Hajj - Essay Example

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Hajj, the 5th pillar of Islam and a fundamental Islamic practice, is the pilgrimage to Mecca and the most imperative manifestation of Islamic faith and unity in the world. It is welcomed as an outstanding spiritual gathering of over four million Muslims from all over the world…
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Download file to see previous pages The Hajj is believed to have originated from the Prophet Abraham, and serves as a penance, intense sanctity, dedication, and ultimate clemency for sins.
According to the Koran, Ibrahim, Arabic for Abraham, was instructed by Allah to take Hagar his wife and their child Ishmael to Arabia from Palestine, to protect them from the jealousy of Ibrahim’s first wife, Sarah (Kamil N.p). Faced with famishment and thirst, Muslims believe that Hagar prayed to Allah in the desert to which Ishmael struck the ground with his foot causing a spring of water to form. The spring is known as the Zamzam well and the water that is believed to have saved Hagar and Ishmael’s life is called the Zamzam water, where after Hajj, the Hajjis take home a permitted amount of the Zamzam.
The Koran later says Ibrahim built a shrine at the well, a stone structure; cube also known as the Kaaba, which is designed to be the gathering site for all believers. Therefore, each year during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month of the Muslim calendar, between the 8th and the 13th dates, believers or pilgrims perform the Hajj (Kamil N.p). One must first enter into a purity state, ihram where men don two white sheets wrapped around the body. After which the pilgrim proceeds to Mecca to await the start of Hajj. On the 7th of Dhul Hajjah, pilgrims are reminded of their duties and the rituals commence on the 8th.
The pilgrim then goes to the valley of Arafat to stand in the open praising Allah. It is believed that the Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon at mount Arafat, and it also symbolizes judgment day, standing in the midday sun of Arabia at the valley. Next is returning to another valley, Mina valley, where pilgrims throw stones at pillars called Jamraat, a symbolic ritual symbolizing the stoning of Satan prior to which one has to collect 49 or 70 small pebbles.
A sacrifice called Qurbani is made in which a lamb or sheep is slaughtered, and the meat is distributed to the poor. That is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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