Every year around this time, the Muslim world comes together for the annual pilgrimage of Hajj. Hajj is the fifth pillar in the Islamic religion. Muslims from different parts of the world cross miles to reach the city of Makkah to have the honor of preforming Hajj. It started ever since the days of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and it is an obligation for every capable Muslim to go for Hajj once in a life time.
Muslims pack their bags to Makkah during the month of Tho Alhijah, the 12th month of the Hijri calendar, after they wear their Ehram, a sacred dress of Muslim pilgrims, which symbolize equality. Then they go to the Holy Mosque in Makkah, where they go around the Ka’bah, this is called Tawaf Al Qodoom. On the 8th of Tho Alhijah, they go to Mina to spend the night doing their prayers. The next day, 9th of Tho Alhijah, the most important day of Hajj, they reach Arafat where they spend the entire afternoon there doing their prayers and following Prophet Muhammad’s path of getting closer to God. After sunset, the pilgrims leave Arafat to Muzdalifah where they can collect pebbles for the stoning of the Devil, following Abraham‘s steps when God ordered him to kill his own son, the devil appeared to him 3 times telling him to disobey God’s orders, but Abraham kept throwing pebbles at him and kept on moving to fulfill God’s orders. The 10th of the month marks the day of Eid Al Adha. After pilgrims finish stoning the devil, they preform animal sacrifice which symbolize the mercy that God has given Abraham when he was given an order to sacrifice his own son, but then God ordered him to sacrifice an animal instead. It’s a huge celebration all over the world. Muslims who are preforming Hajj are not obligated to sacrifice an animal, but most of them do, following prophet Muhammad‘s steps, peace be upon him. Later on that day, they visit the Holy Mosque again, this time for Tawaf Al Efadah, which is an important part of Hajj.
On the 11th, while they are in Mina, they go for the stoning of the devil, this time for three times. On the 12th, they may leave Mina before sunset, or wait for the 13th and leave Mina for good. The last part of Hajj is Twaf Alwada’a, which is a must for people who do not live in Makkah, they revisit the holy mosque and perform Tawaf for the last time.
Most pilgrims take the chance to preform Alomrah, which is the 2nd part of the fifth pillar of Islam. Alomrah can be preformed anytime of the year, but most pilgrims preform it during their Hajj journey. They go around the Ka’abah and then they preform Sayee, where they walk or run seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa.
Hajj is a journey to get closer to God and ask for his forgiveness. It is a chance to get a new start in life with no sins and no regrets. May God accept your joinery and your prayers. Eid Mubarak.
This blog is in honor of Senad Hadzic, the Bosnian Muslim who crossed 5700 km by foot to reach Makkah for Hajj. 🙂 May God give you more strength. 🙂