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Simple Hajj guide in Makkah, Saudi Arabia for Muslims
Hajj in Makkah
Hajj is the annual pilgrimage Muslims undertake yearly to Makkah, the holiest site of Islam. It is a must for every Muslim who is not restricted by health or physical disabilities to carry out.
It is the fifth pillar of Islam and an indication of one’s total submission to the will of Allah.
The first Islamic Hajj performed in Makkah was in the year 631 BCE. It was the first and only Hajj performed by Prophet Muhammad. It was during this inaugural Hajj that the Kaaba was rid of all the idols and the building was dedicated to the worship of Allah.
The concept of Hajj goes as far back as the times of Ibrahim’s (Abraham). It is said that after Ibrahim received orders from the Almighty asking him to leave his wife, Hajir and his son, Ismail behind in he desert, the little boy became very thirsty.
In her desperation to quench his thirst, Hajir ran seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa.
An angel then came down and scratched a spot on the ground from which water gushed out instantly.
This spot has a well known as Well of Zamzam and as part of the pilgrimage ceremony, pilgrims visit the well to drink the water.
The white clothing worn by pilgrims during the Hajj is known as Ihram. Adorning Ihram is a symbol of equality of all before God, but most importantly, it has spiritual connotations.
Before putting on the white sheets, it is required that pilgrims remove body hairs, trim the nails, and cleanse both the outer and inner self.
After performing the Ihram ceremonies, pilgrims are expected not to cover their faces (females) and cover their heads (males). They must not have sex, use perfumes, trim body hairs and nails, kill animal or plant, and must leave the middle bone of the upper part of the feet open.
Hajj can be performed in any of three ways. They are: Hajj al-Tamaatu, Hajj al-Qiran and Hajj al-Ifrad. Most of the time, pilgrims perform the Hajj al-Tamaatu.
The pilgrim adorns the ihram for Umrah (lesser Hajj) only during the Hajj months.
The Umrah rites are restricted to performing the Ihram ceremonies, circumambulating the Kaaba seven times in an anticlockwise direction (tawaf), walking or running seven times between the hills of Marwa and Safa (Sa’yi) and trimming off the hair.
While performing the tawaf, pilgrims are encouraged to make contact with the Black Stone and if possible, kiss it. At the end of the Sa’yi, a pilgrim can be said to have performed the lesser Hajj.
For the complete Hajj, the pilgrim repeats the ihram ceremonies on eight day of Dhul Hijja (Islamic twelfth month) and then goes to Mina (a valley close to Makkah) to say prayers.
After this, prayers are said at Arafah facing the Qibla. This is the most important part of the Hajj ceremonies.
Prayers are also said at Muzdalifah and on returning to Mina, they perform the Stoning of the Devil and perform sacrifice mimicking Abraham’s sacrifice to God.
A return is made to Makkah for a farewell tawaf.
This symbolizes the end of the Hajj even though most pilgrims like to visit the Holy Prophetic Mosque and the Holy Tomb at Madinah before departing for their various destinations.
15052011—A Simple guide to Hajj in Makkah by Ali Khan of Islamabad
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