Hajj

Hajj is among the five pillars of Islam. It is the last one. By definition hajj means ‘to go’. So, it is a pilgrimage performed by the Muslims to Makkah during the last month Dhu al-Hijjah of Islamic year. It is expected that every healthy and financially Muslim must perform hajj at least once in their life time if he/she can afford it. Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) was the first prophet to construct the building of bait-ul-muqadaas (kaabah) in Makkah. He along with his son Ishmael built it as the center of worship for mankind. Since then, Muslims all over the world travel thousands of miles to reach the city of Makkah for the hajj and perform the rituals in the same manner as the prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) almost fourteen centuries ago.

During hajj there is no discrimination among the worshippers in any form of race, color, country, language etc.. The concept of one humanity is upheld by Islam is explicit seen during the hajj pilgrimage. People performing hajj wear the same white dress, carry the same prayer on their lips, perform the same act of worships. Hajj brings immense benefits to people like bringing perfection of faith, since it combines in itself all the distinctive qualities of other obligatory acts of prayer, patience, privation of amenities of life, devotion, Zakaat (alms), slaughtering the sacrifice and supplication.

Hajj is comprised of several acts of worship to Allah. It consists of Tawaaf or walking around the Ka’bah seven times, al-Saa’ee or running between the hills of Safaa’ and Marwa seven times, standing at ‘Arafaah, stoning the Jamaraat(stone pillars representing the Shaytaan) at Mina, etc. The pilgrimage ends with a festival, called Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers, the sacrifice of an animal, and the exchange of greetings and gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.

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