Hajj Prayer 2019 - August 11 (Day 3)
Please watch this Eid Al Adha prayer video to help you pray in light of millions of Muslims around the world who are slaughtering an animal in remembrance of Abraham:
Prayercast Eid Al Adha prayer video: https://prayercast.com/eid-al-adha.html
This day is known in Arabic as "Yawm al Hajj al akbar", the big Hajj day. It is the longest and potentially the most dangerous of all the days. Eid Al Adha, a significant Islamic holiday, is celebrated on this day.
Pilgrims start in Muzdalifah and head back to Mina. In Mina, they throw stones at three columns representing the devil. This is based on historic tradition which says that God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismael as a proof of faith. It is believed that at this spot in Mina, the devil appeared and tried to dissuade Abraham three times from obeying the command to kill his son.
Each time, Abraham responded by throwing seven stones at the devil. Millions of pilgrims converge on the Jamarat bridge which houses the three pillars to re-enact this story. The bridge has been the site of stampedes which has killed thousands of pilgrims throughout the modern history of the Hajj.
After casting their stones, the pilgrims must sacrifice an animal to imitate Abraham who they believe slaughtered a ram instead of his son Ismael. Muslims say that this ram was provided by Allah. They kill a sheep, goat, cow, or camel or pay someone to do it for them.
At this point, the men shave off their hair and remove their Ihram clothes. Women are expected to snip a piece of their hair.
Many will go back to Mecca to perform the "Tawaf" (circumambulating the Kaaba seven times) and then the "Sa'ee" (walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa which is a marbled walkway that is air conditioned!) It is said that Hajar, Abraham's wife, ran between the two hills to find water for her son Ismael. Ismael kicked some sand and water came out which became the spring of Zamzam, holy water to Muslims which they drink during the Hajj and bring home with them to their home countries.
When all is done, they return to their campsite in Mina. They can continue the rites of the Hajj for the next few days.
Key Scriptures to Pray
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against... the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" (John 7:37, 38)
Pray first for the safety of the pilgrims, that there would be no deaths caused by stampedes or disease.
Muslims understand that there is spiritual evil caused by Satan. Throwing rocks at Satan during the day of stoning is meaningless apart from the cross and resurrection which defeated Satan forever. Pray that they will know Christ and have mighty weapons "for the tearing down of strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:4)
As Muslims circle the Kaaba and run from hill to hill, ask that they will see the futility of these acts. Pray that they will find the true, Living Water, Jesus, so that they may never thirst again!
While there are many symbols and rituals in the Hajj that rest on pagan foundations, there are also some which have been appropriated from the story of Abraham in Genesis which have already been noted. Father Abraham is an important prophet in Islam, but the Quran has very little to say about him. His story in the Bible is far richer, more relatable, and compelling. Most importantly, it points forward to a nations-blessing Savior. As the story of Abraham's animal sacrifice is replayed by millions of Muslims, pray that many will be stirred to seek out more information about Abraham and the true meaning of the ram which he sacrificed in place of his son, that God did not kill Isaac only because God's own Son Jesus, the Lamb of God, was killed in his and our place. Amen!