Home > Articles > Hajj: Meaning and Significance

Hajj: Meaning and Significance

Posted on: 17 February 2017

HAJJ: MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE

 

The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th (in some cases 13th) of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which pilgrims wear two white sheets of seamless cloth and abstain from certain actions.

 

Muslims of every ethnic group, color, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Ka’aba praising Allah together.

It is a ritual that is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah. One must be physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.

 

 Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, and Sawm. The gathering during Hajj is considered the largest annual gathering of people in the world. Hajj the solidarity of the Muslims, and their submission to Allah. The word Hajj means "to intend a journey", which implies both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions. 

 

During Hajj, pilgrims perform a series of rituals: each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Ka'aba (the cube-shaped building and the direction of prayer for the Muslims), runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, spends a night in the plain of Muzdalifa, and performs symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three day global festival of Eid al-Adha.

 

Pilgrims can also go to Mecca to perform the rituals at other times of the year. This is sometimes called the "lesser pilgrimage", or Umrah. However, even if they choose to perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.

 

History of Hajj

The present pattern of Hajj was established by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).  According to the Quran, elements of Hajj trace back to the time of Abraham, around 2000 BCE.  According to Islamic tradition, Abraham was ordered by Allah to leave his wife Hagar (Hagar) and his son Ishmael alone in the desert of ancient Mecca. In search of water, Hagar desperately ran seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah but found none. Returning in despair to Ishmael, she saw the baby scratching the ground with his leg and a water fountain sprang forth underneath his foot. Later, Abraham was commanded to build Ka’aba (which he did with the help of Ishmael) and to invite people to perform pilgrimage there. The Quran refers to these incidents in verses 2:124-127 and 22:27-30. It is said that the Angel Gabriel brought the Black Stone from Heaven to be attached to the Ka’aba.

 

Significance of Hajj

Hajj has a spiritual quality that provides us with an opportunity of self-renewal.  Hajj serves as a reminder of the Day of Judgment when we will stand before Allah.  Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has stated in the Hadith, there are various merits a pilgrim achieves upon successful completion of Hajj. Muslim scholars have suggested that Hajj signifies a Muslim's religious commitment, and should not be a measurement of his/her social status. Hajj brings together and unites the Muslims from different parts of the world irrespective of their race, color, and culture, which acts as a symbol of equality.

 

Rate this article:

Comments

No comment has been added yet.

Post a Comment

Your Name:

Your Comment:

Up to 500 characters allowed 500 left
Type the characters you see:
If you can't read this number refresh your screen

Today's Prayer Timetable

Sunday 17 Dec 2017
BeginsJama'ah
Fajr6:056:15
Zuhr12:121:30
Asr2:463:30
Magrib5:04
Isha6:207:00
Juma1:00

Donate

Latest From The Gallery

Eid celebration Eid celebration Eid celebration North Durham Masjid lobby prayer room

Join Our Mailing LIst

Ask Imaam

Ask Our Imaam