COMMON MISTAKES IN IHRAM
1. Sometimes a man in ihram accompanies the women to help them in doing the hajj rituals and sits with them in a covered vehicle during daytime while he is forbidden from shading his head from the sun or the rain. In this case, it is obligatory on him to pay the penalty in form of sacrificing the sheep.
2. Some male pilgrims in the state of ihram think that they are allowed to shade themselves from the sun without any excuse as long as they pay the penalty. This is incorrect because paying the penalty does not make the shading of oneself from the sun permissible.
3. Similarly, some male pilgrims think that once they have shaded themselves from the sun once and the penalty has become due on them, then they are allowed to repeatedly travel in covered vehicles without any excuse. This is incorrect since the prohibition of shading oneself from the sun applies on the person in ihram unless he is compelled by necessity – no matter whether or not a penalty is applicable on him.
4. Lying, cursing and boasting about oneself (based on wealth, position or genealogy in such a way that a believer is insulted) is always forbidden. Its prohibition, however, is intensified in the state of ihram. And its penalty is seeking forgiveness from Allah; nonetheless, the penalty of sacrificing a cow is required based on precaution.
5. Sometimes a pilgrim in ihram passes by a place with a foul smell and he instinctively closes his nose. This is forbidden for him; however, he is allowed to move away hastily from that place.
6. A pilgrim sometimes swears in the name of Almighty Allah falsely to prove or disprove something. If he does that, then he has to pay a penalty by sacrificing a sheep. And if he swears truthfully three times, even then he has to pay a similar penalty.
7. People regularly clip the nail of their hands and feet. This is a good thing but not for a pilgrim who is in the state of ihram.
8. It is permissible to use the land and cell telephone in the state of ihram. However, some male pilgrims do not realize that by placing the phone on their ears, they are covering the ear and, based on precaution, that is not permissible in the state of the ihram. This problem can be avoided by keeping the phone little be away from the ear so as not to cover it.
9. Some male pilgrims in the state of ihram wear sleepers that only expose their toes. However, based on precaution, this is not permissible; it is not sufficient that only the toes are exposed, besides the toes, a part of the upper feet must also be exposed.
10. Some pilgrims kill the insects or the bedbugs or flies by using insecticides or other sprays. This is a mistake since he is not allowed to kill any insect except if they are harmful and there is no other way of getting rid of them.
COMMON MISTAKES IN TAWAF
1. Sometimes the pilgrim, while doing the tawaf, extends his hand towards the Ka‘bah to touch the corners or other parts of the Ka‘bah. Sometimes he also touches the wall of the Hijr Isma‘il. Based on recommended precaution, this is against the rules of tawaf.
2. Sometimes the pilgrim shortens the tawaf by going through the passage between the Ka‘bah and the Hijr Isma‘il. This is wrong since he invalidates that particular round of the tawaf and it is necessary for him to repeat that one round – this is the ruling even if he had shortened it out of ignorance or forgetfulness.
3. Sometimes the pilgrim while doing the tawaf just entertains a doubt about correctness of the round that he is doing that moment –it is just a doubt and he is not sure of having committed a mistake– and so he ignores that round and starts it again. This invalidates the tawaf, based on precaution, except when it is done out of ignorance.
4. After having completed the seven rounds of the tawaf, sometimes the pilgrim adds one or more rounds on basis of precaution. This is incorrect and based on precaution it renders the entire tawaf invalid except if he was ignorant of this ruling.
Of course, he can cancel his one or more rounds and start the tawaf anew by leaving the tawaf area and doing something else which will indicate that he has cancelled his tawaf, and then he can start the new tawaf.
The above is only when the pilgrim has not yet completed his fourth round of tawaf. After the completion of fourth round, he can just interrupt his tawaf for ten minutes –a gap that will automatically invalidate the tawaf– and then restart his tawaf from the beginning.
5. Some pilgrims do not realize that doing tawaf from the second floor of the Sacred Mosque is not valid because the second floor is higher than the height of the Ka‘bah.
6. Sometimes jama‘at prayers is held in the Sacred Mosque while the pilgrim is doing his tawaf for ‘umrah, and that forces him to interrupt his tawaf and then he joins in the jama‘at. After the prayers, he starts the tawaf from the very beginning thinking that the prayer between the rounds of tawaf invalidated his tawaf. This is an incorrect notion because the gap in between the rounds of tawaf for sake of joining the jama‘at does not harm the validity of the tawaf. In such a case, he should continue his tawaf from wherever he had stopped for the jama‘at and there is no need for starting it from the beginning.
