What’s Hajj, and why is it important for Muslims?

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Yearly, Muslim pilgrims flowing into Saudi Arabia unite in a sequence of non secular rituals and acts of worship as they carry out the Hajj, one of many pillars of Islam. As they fulfill a non secular obligation, they immerse themselves in what is usually a religious expertise of a lifetime for them and an opportunity to hunt God’s forgiveness and the erasure of previous sins.

Here is a have a look at the pilgrimage and its significance to Muslims.

WHAT IS HAJJ?

Hajj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that’s required as soon as in a lifetime of each Muslim who can afford it and is bodily in a position to make it. Some Muslims make the journey greater than as soon as.

Hajj is among the 5 Pillars of Islam, along with the career of religion, prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

WHEN IS HAJJ?

The Hajj happens every year throughout the Islamic lunar month of Dhul-Hijja, the twelfth and remaining month of the Islamic calendar yr. This yr, Hajj will happen this month.

WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HAJJ TO MUSLIMS?

For pilgrims, performing Hajj fulfills a non secular obligation, but it surely’s additionally a deeply religious expertise of a lifetime for a lot of. It’s seen as an opportunity to hunt God’s forgiveness for previous sins, to develop nearer to God and to stroll within the footsteps of prophets.

Communally, Hajj unites Muslims of various races, ethnicities, languages and financial lessons from all over the world in performing non secular rituals and acts of worshipping God on the similar time and place. That leaves many feeling a way of unity, connection, humility and equality. Pilgrims additionally present up with their very own private appeals, needs and experiences.

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Many pilgrims deliver with them prayer requests from household and mates that they want to be mentioned on their behalf.

Some spend years hoping and praying to at some point carry out Hajj or saving up cash and ready for a allow to embark on the journey.

In 2019, practically 2.5 million Muslims carried out Hajj earlier than the coronavirus pandemic disrupted non secular and different gatherings the world over and took its toll on the Islamic pilgrimage. Final yr’s Hajj was the primary to be held with out COVID-19 restrictions for the reason that begin of the pandemic in 2020.

Forward of the journey, preparations might embrace packing varied necessities for the bodily demanding journey, in search of ideas from those that’ve carried out the pilgrimage earlier than, attending lectures or consuming different instructional materials on how one can correctly carry out a sequence of Hajj rituals in addition to spiritually readying oneself.

At occasions, pilgrims courageous intense warmth or different difficult situations throughout the pilgrimage.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RITUALS THAT PILGRIMS PERFORM?

Pilgrims make the intention to carry out Hajj and so they enter a state of “ihram.” Being in ihram consists of abiding by sure guidelines and prohibitions. For example, males are to not put on common sewn or stitched garments that encircle the physique, equivalent to shirts, throughout ihram; there are easy ihram fabric clothes for males as a substitute. Students say the intention is to discard luxuries and self-importance, shed worldly standing symbols and immerse the pilgrim in humility and devotion to God.

A religious spotlight of Hajj for a lot of is the standing on the plain of Arafat, the place pilgrims reward God, plead for forgiveness and make supplications.

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Different rituals embrace performing “tawaf,” circumambulating, or circling the Kaaba in Mecca counterclockwise seven occasions.

Muslims don’t worship the Kaaba, a cube-shaped construction that they take into account the metaphorical home of God; it’s the point of interest towards which religious Muslims face throughout their each day prayers from anyplace on the earth.

Pilgrims additionally hint the trail of Hagar, or Hajar, the spouse of Prophet Ibrahim, Abraham to Jews and Christians, who Muslims imagine ran between two hills seven occasions trying to find water for her son.

Amongst different rituals, pilgrims throw pebbles in a symbolic stoning of the satan.

WHAT IS EID AL-ADHA?

Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is the Islamic vacation that begins on the tenth day of the Islamic lunar month of Dhul-Hijja, throughout Hajj.

Celebrated by Muslims all over the world, Eid al-Adha marks Prophet Ibrahim’s check of religion and his willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to God. Through the festive vacation, Muslims slaughter sheep or cattle and distribute some meat to the poor.

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By MARIAM FAM Related Press

Related Press faith protection receives help by means of the AP’s collaboration with The Dialog US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely liable for this content material.



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