The Quranic meaning of the word 'rajeem'.
He (God) said, "Therefore, get out of it, for you are an outcast."
15:34 and 38:77
Due to the fact that there is no legislation in the Quran for the stoning ritual which Muslims practice during their Hajj, the Quranic word "rajeem" (in the above verse) has been subject to manipulation by various scholars in order to justify the stoning ritual. They claim that it means 'stoned', when it reality it means outcast/banished. Consequently, it has been falsely claimed that the stoning ritual during Hajj is authorised in the Quran!
The correct meaning of the word 'rajeem', which is outcast or banished, can be easily confirmed by reading the following verse:
We note here that God speaks of the same incident and of the same command given to Satan. The incident is the expulsion of Satan from Heaven. The only difference between verses 7:13 and 15:34 is that God replaces the word "rajeem" in 15:34 with the word "ekhroj" which means (get out) in 7:13. The two words must have the same meaning because they both speak of Satan's expulsion.
During the Hajj, Muslims collect 21 pebbles and throw them at 3 different stations (7 pebbles at each station). By doing so, they are led to believe that they are expressing their rejection of Satan and gaining spiritual strength to fight his evil influence. In support of such beliefs, they refer to some of the most absurd hadith, one of which claims that every time a pebble is thrown at any of the three Satanic stations, that Satan in fact feels pain and groans in agony!
Needless to say, Satan is not sitting at those altars waiting to be aimed at. It is more believable to say that Satan is laughing his head off at the gullibility of such people. He would also be very pleased with himself for succeeding in deviating the millions of people from the sole aim of Hajj, which is to praise and commemorate God, and instead be preoccupied with his name! According to the currently practiced Hajj rituals, Satan takes up two or three days of the pilgrims days, between collecting the pebbles and throwing the pebbles, being occupied with his name!
Some may naively say that the pigrims are cursing Satan's name and not singing his praises, as if that justifies the stoning act! In reply, the following points are to be mentioned:
1- The Quran tells us that the devil is made of fire and thus cannot be touched by physical matter (pebbles).
2- The devil is not sitting in any of these man-made holes waiting to be stoned!
3- No human has the power or ability to see the devil or to be able to inflict him with any harm.
4- Every precious hour and day during the Hajj should be spent in commemorating the name of God Almighty alone, and not to utter the name of Satan. The Quran emphasises that the only duty of believers during the Hajj is to commemorate the name of God. Various verses which speak of Hajj in the Quran constantly emphasise this sole purpose of Hajj:
You shall commemorate God for a number of days. 2:203
When you disperse from Arafat, you shall commemorate God. 2:198
Then once you have completed your rituals, you shall commemorate God. 2:200
5- God Almighty has prescribed for us in the Quran the only way to deal with the devil and that is to seek refuge in God from his whispers and not to throw pebbles at him!
It is no surprise that the greatest number of fatalities during Hajj every year are invariably at the stoning location. Could this be a hint from God to warn the masses of their act of idolatry?
For the alarming records, please see: Fatalities during Hajj