foreign and domestic pilgrims performed Hajj.
Those who performed the stoning rituals on these three days would have used more than 90.4 million pebbles, with each pilgrim using a total of 49 pebbles while those pilgrims who stayed back in Mina on Friday night to perform stoning ritual on the fourth day using a total of 70 pebbles.
This means that more than one 100 million pebbles were used during the Hajj pilgrimage of 1444 that ended on Saturday.
Many people must be wondering about the fate of more than 100 million of these pebbles, asking where do these pebbles go after the departure of all pilgrims from Mina by Saturday evening with the Mina valley and Jamarat becoming empty once again until the arrival of pilgrims for the Hajj next year.
The search to find an answer to this question comes to a conclusion about the highly scientific and meticulous arrangements made by the Saudi government to handle these pebbles in the most hygienic and exemplary way.
The process of dealing with the stones collected on the first, second and the third days of stoning will begin immediately after the pilgrims complete the rituals of stoning the Jamarat.
The pebbles fall vertically downwards on the three pillars of all the four levels of the Jamarat facility with a depth of up to 15 meters and settle down in the Jamarat facility’s basement.
Then a number of conveyor belts will be tasked with collecting stones thrown by pilgrims to the sieving process and spraying them with water, removing dust and dirt stuck to the pebbles.
Finally, the cleaned pebbles will be transferred to vehicles taken to specific areas to be stored for further handling after the end of the Hajj season.
The Makkah-based Hajj & Mu’tamer’s Gift Charitable Association, in cooperation with the Kedana Company — the main developer of the Holy Sites — has implemented a qualitative initiative to serve the pilgrims at the Holy Sites.
Last year, the organization provided more than 80,000 bags of pebbles to throw at the Jamarat. It had also distributed the pebbles at over 300 contact points for pilgrims on the walking route in Muzdalifah, in addition to the Jamarat Bridge facility in Mina. – SG