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The call03



The Northern Durham Islamic Assoc. Newsletter   

                  September 2015



Editorial Note:

In our effort to be the voice of the North Durham Masjed Community we continue to publish the newsletter regularly and hope that it provides you with the materials that are useful, informative and enlightening. We urge you to provide us your feedback and any information that you wish to share with your fellow community 

members. This issue of the newsletter recognizes the significance of the holy month of Eid-Al-Adha in our 

lives by including the feature article on Hajj by Dr. Othman. We hope that you find it informative and 

enlightening. Please share with us your thoughts and suggestions. A Very Happy Eid-al-Adha To All! 

(Saeed Rashdi, Editor).



Letter to the Editor:

Letter from Professor Omid Safi, Chair Duke Islamic Studies Center

Dear Saeed,
Salam! It (The Newsletter) looks like a very professional newsletter.  My only suggestion is to include more images, as they are very attractive, and also maybe some links for future readings, etc.But it is a great resource.

All the best,



Dr. Mohammad Othman



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 ofHajj. 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. 

Suggested Readings on Islam:

Omid Safi. Memories of Muhammad: Why The Prophet Matters. Harper Collins.

Ebrahim Moosa. What is a Madrassa? University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill

Carla Powers. If The Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship And A Journey to The Heart of    

                       The Quran. Henry Holt & Co. New York

Carl W. Ernest. How To Read The Quran: A New Guide With Select Translations. University of

                       North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill

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