Throwing the pebbles is an expression of the pilgrim’s intention to obey Allah’s commandment, and a demonstration of his humility and servitude to Him. It signifies compliance with the divine commandment without any trace therein of any selfish pleasure; sensuous or intellectual. The total number of pebbles to be thrown is either seventy or forty-nine. According to Ahmad throwing five pebbles is sufficient.
Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states in his well-known book Fiqh As-Sunnah, states that: “The total number of pebbles to be thrown is either seventy or forty nine. Seven of these are to be thrown at the first Jamrat Al-`Aqabah on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah; twenty-one on the 11th day, seven at each of the three jamrats; and likewise, twenty-one on the 12th day, throwing seven at each of the three places. The last twenty-one pebbles are to be thrown–seven at each of the jamrats on the thirteenth day of Dhul-Hijjah. The total number of pebbles comes to seventy. If a pilgrim throws the pebbles for only three days (the 10th, 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah), and does not throw any on the 13th day, he may do so without any harm. In such a case the total number will be forty-nine pebbles.
According to Imam Ahmad, throwing five pebbles is sufficient. `Ata’ says that throwing five pebbles will complete his Hajj rites. Mujahid said, “If a pilgrim throws six pebbles he may do so without incurring any penalty.” Sa`id Ibn Malik reported: “We returned with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) after Hajj. Some of us said they had thrown six and others said they had thrown seven pebbles. But none of us found fault with others for doing so.”