۲۹ مهر ۱۴۰۰ |۱۴ ربیع‌الاول ۱۴۴۳ | Oct 21, 2021
News Code: 358719
5 August 2019 - 20:05
The Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj explained

The five-day pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for all Muslims who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.

Hawzah News Agency - Nearly 2 million Muslim pilgrims are gathering in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.

The five-day pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for all Muslims who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.

What is the religious and political significance of this annual pilgrimage?

The fifth pillar

Millions of Muslims come from countries as diverse as Indonesia, Russia, India, Cuba, Fiji, the United States and Nigeria – all dressed in plain white garments.

Men wear seamless, unstitched clothing, and women, white dresses with headscarves. The idea is to dress plainly so as to mask any differences in wealth and status.

The pilgrimage is considered to be the fifth pillar of Islamic practice. The other four are the profession of faith, five daily prayers, charity and the fast of Ramadan.

The first day of the Hajj

The rites of the Hajj are believed to retrace events from the lives of prominent prophets such as Ibrahim and Ismail.

Pilgrims start by circling the “Holy Kaaba,” the black, cube-shaped house of God, at the center of the most sacred mosque in Mecca, seven times. The Kaaba occupies a central place in the lives of Muslims. Muslims, all over the world, are expected to turn toward the Kaaba when performing their daily prayers.

The Quran tells the story of Ibrahim, who when commanded by God, agreed to sacrifice his son, Ismail. Muslims believe the Kaaba holds the black stone upon which Ibrahim was to carry out his oath.

Pilgrims are bound by specific rules regarding going around the Kaaba. They may kiss, touch or approach the Kaaba during the pilgrimage as a sign of their devotion.

In performing these rituals, they join a long line of pilgrims to Mecca – including Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), who circled the Kaaba.

Pilgrims then proceed to a ritual walk – about 100 meters from the Kaaba – to hills known as “Safa” and “Marwah.” Here they re-create another significant event recorded in the Quran.

The story goes that Ibrahim was granted a son by God through his Egyptian slave girl Hajar. After the birth of Ismail, God instructed Ibrahim to take Hajar and her newborn son out into the desert and leave them there. Ibrahim left them near the present-day location of the Kaaba. Ismail cried out with thirst and Hajar ran between two hills, looking for water until she turned to God for help.

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