7. In the same case as above, if the pilgrim did not participate in the jama‘at prayer for whatever reason and stood on the side for ten minutes or more waiting for the jama‘at to end to continue his tawaf – in this case the gap of ten minutes just standing at the side cancels the continuity which an essential condition for validity of the tawaf. In this case, he has to start his tawaf from the very beginning.
8. In a case similar to the two previous situations, sometimes the jama‘at prayer is held between the ending of the tawaf and the beginning of the salat of tawaf, and the pilgrim in this case participates in the jama‘at prayer to do his daily prayer. However, he also thinks that the gap between the tawaf and the salat of tawaf has invalidated his tawaf and so he does the tawaf all over again. This is a wrong understanding. The pilgrim in this case has to proceed with saying the salat of tawaf and not to redo the entire tawaf.
If the pilgrim in a similar case decides not to participate in the jama‘at prayer but waits until it has ended—even then his tawaf is valid and he can proceed to do the salat of tawaf provided the waiting time was not more than normal duration of the jama‘at prayer. But if the waiting time was more than normal, then, based on precaution, he has to do the tawaf all over again.
9. Sometimes, after completing the tawaf, the pilgrim finds that there is a barrier (e.g. a transparent bandage) on his body which must have prevented water from reaching the skin in wudhu that he had done before tawaf. Since he found the barrier on himself after the fact, he thinks that there is no need to repeat the wudhu or the tawaf. But this is incorrect; it is obligatory on him to repeat the wudhu as well as the tawaf since purity is one of the essential conditions of tawaf as mentioned earlier.
10. Sometime the pilgrim realizes that his tawaf was invalid after he had done the taqsir (which is the last of rituals of ‘umrah) and after he had changed into his normal clothes. As soon as he realizes that, he must remove his sewn clothes immediately and refrain from whatever was forbidden in the state of ihram. Then he should do the tawaf, the salat of tawaf, sa‘i and then taqsir. However, he does not have to go back to the miqat to renew his ihram.
11. Pushing, shoving and hurting other pilgrims in order to get closer to kiss the Black Stone is not at all appropriate for the guests of the Merciful Lord or even for the guests of others in their presence. The validity of the tawaf or hajj does not depend on kissing the Black Stone.
12. Sometimes the pilgrim entertains doubt in the number of rounds in a sunnat tawaf, and then he thinks that doubt in a sunnat tawaf invalidates his tawaf so he starts his tawaf anew. This is incorrect because he can always resolve the doubt by accepting the lesser number and then proceed with the rest of the rounds of tawaf.
COMMON MISTAKES IN SALAT OF TAWAF
1. After doing the tawaf, some pilgrims forget to do the salat of tawaf and proceed directly to do the sa‘i between Safa and Marwah – they remember that while only during the sa‘i. Then he should interrupt his sa‘i and go to say salat of tawaf behind the Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.) and then return back to sa‘i and continue from where he left.
2. Some pilgrims think that doing the salat of tawaf “behind the Maqam Ibrahim” means that doing it at a place closest to the Maqam. However, that is not the correct understanding; rather it is sufficient to say the salat at any place which is normally considered to be “behind the Maqam”.
3. Some pilgrims think that doing the salat of tawaf behind the Maqam Ibrahim is not permissible if it creates a barrier for those who are doing the tawaf. This is not correct since one is allowed to do the salat behind the Maqam even if becomes like a barrier for those who doing the tawaf in that area.
4. Many times, a male pilgrim does his salat of tawaf besides a female pilgrim or behind her because of the crowded area – and he thinks that this invalidates his salat. This is incorrect since doing the salat besides a lady or behind her is permissible in the Sacred Mosque because of excessive crowd.
COMMON MISTAKES IN SA‘I
1. Some pilgrims think that going from Safa to Marwah and then returning to Safa is counted as one round of the sa‘i. The correct way is to count the going towards Marwah as the 1st round and the return to Safa as the 2nd round.
If someone counts it in the wrong way (and ended up doing 14 rounds instead of 7) out of ignorance or he relied on someone who is known to be familiar with rulings of pilgrimage, then there is nothing on him. But if he does this without a good excuse, then he must repeat the entire sa‘i.
