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
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.
This 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.
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.
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.
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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