The Hajj Pilgrimage: History, Significance, and Key Rituals

Hajj is the most important pilgrimage that every Muslim should undertake at least once in their life. According to Islam, Hajj involves traveling to the holy Kaaba, the House of Allah. It is situated in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arab
 
ALPINE, N.J. - June 29, 2022 - PRLog -- Hajj pilgrimage attracts Muslims from around the world in huge numbers. It is estimated that every year about 1.5 to 2 million pilgrims perform Hajj. Pilgrims gather in huge numbers in Mecca to make amends and seek forgiveness from the almighty by performing dua in praise of Allah, the Almighty. Devotees travel for Hajj in the last month of the Islamic calendar and perform rituals for a period of 5 to 6 days. After completion, the pilgrims are referred to as Hajji or al-Hajj.

Significance of Hajj

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. These are Shahada (Faith), Salah (Prayer), Zakat (Alms giving), Sawm (Fasting), and Hajj (Pilgrimage). The significance of Hajj lies in attracting the pilgrims by giving them an opportunity to make amends and get rid of their past sins and mistakes by making a new start by seeking forgiveness from Allah, the almighty. Hajj gives pilgrims a chance to think about the purpose of their birth.

Key Hajj Rituals

The pilgrimage to Hajj is a 6-day trip. During these 6 days, some key rituals are performed.
  • 1st Day – Post completion of morning prayer pilgrims proceed from Mecca to Mina where they offer the remaining prayers of the day.
  • 2nd Day – Pilgrims Visit Mount Arafat where Prophet Muhammad is believed to have given his final sermon.
  • 3rd Day – The 3rd day is the day of sacrifice and marks the first day of Eid. Rami (stone-pelting at Jamarah Al-Aqaba, which is the largest pillar) is followed by Qurbani, (sacrifice of a goat, camel, sheep, or cow), Halq (men shave their heads) and Taqsir (women get their hair trimmed), and Tawaf Al-Ziyarah (involves circling the Kaaba).
  • 4th Day – Stone pelting on Jamarah Al-Ula, the smallest pillar, Jamarah Al-Wusta (the middle pillar), and Jamarah Al-Aqaba (the largest pillar). After each pillar pelting, Dua is performed.  
  • 5th Day – The same ritual is repeated on the 5th day with Fajr, which is an obligatory prayer.
  • 6th Day – Tawaf Al-Wida (another seven circles around Kaaba) is performed followed by two Rakats followed by drinking of water from the well of ZamZam.
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