Importance of Haj to Muslims
Importance of Haj to Muslims : Haj is the annual pilgrimage that Muslim make from all across the world to the holy city of Mecca. Last year it was estimated that 2 millions Muslims made their way there.
This year the numbers are expected to be higher.
Adult Muslims are expected to perform the Haj at least once in their life, if they have the physical and financially ability to do so. if not then they are not required to.
Mecca is the city where Muslim believe Abraham along his son Ishmael lived and build the Kaaba
What is Haj all about ? Haj literally means “to travel to a destination” When Muslims make the Haj, they do so with intentions to please TheGod of all creations.
Muslims believe this was the first house of worship built in Arabia and they believe the Kaaba was built by the prophets Abraham and his elder son Ishmael ( pbut)
The Quran Mentioning of Pilgrimage
Muslims believe Abraham performed Haj to Kaaba along with his son did as well, but after them slowly people started following their own inventions. 2000 years the Kaaba became a home to over 360 various gods invented by Arab tribes and others.
“And remember when We showed Abraham the site of the House : Associate not anything in worship with Me and purify My House for those who circumambulate it and those who stand up for prayer and those who bow down and make prostration .” (Quran 22:26)
Mecca though remained for people always as a religious city of God, even when the pagans had control over it but the Arabs greatly distorted the message that Abraham brought.
Mohammad was able to clense it from all paganism, idol associations and unified the Arab tribes to declare there is no god but theGod. One God, Imageless, with out partners, with out any weakness, sustainer of all creation, Alone in Authority.
Steps to Preform Haj
Ihram – This is the state where a Muslim starts preparing their mind, body and soul to make the journey to perform the haj. Men have a dress code, as well women.
Men get un-stitched white garment.
Women get white stitched cloth and a headscarf.
*note : women are forbidden to wear burqa or niqqab.
Tawaf – which means to cicrumambulate around the Kaaba. upon arrival that is the first thing to do is circle Kaaba 7 times which occurs thru out the Haj.
Sa’ey – which is when Muslims rush between the hills of Safa and Marwa for seven times as well.
Departure to Mina
In Mina pilgrims go to tents to perform prayers and recitation of the quran. pilgrims are required to remain there until the sunrise of next day, then it’s to Arafat
Mount Arafat – called the most important day of Haj, Muslims get to climb it and dwell on it reciting the Quran, repenting and praying to TheGod. Upon sunset the pilgrims move to muzdalifah.
Muzdalifah – south east of mina people get together in their tents and perform the maghrib and Isha prayers.
Ramy Al jamarat – This is where Muslims basically stone the devil.
The devil symbol portrayed as the obelisk
Eid Al-Adha : A celebration for three days, stoning the devil for those performing pilgrimage.
Muslims who are not in haj : They perform a feast of sacrifice which an animal is used to feed the poor/needy in the family/community.
Haj is one of the 5th Pillar of Islam: Many people are not aware of the five pillars of Islam and here they are.
- Shahadah: professing faith by reciting “There is no god but TheGod, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God”
- Salah: five daily prayers made in the direction of Makkah
- Zakat: paying a charitable tax to help those in need
- Sawm: fasting and abstaining from sensual pleasures during Ramadan
- Hajj: making a pilgrimage to Makkah once in their lifetime
The yearly Piligrimage is an important reminder : On Haj all Muslims are equal : The rich and poor look the same, pray the same, no one above the other.
To humble oneself in presence of greater purpose to existence.
Peace be upon you and all the Messengers/Prophets of TheGod.
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