Posted on 04/11/2012 by __socrates

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Lit. “Gravel, or small pebbles.” The three pillars at Mina, at which the Makkan pilgrims throw seven pebbles. They are known as al-Ula, the first; al-Wusta, the middle; and al-‘Aqibah, the last. According to Muslim writers these pillars mark the successive spots where the Devil, in the shape of an old Shaikh, appeared to Adam. Abraham, and Ishmael, and was driven away by the simple process which Gabriel taught them of throwing seven small pebbles. The Jamratu ‘l-Aqibah, is known as the Shaitanu ‘l-Kabir, or the “Great Devil.”
Captain Burton, in his El Medinah and Mecca, vol. ii, 227 says: –
“The Shaitanu ‘l-Kabir is a dwarf buttress of rude masonry, about eight feet high by two and a half broad, placed against a rough wall of stones, at the Meccan entrance to Mina. As the ceremony of ‘Ramy’, or Lapidation, must be performed on the first day by all pilgrims between sunrise and sunset, and as the fiend was malicious enough to appear in a rugged pass, the crowd makes the place dangerous. On one side of the road, which is not forty feet broad, stood a row of shops, belonging principally to barbers. On the other side is the rugged wall of the pillar with shameful frieze of Bedouins and naked boys. The narrow space was crowded with pilgrims, all struggling like drowning men to approach as near as possible to the Devil.”

(2) Jamrah also means a “live coal,” and is an astronomical or meteorological term used to signify the infusion of vital heat into the elements in spring, or rather, at the end of winter. According to this theory there are three Jamarat: one, the infusion of heat into the air, occurs thirty days before the vernal equinox; the second, affecting the waters, seven days later; and the third, vivifying the earth, sixteen days before the equinox. (Catafago’s Dictionary, in loco.)

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam

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