2. It happens sometimes that the pilgrim is going towards Safa and then turns his back towards it because of crowd or because he saw a friend, etc. This is incorrect; and if this happens, then he has to return back to the place where the violation took place and restart the sa‘i from that point onwards in the right direction because one of the conditions of validity of the sa‘i is that the pilgrim should face Marwah while walking towards it and face Safa while walking towards it.
3. A person who habitually entertains doubt does that in sa‘i also and ends up repeating it. The ruling for such a person is that he should ignore his doubts just as he is required to ignore them while doing the prayers. The pilgrim is allowed to use a counter to help him in keeping track of his number of rounds or rely on a companion.
4. Sometimes a pilgrim might interrupt his sa‘i to drink water or something similar – and that does not harm the sa‘i provided the following two conditions are fulfilled:
(a) He is able to continue his sa‘i exactly from where he left without missing or adding any part. He can ensure that by going a few step back from where he stopped and then do the niyyat that he is continuing from the exactly place where he stopped.
(b) His interruption should not harm the continuity of the rounds of sa‘i. However, if the interruption amounts to discontinuity of the sa‘i, then, based on precaution, he should complete the sa‘i at hand and then repeat it entirely again.
5. A pilgrim’s sa‘i is interrupted and becomes invalid, then he starts the new sa‘i immediately. This is not correct. He should leave some time gap in between the invalid sa‘i and the new one.
6. Some pilgrims choose to do the sa‘i sitting on the wheelchair which is pushed by someone else. This is not permissible except for those who cannot do sa‘i by themselves.
However, there would be no problem in doing sa‘i on a wheelchair or something similar which is being pushed by the person himself in the sense that he can stop it by himself rather than ask the other person to stop or push it.
7. Some people engage in worldly conversation with their fellow pilgrims during the sa‘i. Although this does not harm the sa‘i, it is better in such a place and such a time to recite the zikr of Almighty Allah, the du‘as which that have been recommended by the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and the salawat on Muhammad and Al-i Muhammad.
8. While doing the sa‘i, some pilgrims run between Safa and Marwah in such a way that it disturbs the fellow pilgrims. One should know that it is recommended to walk calmly in the sa‘i, and that only between the two green lights are the men urged to walk fast.
COMMON MISTAKES IN TAQSIR
1. The obligatory act to free oneself from the restrictions of ihram of ‘umrah is the taqsir. So if someone knowingly shaves his head instead of the taqsir (which is just cutting a little from the hair), then he has committed a sin and has to pay the penalty in form of sacrificing a sheep.
2. Some people do the taqsir by just clipping their nail. Based on obligatory precaution, that is not sufficient. So if one wants to clip his nail, then he must do so after cutting a little from the hair.
3. Instead of doing the taqsir by himself, the pilgrim can ask someone else (who is no longer in the state of ihram) to cut a little of the hair from his head for the taqsir. This is okay and correct.
However, it will be wrong to ask someone who is still in the state of ihram to do the taqsir for someone else. (A person gets out of the state of ihram only after he has done his own taqsir even if he still is wearing the ihram.) This is serious because of its implications: if a person who is still in the state of ihram (i.e., has not yet done his own taqsir) does the taqsir for someone else, then he has violated the rules of ihram in which he can’t cut the hair or clip the nail of himself or someone else. This violation makes his ‘umrah at-tamattu‘ invalid, his hajj become hajj al-ifrad, and he has to do ‘umrah mufradah.
4. Some pilgrims, especially those who don’t have scissors with themselves, think that it is sufficient to pull some hair from their head or beard instead of cutting them. This is incorrect since the obligatory taqsir only happens by cutting and not by other means of getting rid of the hair.
5. A pilgrim, out of ignorance or forgetfulness, forgets to do the taqsir and removes the ihram. Then he remembers that he has not done the taqsir and so puts on the ihram again in order to do the taqsir. This is not required. It is not necessary that the taqsir be done while the pilgrim has the ihram on himself. Of course, he has to refrain from wearing things which are forbidden in ihram until has do the taqsir.
COMMON MISTAKES IN IHRAM FOR HAJJ
1. It is permissible to put on the ihram in any part of Mecca including the newly developed neighbourhoods except what falls outside the boundary of haram (the sacred territory) from the Masjid at-Tan‘im. Of course, it is a better precaution to put on the ihram in the old sectors of Mecca of the Prophet’s days.
