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Hajj Rituals on Postage Stamps

In 1986, Saudi Arabia issued a set of postage stamps on the rituals of pilgrimage (Hajj in Arabic). In this set, each stamp has been dedicated to one of the rituals of Hajj, such as: standing at Arafah, stoning the Jamarat, and performing the circumambulation around the Kaaba.

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, and it is obligatory for every Muslim if he/she has physical and financial ability. Hajj has a specific season in the last month of the lunar Hijri year named Dhu al-Hijjah. In it, Muslims make a pilgrimage to the city of Makkah Al-Mukarramah and perform a series of rituals according to a specific order within a few days. The stamps below display these rituals.


طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع الإحرام
Stamp about the Ihram – 1986 – Y&T 649

Ihram is the intention to enter into Hajj and strip off of normal clothes and wear the Ihram garments. The ihram clothing for men is a pure white loincloth and robe without any stitching. As for women, they may wear any covering dress they want without being restricted to a specific color. For pilgrims coming from outside Makkah, they must perform the ihram in specific locations outside the city. Ihram is the first pillar of Hajj.

Standing at Arafat:

The pilgrimage begins on the eighth day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, called the day of al-Tarwiyah. In that day, the pilgrims must pray in the Mina area and sleep there until the dawn.

طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع الوقوف على جبل عرفات
Stamp about standing at mount Arafat- 1986 – Y&T 649

The ninth day of the month is called the day of Arafah. In that day the pilgrims go from Mina to the area of Arafah where they stay from noon until sunset. Standing at Arafah is the most important pillar of the Hajj, as pilgrims spend their day in supplication and worship.

Overnight in Muzdalifah

طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع المبيت بمزدلفة
Stamp on the night at Muzdalifah – 1986 – Y&T 651

After sunset on the day of Arafah, the pilgrims leave Arafat heading to Muzdalifah, where the pilgrims pray Maghrib and Isha. The pilgrims spend the night in Muzdalifah and pray Fajr there. And the pilgrims collect pebbles in preparation for stoning the Jamarat the next day.

Throwing pebbles

The first day of Eid al-Adha, which is the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. At the dawn of this day, the pilgrims perform the Fajr prayer in Muzdalifah, and before sunrise they leave in the direction of Mina, where they throw the pebbles (Jamarat). In this ritual Seven pebbles are thrown at three stellae in the Mina area, symbolizing Satan. 

طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع رمي الجمرات
Throwing the pebbles – 1986 – Y&T 650

After throwing the Jamarat, the pilgrims slaughter the sacrificial animals, shave their hair or cut it, and then they leave the state of Ihram.

Tawaf al-Ifadah

After leaving the state of Ihram, the pilgrim returns to Makkah Al-Mukarramah, and performs the circumambulation of Ifaadah, which is one of the pillars of the Hajj. In this ritual, pilgrims make seven tours around the Kaaba. The Kaaba is a cubic building located at the centre of the holy mosque. For Muslims the Kaaba is the olden worship house on earth and was built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ismael. 

طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع طواف الإفاضة
Stamp on the circumambulation of Ifaadah – 1986 – Y&T 653

Walking between Safa and Marwah

After the circumambulation, the pilgrims perform seven rounds of walking between Safa and Marwah, then return to Mina.

طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع السعي بين الصفا و المروة
Walking between Safa and Marwah – 1986 – Y&T 652

Tashriq days:

The days of Tashreeq are three days from the eleventh to the thirteenth of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. On the days of al-Tashreeq, the pilgrims remain in Mina and throw stones at the Jamarat.

طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع أيام التشريق
Stamp about the days of Tashreeq – 1986 – Y&T 655

The farewell tawaf:

After the end of the days of Tashreeq, the pilgrims go to Mecca, where they perform the farewell circumambulation of the Kaaba, before returning to their countries. It is permissible for the pilgrim to perform the farewell circumambulation after stoning the Jamarat on the second day of Tashreeq. The farewell circumambulation is the last ritual of Hajj.

طوابع بريد عن مناسك الحج - طابع طواف الوداع
Stamp about the farewell circumambulation – 1986 – Y&T 654

In addition to these stamps, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a lot of postage stamps on the rituals of Hajj.

Catalogue Reference: Yvert & Tellier 648 to 655

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