CHAPTER 19 HAJJ (THE PILGRIMAGE)
WHAT IS HAJJ
Hajj is a journey to ’Al-Ka‘bah (the sacred House of Allah) in #Makkah (Mecca) with the intention of obeying Allah’s command and performing certain prescribed rites there. (For the details of performing #Hajj, you may consult any #Islamic reference book on the subject).
Performing Hajj is obligatory, once in a lifetime, upon every mature #Muslim provided he is able (physically and financially).
The whole journey of Hajj and its rites conform to a unique form, the principles of #Islam and commemorate Islamic milestones related to #Prophets Ibraheem (#Abraham), Ismael and #Muhammad, ‘Alayhimus-salam.
The rites of Hajj are performed, in general, in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic Year).
On the 9th of Dhul Hijah the culminating rite is performed at Mount ‘#Arafat’ where all pilgrims, sometimes about two million, gather.
Pilgrims’ stand at ‘Arafat to declare their supplications to Allah and their repentance and need of His Mercy and Forgiveness.
This reminds us of the Grand Assembly on the Day of #Judgment.
The next day (the tenth) is the great Eid ’Al-’Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice) when pilgrims offer their sacrifices. After slaughtering their sacrifices, pilgrims go to Makkah and make Tawaf (circumbulate) seven times around Al-Ka‘bah.
These sacrifices were prescribed in commemoration of the great sacrifice of #Prophet Abraham (Alayhis-salam) when he was about to slaughter his only son, Ismael, whom he loved much, when Allah ordered him to do so to test his loyalty and obedience to Him.
After completing the acts of Hajj, you can enjoy visiting The Mosque of Prophet Muhammad – sallal-lahu ‘alayhi wa salam – in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah (the illuminated town) and attend some #Prayers there. The reward for praying at that Mosque is great.
When in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, pay a greeting visit to the Prophet’s grave and to his noble companions’ graves, in the Islamically accepted form.
Also visiting the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is recommendable in Islam.
WHY WE PERFORM HAJJ
Purposes and lessons of performing Hajj are so many. Among them are:
Responding in obedience to Allah’s commands.
To be grateful to Allah for His Grace and Favors on us, such as health, wealth and children.
To glorify Allah by visiting and making Tawaf (gowing around) His Sacred House, Al-Ka‘bah.
(Al-Ka‘bah is the first House built on earth for worshipping Allah, which Ibrahim – The Friend – and his son Isma‘il erected by the instruction of Allah).
To pray at Al-Ka‘ba, which is the Qiblah (direction) to which all Muslims turn their faces in the five daily #prayers.
To visit and stand in devotion to Allah at the Sacred Mountains such as Mount ‘Arafat. There we celebrate the praises of Allah, purify our souls and repent of all sins.
To see the places where Ibrahim, the noble Friend and Prohpet of Allah, and his first son Ismail – Alayhis-salam – stayed and worshiped Allah.
To visit the places where Prophet Muhammad – alayhis-salam – was born, brought up, received the Divine Message, suffered and struggled for spreading the light of Allah.
To meet our Muslim brethren coming from all countries, and to see the actualization of brotherhood, equality, cooperation and love among Muslims regardless of their differences in nationality, color, standard of living, and other worldly matters. To see the universality of Islam.
To practice patience, sacrifice, endurance, simplicity and other spiritual capacities we are in urgent need of.
To come back cleansed of our sins, so as to start a new page in our life, hoping to keep it free from sins until the end of life, so that we may be accepted and well rewarded by Allah in the Hereafter.