Some pilgrims think that putting on the ihram in the old sectors of Mecca is mandatory and, therefore, they put themselves in undue inconvenience by leaving their residents (for example, from the ‘Aziziyya quarter) and going to the old quarters of the city for putting on the ihram. They also put themselves in religious problems, for example, by traveling in a covered vehicle during the daytime in the state of ihram which is forbidden for them as mentioned earlier.
2. Some people put on the ihram for hajj at-tamattu‘ on the morning of the Day of ‘Arafah (9th of Dhul Hijja) from Sacred Mosque since the crowd is less about the Ka‘bah – they do so considering it a good opportunity to do a sunnat tawaf after putting on the ihram. This is, however, incorrect on basis of precaution. He may do the tawaf first and then put on the ihram for hajj. However, if he made a mistake and did the tawaf after the ihram, then based on recommended precaution, he should renew his talbiyya.
3. Some pilgrims forget to say the talbiyya when they do the niyyat for the ihram, and they don’t remember it until they reach ‘Arafat and then they say the talbiyya. This is incorrect since it is obligatory upon him, if possible, to return to Mecca and redo his ihram. And if he cannot return back to Mecca for this, then he can redo his ihram in ‘Arafat itself.
COMMON MISTAKES WHILE STAYING IN ‘ARAFAT
1. Some hajj caravans set up their camps outside the limits of ‘Arafat, and they stay there till the sunset and then move on to Mazdalifah without having actually stayed in ‘Arafat. This is obviously not right; therefore, the pilgrims must ask their caravan organizers and seek assurance from them that they are within the borders of ‘Arafat and not outside it.
2. Some pilgrims leave the plain of ‘Arafat before the sunset in order to escape the crowd thinking that this would be better and easy for them. This is, however, not correct at all. If such a pilgrim does not return back to ‘Arafat, then he has to pay a penalty by sacrificing a sheep in Mina on the 10th of Dhul Hijja.
3. Some pilgrims do the intention of staying in ‘Arafat and then they spend the whole day sleeping till the sunset. Although this is technically okay and there is no penalty on him, he has surely made a big mistake by missing out on the most important opportunity of seeking Allah’s blessings. The Day of ‘Arafah is a great day which should be dedicated by the pilgrim for du‘as and prayers; and it is expected of the pilgrim that he should not miss its minutes let alone its hours! It is narrated that Imam Zaynul ‘Abidin (a.s.) heard someone on the Day of ‘Arafah begging from the people. He said, “Woe upon you! You are asking from other than Allah on such a day while it is a day in which even the embryos in wombs are covered by the grace of Almighty Allah and achieve good fortune.”
COMMON MISTAKES WHILE STAYING IN MUZDALIFA
1. Some pilgrims leave ‘Arafat for Muzdalifa and when they reach a place, they inquire about it and are told that this is Muzdalifa and so they stay there. However, the next day, they find out that they were mistaken and that they were not in Muzdalifa. What happens to them?
If they are able to fulfill the requirement of staying Muzdalifa even if by staying there for a little while between the sunrise and the mid-day time of the day of ‘Idd, then their hajj is valid. But if they are not able to do even that much, then their hajj become invalid and changes into ‘umrah mufradah. In order to avoid such a serious mistake, the pilgrim must ensure that they are in Muzdalifa.
2. Some pilgrims leave Muzdalifa before the dawn break. This is obviously incorrect. Although his hajj will not become invalid, but if he does not return back to Muzdalifa, then he has to pay a penalty by sacrificing a sheep in Mina – unless, of course, he was ignorant of the ruling of staying till sunrise.
3. If the pilgrim leaves Muzdalifa before the sunrise, that is also incorrect. Of course, in this case, there is no penalty on him.
4. The present signs for limits of Muzdalifa are valid if they are based on ancient indications and have passed on from one generation to another. However, if there is doubt in validity of these signposts, then they cannot be relied upon; rather, the pilgrim has to ensure the limits of Muzdalifa by other means.
5. Some pilgrims think that it is obligatory to go from ‘Arafat to Muzdalifa directly. This is not correct; rather, one is allowed to leave ‘Arafat and go to another place like Mecca, rest there for a while and then return to Muzdalifa before the dawn break so that he can remain there till the sunrise.
