In his Al-Ahya, Al-Ghazali says: “As to the throwing of the pebbles, it is an expression of the thrower’s intention to obey Allah’s commandment, and a demonstration of his humility and servitude to Him. It signifies compliance with divine commandment without any trace therein of any selfish pleasure, sensuous or intellectual.
“By throwing pebbles, one emulates Abraham when Satan – may Allah curse him – blocked his way at that place in order to cast doubts in his heart or tempt him and divert him away from his Lord, so Allah commanded Abraham to drive the Satan away by throwing pebbles at him.
“Therefore, if you are tempted to think that Satan appeared to Abraham and therefore he threw pebbles at him, but I am not tempted by Satan, so there is no need for me to throw these pebbles – if such a thought comes to you – then you must realize that this thought itself is from Satan, who suggests it to make you think there is no benefit in it, and so weaken your resolve and prevent you from throwing pebbles. Fight against these evil whispers with firmness, resolution and by throwing pebbles despite these suggestions. You must also realize that although you are apparently throwing pebbles at the Jamarahs, in reality you are hurling these in the face of Satan and thereby breaking his backbone. This is not possible except by submitting to the commandments of Allah, in submission to Him, and without seeking gratification of any personal desire.”