Jump to content
Islamic Forum
Zeinab

Introduction To Hajj

Recommended Posts

Introduction to Hajj

 

By AElfwine Mischler*

 

January 17, 2005

 

The fifth Pillar of Islam is the pilgrimage to Makkah and its surroundings known as Hajj. All Muslims are obligated to make Hajj once in their lifetimes if they can afford it and are otherwise able to do so.

 

The Hajj is made from the eighth to the twelfth of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah. In 2005, this corresponds to January 18-22.

 

Muslims travel from all over the world to perform Hajj. The rituals are themselves simple, but the amount of walking necessary, the hot climate, and the crowds make the Hajj a rigorous exercise in faith. Still, between 2 and 3 million people perform Hajj every year, and millions more yearn to do so.

 

To perform the Hajj, pilgrims enter a state of consecration known as ihram. In this state they may not clip their nails, cut or pluck any hair, or have any sort of sexual contact. Male pilgrims wear special clothes consisting of two seamless strips of cloth, one covering the back and shoulders, the other covering from the waist to the knees. Female pilgrims can wear ordinary clothing that covers everything but the face and hands.

 

The rituals of Hajj date back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and commemorate his willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isma`il (Ishmael). During the days of Hajj, the pilgrims attempt to forget all but their most basic worldly needs and to focus their attention and devotion on Allah Alone.

 

Upon arriving in Makkah, the pilgrims first circumambulate the Ka`bah seven times in a ritual known as Tawaf. This ritual reminds the pilgrims that Allah (God) should be the focus and center of their lives.

 

The next ritual is Sa`i, which is walking back and forth seven times between the hillocks named Safa and Marwah. This commemorates the search for water made by Hajar (Hagar) when Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) left her and her infant son Isma`il (peace be upon him) in the desert.

 

On Dhul-Hijjah 8, pilgrims head to Mina, where they spend the day supplicating Allah. Early the next morning they go to `Arafah (or `Arafat). They spend the day supplicating Allah and begging for His forgiveness. Many stand on the Mount of Mercy to supplicate, though this is not necessary. When the sun sets on the Day of `Arafah, the pilgrims sins are forgiven.

 

After sunset the pilgrims move on to Muzdalifah, where they spend the night and collect pebbles to be used in the next ritual.

 

The next morning, Dhul-Hijjah 10, is the Day of Sacrifice. Most pilgrims slaughter a sheep or goat, and the meat is distributed to the poor. (Muslims who are not on Hajj also slaughter that day, which is known as `Eid Al-Adha.) The ritual commemorates Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Isma`il (peace be upon them both) and Allah's provision of a ram as a substitute sacrifice.

 

But before slaughtering, the pilgrims go to throw pebbles at the stone pillars known as Al-Jamarat. This ritual commemorates Ibrahim's stoning of Satan when the latter tried to tempt him to disobey Allah.

 

After this, the pilgrims cut or shave their hair (women cut off only a small amount) and return to Makkah to repeat Tawaf and Sa`i. They sleep at Mina and repeat the stoning of the pillars on the next two days. A final Tawaf before leaving Makkah completes the Hajj.

 

Many pilgrims also go to Madinah before or after Hajj in order to pray in the Prophet's Masjid and visit his grave, although this visit to Madinah is not necessary.

 

The above is only a summary. There is some variation in the performance of Hajj, depending on whether the individual pilgrim chooses to also perform `Umrah (often known as the lesser pilgrimage) beforehand and whether this will be while in one prolonged state of ihram or two separate ones for `Umrah and Hajj.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

* Ælfwine Mischler is an American convert to Islam. She has an M.A. in Linguistics and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. She is a writer and is currently the head of the Copyediting Unit in IslamOnline.com.

Edited by Zeinab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PropellerAds

asSalaamu'alaykum. I need to get more info about the slaughtering. Is it had been dicussed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How can we have in other section: The Sacrifice: Rulings And Conditions

 

 

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?showtopic=36790.html&"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?showtopic=36790.html&[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:sl:

 

There is no problem bro just this section of the forum was made for a specific reason and some topics may exist in another parts of the forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no problem ... ... a specific reason and some topics may exist in ...

:sl:

 

jazakumullahu khoyron katsiro.

 

 

And well, we want to have everyone read also the other toqic. (oops, i forget to bring for adding the topic title here. ma'af/sorry.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×