The most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity as every year millions of Muslims from all over the world make the journey to Mecca wherever they live to perform one of the most important pillars of Islam. Hajj means a pilgrimage to Mecca, a city in Saudi Arabia, to do some rituals in five or six days in the last month of the Islamic calendar. Every adult Muslim must make this journey at least once over a lifetime. Hajj is known as the greatest pillar of Islam.
When does Hajj Begin?
Dhu-al- Hijjah is the month of performing the annual event and the greatest pillar of Islam “Hajj”. Muslims perform this rite from the 7th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah and end on the 12th of the same month. Dhu-al-Hijjah takes place 2 months and 10 days after the end of Ramadan. Eid-Ul-Adha corresponds with the height of Hajj.
Why is Mecca very Important to Muslims?
Islam religion started in Mecca and it is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, so it is important for two different and related reasons.
Firstly, it is the place where Prophet Muhammed was born.
Secondly, it is the place where the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation from the Archangel Gabriel (Gerbil in Arabic) that He appeared to Muhammed and instructed Him to recite “In the name of (your) Lord” when Muhammed meditates in mount Hira, near Mecca. This was the first of many revelations that became the basis of the Quran, the Holy Book of Islam.
The sacred building was known as Kaaba which represents the direction of all Muslims pray. Kaaba is found within the Great Mosque of Mecca. This is the holiest place in Islam and for Muslims, as it symbolizes the oneness of God, and the unity of Islam and Muslims.
What Happens During Hajj?
When Muslims arrive at Mecca, they enter into a sacred state to perform the rituals of Hajj in a better way.
Upon Muslim’s arrival at Mecca, they purify themselves. This rite is called Ihram which means a sacred state of purity. Men use two sheets that they are required to wear in a specific way. While women wear their traditional clothes and must cover their hair with Hijab. Their faces and hands appeared. Equality among all Muslims before Allah is appeared by wearing these clothes.
In an anticlockwise direction, Muslims walked around the Kaaba, seven times and this rite is called Tawaf. This rite show symbolizes that all Muslims are equal. This is regarded as the first rite after Ihram.
Then, Muslims run between Safa and Marwah, two hills, seven times. This rite is related to the story of Hager-the Prophet Ibrahim’s wife- and their Son Ismail.
After this, Muslims travel to Arafat to spend their day on a plain in the way between Mecca and Taif. The place where the prophet Muhammad gave His final sermon and his companions prayed for forgiveness and guidance.
Then, pilgrims stop to throw stones where they believe that Satan tempted the Prophet, Abraham. As they stop at three pillars known as Jamarat, and this rite is called the throw of Jamarat in Mina.
Finally, Muslims celebrated with Eid-Ul-Adha, the second holy festival in the year.
Who must perform the rite of Hajj?
All adult Muslims who can travel and do all the rites of Hajj must do it at least once over their life. They must have good health and have not what is to prevent them from doing it.
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