The Journey of Hajj

Billions of Muslims from different parts of the world gather in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to embark on the spiritual journey. The whole look and ambience of Islam’s holiest city changes during the final months of the year, as millions of pilgrims arrive to perform HAJJ

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Hajj is performed for five-days. It is necessary for all physically and financially able Muslims to visit Mecca and all the nearby holy sites of Arafat, Mina, and Muzdalifah. Here, the pilgrims perform a series of rituals. These rituals are to unify themselves with the other beloved believers, forgive themselves of their sins and pay an honest tribute to Allah.

hajj and umrahThis Article is Taken By: Alkhalidtours

2,000 B.C marks the origins of Hajj. It was during this time when Ishmael, the infant son of prophet Ibrahim (Or Abraham, as he is called in the Old Testament) and Ibrahim’s wife Hager were trapped in the desert. When Ishmael was close to death from thirst, Hager (his mother) ran back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwa looking for a drop of water. Then the angel Jibril (Gabriel) arrived on earth and created a spring of fresh water for baby Ishmael. That spring is known as the Well of Zam Zam.

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Ibrahim then built a monument at the site of the spring. It is known as the Holy Kaaba. It is said that he was following the orders of Allah. During 630 A.D. worshipers from all the faiths traveled to Mecca with Prophet Mohammad. That was the first official Hajj. The path on which Mohammed and his followers traveled and Hager’s walk between Safa & Marwa were retraced to make it a part of the Hajj rituals; the stoning the wall of Satan because it tempted Ibrahim to defy Allah, sacrificing an animal in honor of the forgo that Ibrahim made to save his only son and climbing the Mount of Arafat from which Mohammed made his last sermon.

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The final ritual during Hajj is circling the Kaaba, spiritually. It is located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca. The vast swells of worshippers seek forgiveness while circling the Kaaba. They move anti-clockwise, seven times. It is believed that after completing all the mandated rituals, the pilgrim is guaranteed a place in heaven as well as attains the title of Hajji. This title is desirable and admired in Muslim communities.

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Statistics say that only a fraction of Muslims are capable of coming and completing the pilgrimage. The huge crowds of worshipers that arrive at Mecca every year, persistently test the ability of the site to accommodate the huge number. The Saudi Arabian government has already spent billions to expand and advance the structure of the site. They have erected tents to accommodate the massive number of pilgrims and have built multiple pathways to eliminate congestion.

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Diary of My Madinah

After numerous delays and cancellation, we lastly reach our destination. It’s an underestimation to say that Medinah brings peace to the heart. I’ve already forgotten about my exhausting journey. I’m present in the city of Allah (swt) Beloved; it truly is the city of peace, blessings and well being. It’s easy to see why our Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi WA Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) loved this city and its people.

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Masjid-UL-Nabawi is a structure of inexplicable beauty; at first glance it was hard to look away, it’s a vision which will be imprinted in my heart forever. The evenings, with the jet black sky, crescent moon, and sparkling stars hanging above the minarets of our Holy Prophet’s Sallallahu Alaihi WA Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) mosque are sensational (finally I understand what all these Nasheeds really mean). Whenever I hear the soulful call to prayer, perform my Salaah, or feel the presence and Rahmah (mercy) of the Holy Prophet (saw), I still can’t believe that I’m actually here; it’s nothing short of a miracle. I try to remember absolutely everyone in my prayers so that they can also derive something of my being here.

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The social scene here is so simple, relaxed and uncomplicated. No one seems more rich, intelligent, or prettier than anyone else. Nor does one ever feel insecure or inferior over here; there are no social barriers that segregate people. The people here are unbelievably friendly; it’s obvious that this is the city of Rahmat (mercy), and barakah (blessings) and it’s obvious that this is the city of Allah (swt) Mehboob (beloved).

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It was an honour and privilege to visit the most Beloved of Allah’s (swt) Messengers. It is one thing to send Salaam on the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi WA Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) from anywhere else in the world; however it’s a whole different experience sending them in Masjid-UL-Nabawi. I felt extremely privileged to be able to be given the opportunity to ask for forgiveness in the court of the most beloved of all Prophets (saw), I asked for sincere repentance and drowned myself in the recitation of Daroods. When I visited the historical sights of Medina I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face; to walk in a place so steeped in Islamic History is inspiring and humbling. I witnessed and gained Tabarruk (blessings) from the relics of those who sacrificed everything of theirs in servitude and obedience to Allah (swt) – the true devotees of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi WA Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) who fought against the pagan Arabs, suffered tortures, became migrants, suffered unbearable hardships, but ultimately did raise aloft the message of the Holy Prophet (saw). A lesson in courage and determination was drawn from these clear signs and sacred places.

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When I went to visit the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) for the last time before departing to Makkah with a heavy heart, I told him Sallallahu Alaihi WA Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) that inshallah I’ll be back soon. When I return to USA physically I’ll be there, or in anywhere else in the world, but my heart will always remain in Medinah.

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Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam, and every Muslim’s journey is incomplete without it. This is enough to say that how important this is and Allah wants to meet each of his worshippers. Hajj is a kind of jihad (a spiritual struggle against sin) for Allah. One will be benefitted from Hajj because of the spiritual journey and will find calmness and peace at the end. It gives people a new perspective towards life.

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Hajj 2016 needs to be performed in a prescribed manner. One gets a huge reward only after performing it in the given manner and with a selfless heart. It is believed that if someone performs the Hajj without committing any evil is free from all the sins.