The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.
Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals
During the Hajj, male pilgrims are required to dress only in the “ihram”, a garment consisting of two sheets of white unhemmed cloth, with the top draped over the torso and the bottom secured by a white sash; plus a pair of sandals. Women are simply required to maintain their “hijab” – normal modest dress, which does not cover the hands or face.
The Ihram is meant to show equality of all pilgrims in the eyes of God: that there is no difference between a prince and a pauper.
While wearing the Ihram, a pilgrim may not shave, clip their nails, wear perfume, swear or quarrel, have sexual relations, uproot or damage plants, cover the head [for men] or the face and hands [for women], marry, wear shoes over the ankles, perform any dishonest acts or carry weapons.
The pilgrims perform their first Tawaf, which involves all of the pilgrims, walking seven times counter-clockwise around the Ka’ba, kissing the Black Stone (Hajr Al Aswad) on each circuit. If kissing the stone is not possible because of the crowds, they may simply point towards the Stone on each circuit with their right hand. In each complete circuit a pilgrim says “In the name of God, God is Great, God is Great, God is Great and praise be to God” (Bism Allah Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lil Lahi Alhamd).
The Puritans and the Pilgrims both migrated to North America to escape religious persecution due to their views about the Church of England. They created very little literature because writing was viewed as satanic in both cultures. All that was written in Puritan New England were works to glorify God and record journeys for historical purposes. The most famous poets of this period include Anne ...
The place where pilgrims walk is known as “Mutaaf”.
After Tawaf on the same day , the pilgrims perform sa`i, running or walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah. Pilgrims are advised to walk the circuit, though two green pillars mark a short section of the path where they are allowed to run. The safety procedures are in place because previous incidents in this ritual have resulted in stampedes which caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
The next morning, the pilgrims proceed to Mina where they spend the night in prayer.
On the ninth day, they leave Mina to Arafat where they stand, pray and recite the Qur’an, near a hill called Jabal Al Rahmah. This is known as Wuquf, considered the highlight of the Hajj. Pilgrims must spend the afternoon in Arafat until after sunset. No specific rituals or prayers are required during the stay at Arafat. A pilgrim’s Hajj is considered invalid if they do not spend the afternoon on Arafat.
As soon as the sun sets, the pilgrims leave Arafat for Muzdalifah, an area between Arafat and Mina, where they gather pebbles for the next day’s ritual of the stoning of the Devil (Shaitan).
At Mina the pilgrims perform Ramy al-Jamarat, throwing stones to signify their defiance of the Devil. On the first occasion when Ramy al-Jamarat is performed, pilgrims stone the largest pillar known as Jamrat’al’Aqabah. The stoning consists of throwing seven pebbles.
Pilgrims circumambulating the Kaaba during the Hajj
On this or the following day the pilgrims re-visit the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca for another tawaf, to walk around the Kaaba. This is called Tawaf al-Ifadah
Finally, before leaving Mecca, pilgrims perform a farewell tawaf called the Tawaf al-Wada
Muslims go on Hajj to cleanse and purify themselves; not just physically but mentally. Another reason is because its a test Allah has set to show their devotion to Him. Hajj helps bring Muslims closer to Allah and also each other. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam; God ordered it to be done in the Quran. Muslims believe that they gain forgiveness from Allah on Hajj. To go on Hajj is a great ...
Social effect of Hajj
The effect of participating in the Islamic pilgrimage that Muslims’ communities become more open after the Hajj experience. Entitled ‘Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering’
the Hajj experience promotes peaceful coexistence, equality, and harmony. Specifically, the Hajj “increases belief in equality and harmony among ethnic groups and Islamic community and that “Hajjis (those who have performed the Hajj) show increased belief in peace, and in equality and harmony among adherents of different religions