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Hajj is one of the five Islamic pillars.

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Introduction

Heather Dickens 11L What is Hajj Hajj is one of the five Islamic pillars. It is where all capable Muslims must go on a pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime to Makkah in the last month of the Islamic year. These months are Muharram, Safar, Rabi al-Awal, Rabi al-Thani, Jumad al- Ula, Jumad al-Thani, Rajab, Shabaan, Ramadaan (Month for Daily Obligatory Fasts), Shawwaal, Dhul- Qidah and Dhul- Hijjah (the month for Hajj). "...And Hajj (pilgrimmage to Makkah) to the House (Ka`abah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenes (for one's conveyance, provision, and residence)..." Al-Quran:Surah 3 (Al-Imran); Verse 97 Hajj is the name given to the journey made by Muslims to the Kabba at Makka in Arabia. It is a very large, spiritual gathering and they arrive in very large numbers, sometimes up to 340 a minute. Women wear a burka (a long cloth covering from the head to the feet) men wear a sort of tunic for hajj. When they arrive at Makka the first thing they do is bathe and put white sheets on to enter purity (Ihram). They then go to a sacred mosque to start prayers; they repeat the Talbiya over and over again (translated into English): Here I am O Allah, Here I am Here I am. ...read more.

Middle

After completing the Tawaf, it is good but not required to pray too Rak'ahs behind Maqam Ibrahim. This day is the sacrifice day where they sacrifice an animal (Eid-ul Adha); they are supposed to sacrifice goats, sheep, rams, camels or cows. This act is performed to commemorate Prophet Abraham's act of sacrificing his oldest son Prophet Isma'eel on the command of Allah. Allah substituted Prophet Isma'eel with a ram. Muslims are required to donate 1/3 rd of the meat to the poor, distribute 1/3 rd of the meat to friends and relatives, and keep 1/3 rd of the meat for themselves. Men shave their heads and women cut off locks of hair. After this they return to Makka again to do 7 more circuits of the Ka`aba. Muslims take part in the Hajj because they believe that it is their duty to go, so that Allah will respect them and they will live in paradise when they die. Even if they cannot go for any reason they believe that having the right attitude about going will be acceptable to Allah. It provides an opportunity for Muslims with diverse racial, ethnic and geographical heritage to exchange views, get acquainted and feel unified as one "Ummah" (community) ...read more.

Conclusion

'A true pilgrimage is really a journey within.' It is important to physically go to Makka but if it is not possible to go I believe that you can still participate spiritually. I believe that if it is in your heart to go this should be accepted as you can still enjoy Hajj without going. You can use technology to participate in Hajj, for example you could pray while watching the festival on television or look at a video of the gathering on the Internet. You could also have your own party at home with other Muslims who do not go to Makka and celebrate Hajj and the end of Hajj (Eid ulad ha) together. Just because you do not go to Makka does not mean you do not follow Allah, you can still participate in Hajj without physically being there. So people who cannot go for various reasons such as old age etc can still enjoy the celebrations and not be cast out of them for being different. If I were a Muslim I may have a different view on this subject because they believe that if it is physically possible to go, you should go no mater what, as Allah would want you to. They feel that it is a religious duty to go, as it is one of the five pillars. A Muslim would go because they want to please their God, Allah. ...read more.

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