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Describe what happens on Hajj.

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Introduction

Religious Education; By Emma Rushton Hajj Part a Q; Describe what happens on Hajj. Each religion has certain rules that the believer is meant to abide by. Christians follow the Bible, Muslims follow the Qu'ran. Different religions have sacred places that many of the believers feel they want to visit. When Muslims visit Makkah, their religions sacred place they are called 'pilgrims' the journey is called 'a pilgrimage'. In some religions it is not important commitment for believers to carry out. For Muslims it is extremely important. The meaning of Hajj is 'to set out for a definite purpose'. Hajj is the pilgrimage to Makkah; it is one of the five pillars. Five times a day Muslims turn towards Ka'bah (centre of Islam) in Makkah when they pray. Hajj is 'fard' this means it is obligatory, it is a once in a lifetime journey. Some Muslims choose to carry out Hajj more than once, but it isn't necessary to do it more than once. In practise, about 1 in 10 Muslims manage it. Muslims that live close to Makkah are more likely to make the journey more often than Muslims that live over the other side of the world. The Muslims, men and women that take part in Hajj have to be physically and mentally fit. They will be checked over by a doctor before taking out Hajj. Muslims should use money they have earned fairly; they cannot use winnings such as the lottery for travelling to Makkah. The family back home should be provided for, they shouldn't be left without money to support them. Some Muslims live so far away and are very poor save their intire life to go on the journey of Hajj. ...read more.

Middle

From Arafat pilgrims move on in the afternoon to Muzdalifah, this is where they spend the night and gather pebbles for the 'stoning of the devil' in Mina, which happens at the end of Hajj. The pilgrims take off their sandals and stand on hot sands to get rid of all their sins this is called Wuquh. The reason for this is to go through a pain threshold to show that they are devoted to Allah. Pilgrims are trying to overcome pain with power over mind. This means that their sins are forgiven. Mina At Mina the pilgrims throw pebbles at stone pillars representing the devil who tried to tempt Abraham away from the command to sacrifice his son Ismail. In memory of Allah's mercy of allowing Abraham to bribe the sacrifice of his son with the slaughter of a ram. Muslims sacrifice animals at Mina to show they have achieved Hajj. Nowadays, however, most pilgrims pay selected officials to do the slaughter for them. Some of the meat is eaten and the rest is then loaded quickly onto refrigeration trucks, which is then distributed to the poor. After these rituals have been completed the pilgrims take off the Ihram and put on ordinary clothes. On this day Muslims all over the world celebrate the festival of sacrifice 'Id al-Adha'. The pilgrims pay another visit to the Ka'ba and can spend another two days at Mina stoning the devil, this isn't always possible for the Muslims as some are in a hurry to return to their jobs. After Muslims have done their final farewell visit to the Ka'ba, pilgrims can go back home, but it is traditional that they first travel to Madinah to pay a visit to the mosque and the tomb of Prophet Muhammad. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is important that pilgrims connect mentally with Allah as the help and guidance whilst doing Hajj is important I realise that some people would disagree with the statement 'A true pilgrimage is a journey within'. Many people believe that you have to physically do Hajj as there are tasks to do whilst carrying out Hajj. Some people cannot see that if you don't carry out the strenuous tasks then it isn't possible for you to have completed Hajj. I can understand why they believe this because it isn't the same if you do not go as you have not undertaken the task you cannot begin to understand what the task is like. If you don't go to Makkah you haven touched the ground that Muhammad stood on. This is extremely important for Muslims to experience. The sermons are extremely important to be involved in. People could disagree that you cannot begin to understand how close you become with Allah. Or the tasks and atmosphere could make the pilgrim a better person. You could argue that seeing, touching and carrying out the tasks is a seriously important part of Hajj. I do agree that seeing the spectacular sights, being in the atmosphere with all the other Muslims, carrying out the hard tasks. Helps reinforce your strong belief and helps you become closer to Allah. I feel that the journey of Hajj is important mentally and physically. I do feel that it is possible to do the journey without visiting Makkah if under certain circumstances such as death or illness. I feel that the experience as a whole mentally and physically is important. The feeling of having accomplishing Hajj will be more definite. If the journey isn't possible because of illness or death then Hajj can be performed within. ...read more.

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