What is Hajj

Macca Hajj begins

What is Hajj

Sep 18, 2021, 7:45:43 PM Religion

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca has begun, this year the Muslim faithful are more than three million The final destination of the pilgrimage is the Great Mosque of Mecca, where the Kaaba is located About three million pilgrims gathered in prayer on Mount Arafat, about fifteen kilometers from Mecca, on the second day of Hajj, the customary annual pilgrimage to the sacred city of Islam. The hajj (whose triliteral root "ḥajj-" originally meant "to go towards") is the fifth pillar of Islam and must be performed at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim as long as his health and his economic means allow it. It takes place between the eighth and thirteenth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar and represents a moment of purification for the faithful, who during the journey ask forgiveness for their sins and are purified through the celebration of prayers and rites.


The final destination of the pilgrimage is the Great Mosque of Mecca, where the Kaaba is located, a black cubic building located in the center of the great courtyard of the mosque and revered by all Muslims. In fact, on its eastern side, the Kaaba houses the stone that according to the Muslim tradition was brought to earth by the archangel Gabriel. Islamic jurisprudence allows those who are physically impeded but have the economic possibility to delegate someone else to fulfill their religious obligation, the spiritual benefits of which will go to those who have paid for the trip and maintained the person in charge on the spot. It is also possible to leave special funds as inheritance so that the rite is performed in the name and for the benefit of a deceased. Each pilgrim must dress using only two unsewn pieces of white fabric, one to gird the hips (called izar) and the other to cover the trunk and left shoulder, leaving the right arm free (laughs). Anyone who has fulfilled the obligation of the ḥajj acquires particular merit: he has the right to wear a headdress that commemorates the fulfillment of the obligation and is awarded the honorary title of Ḥājjī (pilgrim of the hajj). Many Muslims set aside money over the year to be able to afford a journey that in some cases can be thousands of kilometers, depending on their country of origin. Some airlines also offer special packages for those arriving in Mecca at that time. For Saudi Arabia, the event is of particular importance: not only for the prestige of being the host country of the symbolic place of Islam and related events but also for delicate security issues.


In the past, there have been several cases in which hundreds of people died. After all, they were crushed by the crowd, because they were killed in clashes that suddenly broke out between faithful from rival countries, or because they were dehydrated. In 1987 four hundred people died during some clashes between Saudi security forces and Iranian protesters, in 1990 1,426 people died instead crushed in a tunnel that gave access to one of the sacred places that are visited during the pilgrimage. The hajj lasts a total of five days and is rigidly marked by a series of rites and prayers. First day. Once in Mecca, pilgrims enter the Great Mosque and walk seven times around the Kaaba. This ritual is called Tawaf. Then they move to the city of Mina, where the Saudi government has in the meantime set up thousands of tents to house them during the night, and there they remain to pray until dawn the next morning. Second day. The faithful travel through the Arafat valley and stop outside to pray to Allah and meditate on the mountain where - according to Islamic tradition - Muhammad delivered his last sermon and received the revelation to write the final passage of the Koran. When the sun is about to set, they resume their journey to Muzdalifa and spend the night there. During the journey, they collect stones to be used in the rite of the following day. Third day. In the morning they return to Mina and throw seven stones collected the day before against some columns, called Jamaraat. According to the Muslim tradition, the columns are located at the point where the devil would have tempted the prophet, Abraham. The throwing of stones, therefore, corresponds to the symbolic stoning of the devil. Then they sacrifice an animal (usually a sheep or a goat) to remember the Old Testament passage where Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son to God. Then they wash their hands, cut their hair, or at least part of it, and they return to the great flies of Mecca for one more Tawaf. Then they return to Mina, where they spend the night.


Mina. Those who have not managed to reach Mecca up to that point can do so in the last two days. During the pilgrimage, the faithful must respect some particular prohibitions:- They can't get engaged- They cannot cut their nails or shave- They cannot use perfumes or scented oils- They cannot kill or hurt anything, except as required by the rituals- They can't fight, they can't fight- Women cannot cover their faces, even if they do so in their countries of origin- Men cannot wear stitched clothing

Published by Muhammad ALI

Comments (1)

ailx-hills

Ailx Hills Oct 1, 2021, 7:38:04 AM

informative

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