6. The roads from ‘Arafat to Muzdalifa are extremely crowded with buses and cars; and sometimes the vehicles enter the boundary of Muzdalifa but the pilgrims are not allowed to get down until they reach to their site. Some pilgrims think that they cannot do the niyyat of staying in Muzdalifa except after getting down from the car or the bus. This is a wrong notion; they are allowed to do the niyyat even while the vehicle is on motion as long as they are inside the boundary of Muzdalifa.
COMMON MISTAKES IN STONING
1. Some pilgrims stone the pillar with pieces of wood and shoes or sandals. It does not behoove a guest of the Merciful Lord to do such things.
2. Some pilgrims pick big and rough pebbles for stoning while it is recommended that the pebbles should be small and soft.
3. While stoning the pillar, some pilgrims miss it and instead hit a fellow pilgrim resulting in bruising or bleeding. Therefore, a pilgrim should take extreme caution in stoning so that he does not hurt a fellow pilgrim. If he does this knowingly, then he is liable for paying indemnity.
COMMON MISTAKES IN MAKING THE SACRIFICE
1. Some pilgrims appoint others as their agents to do the sacrifice on their behalf, and then they themselves proceed to do the other rituals while the agents go for doing the sacrifices. However, there is a problem since there is no coordination between the pilgrim and his agent: the pilgrim ends up doing the taqsir or halq and then takes off the ihram assuming that his agent has done the sacrifice, and later on finds out that the agent has not yet done the sacrifice. He should immediately remove the sewn clothes and refrain from the things forbidden in the state of ihram until the agent has done the sacrifice. After the sacrifice has been done in this case, then he can relieve himself from the restrictions of the ihram, and there is no need for him to repeat the taqsir.
2. It is important that the pilgrim should appoint someone as his agent who is experienced in this matter since the conditions required in the sacrificial animals cannot be ascertained except by those who are experts who know its requirements like the age of the animal, etc. So if the sacrifice is done and the pilgrim proceeds to the following rituals and later on finds out that the sacrificial animal was underage––if he finds out before the 13th of Dhul Hijja, then he must redo the sacrifice and then there is no penalty on him. One should know that those who do the slaughtering are many and they do not neglect in helping those who need their help.
COMMON MISTAKES IN DOING HALQ OR TAQSIR
1. Sometimes a pilgrim goes ahead and does the halq or taqsir for another pilgrim before doing his own halq or taqsir. This is not correct since the pilgrim is not allowed to shave or cut hair of anyone. Even though there is no penalty on him but the person whose halq or taqsir was done has to redo it.
2. Sometimes a pilgrim does the halq or taqsir outside the boundaries of Mina out of ignorance or forgetfulness and does not realize his mistake unless returning back to his hometown. In this case, if it is possible for him to send his hair to be placed in Mina, then he should do that; if that is not possible, then there is nothing on him.
COMMON MISTAKES IN TAWAFUN NISA’ & ITS SALAT
1. Sometime jama‘at prayers is held in the Sacred Mosque while the pilgrim is doing his tawafun nisa’, and that forces him to interrupt his tawaf and then he joins in the jama‘at. After the prayers, he starts the tawaf from the very beginning thinking that the prayer between the rounds of tawaf invalidated his tawaf. This is an incorrect notion because the gap in between the rounds of tawaf for sake of joining the jama‘at does not harm the validity of the tawaf. In such a case, he should continue his tawaf from wherever he had stopped for the jama‘at and there is no need for starting it from the beginning.
In the same case as above, if the pilgrim did not participate in the jama‘at prayer for whatever reason and stood on the side for ten minutes or more waiting for the jama‘at to end to continue his tawafun nisa’ – in this case the gap of ten minutes just standing at the side cancels the continuity which is an essential condition for validity of the tawaf. In this case, he has to start his tawafun nisa’ from the very beginning.
2. In a case similar to the two previous situations, sometimes the jama‘at prayer is held when the pilgrim has ended the tawafun nisa’ but has not yet started the salat of tawafun nisa’, and the pilgrim in this case participates in the jama‘at prayer to do his daily prayer. However, he also thinks that the gap between the tawafun nisa’ and the salat of tawafun nisa’ has invalidated his tawaf and so he does the tawaf all over again. This is a wrong understanding. The pilgrim in this case has to proceed with saying the salat of tawafun nisa’ and not to redo the entire tawaf.
If the pilgrim in a similar case decides not to participate in the jama‘at prayer but waits until it has ended—even then his tawafun nisa’ is valid and he can proceed to do the salat of tawafun nisa’ provided the waiting time was not more than normal during the jama‘at prayer. But if the waiting time was more than normal, then, based on precaution, he has to do the tawafun nisa’ all over again.
3. Some elderly pilgrims, men as well as women, neglect the tawafun nisa’ thinking that they have already passed the age where they would not need to establish conjugal relations with their spouses. This is an incorrect thought since tawafun nisa’ is obligatory upon all pilgrims even if they do not or cannot establish conjugal relations with their spouses.
4. Some pilgrims do the tawafun nisa’ soon after the tawaf of hajj and before doing the sa‘i. This is incorrect. However, if someone commits this mistake out of ignorance, then there is no need for him to repeat the tawafun nisa’ after doing the sa‘i.
5. Some Shi‘a pilgrims travel with caravans run by non-Shi‘a Muslims who do not believe in obligation of tawafun nisa’ and, therefore, they neglect to do that tawaf out of ignorance. The prohibition of conjugal relations will not be lifted from them until they return back to Mecca and do the tawafun nisa’ themselves. If returning to Mecca is extremely difficult for them, then they can appoint someone else to do the tawafun nisa’ on their behalf.
COMMON MISTAKES IN MABIT IN MINA
1. On morning of the 12th of Dhul Hijja, a pilgrim does the stoning of the three pillars and then intends to go to Mecca and return back to Mina by mid-day so that he can finally depart from Mina in the afternoon with other pilgrims. Such a pilgrim should not make the mistake of taking all his possessions with himself since it is not permissible, based on precaution, to finally depart from Mina in the morning except if he leaves something from his belongings back in Mina to which he will return back.
2. On morning of the 12th of Dhul Hijja, a pilgrim does the stoning of the three pillars and then intends to go to Mecca for some work and return back to Mina by mid-day so that he can finally depart from Mina in the afternoon with other pilgrims. Such a pilgrim should realize that it is not obligatory upon him to return before midday since he is allowed to return even in the afternoon. The main thing worth considering is that he cannot finally depart from Mina before the midday; so he may return in the afternoon to Mina in order to finally depart from Mina before sunset of the same day or on the 13th of Dhul Hijja.
3. A pilgrim intends to spend the first half of the night in Mina but he is delayed from reaching Mina at sunset let us say by a few minutes. He assumes that this little delay in reaching Mina does not harm his requirement for mabit. This is a wrong assumption. He is now required to stay for the entire second half of the night in order to fulfillment the mabit at Mina.
4. Sometimes the pilgrims’ tents are erected in areas which are neither inside Mina nor in Wadi Muhassar; they are erected in Wadi an-Nar. Pilgrims end up staying there without inquiring about their location whether or not it is within Mina. Some tents are erected on the hills surrounding Mina and the pilgrims stay there thinking that it is part of Mina. Some even stay outside Mina with excuse that the rental charges for tents within Mina are very high.
Staying in such places is incorrect and does not fulfill the requirement of mabit in Mina, and the penalty for staying outside Mina is in form of sacrificing a sheep for each of the two or three nights.
COMMON MISTAKES IN STONING THE PILLARS
1. I have already mentioned that the elderly, sick, women, and weak ones who cannot stone the ‘Uqbah Pillar because of over-crowding on the ‘Idd Day are allowed to stone on the eve of ‘Idd instead of the day.
These same people or those who are their care-takers assume that they can also do the same for the stoning required on 11th and 12th of Dhul Hijja, and so they do the stoning in the eve of 11th and 12th. This is incorrect. If they cannot do the stoning themselves at the daytime on the 11th and 12th, then they should appoint someone else to do the stoning on their behalf.
2. The crowd overflows at the pillars especially after the midday time. Therefore, the respected pilgrims, especially those who are elderly, weak, sick and women are advised not to go for stoning at times when the crowd is at the maximum; they should wait for the time when the crowd is thinnest like the early mornings. If they are able to do the stoning themselves, well and good. However, if they are fear that they will be hurt or face unbearable difficulty, then they are allowed to appoint someone else to do the stoning on their behalf. Nonetheless, if it becomes possible for them to do the stoning by themselves before the sunset, then they must do the stoning themselves.