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Hajj is the pilgrimage Muslims take to Mecca.

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Introduction

GCSE Coursework: Hajj Hajj is the pilgrimage Muslims take to Mecca, which is in Saudi Arabia. Hajj is one of the five pillars and is done once in a lifetime, provided you are fit, healthy and can afford it, unlike the other pillars which are done daily weekly or annually by everyone. Hajj Takes place on the 8th day of Dhul-hijah, which is the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims can go at other times of the year, but this is not counted as Hajj it is called Umrah, which means lesser pilgrimage. The definition of the word Hajj is to set out with definite purpose. This definite purpose is to fulfil their duty to Allah. It is written in the Qu'ran that all Muslims must go on the Hajj, and it is a test of commitment to Allah. There are four main stages of the hajj: at Mina, Marwa & Safa, the Mount of Mercy, and at the Ka'ba, each has its own belief and origin about it. Before Muslims begin their pilgrimage around Mecca, they must enter a state of purity known as Ihram, this shows purity and equality between all Muslims. Ihram literally means Consecration or dedication to holy things. This means that all Muslims are equal in Allah's eyes therefore they should be willing to do anything for him. The first stage of The Hajj is at the Ka'ba; it stands in the courtyard of the great mosque. ...read more.

Middle

and it is not counted as part of the Hajj, there is also a belief that there is a space there for Jesus in his second coming. When Muslims have completed the Hajj, women become known as Hajja, and men Hajji. They can go home, with a feeling of cleanliness, they are now sin free. Muslims will say that they are 'leaving with a prayer on their lips'. The pilgrims have now fulfilled their duty to God. What Islam teaches about wealth and poverty changes how a Muslim behaves, because they are influenced by many things around them. Their main source if authority is the Qur'an - the Muslim holy book, and the Hadith - a report of Muhammad's life. These books influence most Muslim beliefs. The main belief about money is that all money belongs to Allah; Muslims are stewards to his money. This means that because they do not actually own the money they use, they must only use it wisely. In the Qu'ran it says that Muslims must complete all of the 5 pillars. The third pillar is Zakah; this is where Muslims must give 2.5% of their wealth to the poor each year. Zakah actually means 'purification'. Giving Zakah cleanses you from greed. The Hadith says: 'an ignorant person who is generous, is nearer to Allah, than a person full of prayer who is miserly.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Another thing that could make it hard for Muslims to follow their religion faithfully is Salah (prayer). Praying five times a day at set times could be inconvenient, at work or at school. Salah is one of the pillars, which means that it has to be done; so missing it out through inconvenience is not an option. Even though Salah cannot be missed out through choice, if someone really cannot pray, as long as they are there in their mind, Allah will make an exception. This is called 'Niyah', which means 'intention'. As long as you mean to pray at the time, you can make up for it later. Muslims say that the hardest thing for them living in Britain is materialism. Everyone living in Britain is very materialistic; therefore it is hard to resist the temptation to copy. The Hadith says: 'if you possessed all the gold on the earth, you could not buy your place in the hereafter with it'. This is Allah saying that you do not need material possessions; it destroys the moral basis of the society we live in. In conclusion to this, I think that it will be harder, but not impossible for a Muslim to follow their religion faithfully while living in Britain. Compulsory tasks may be difficult but they are not impossible as these tasks are a test of commitment to Allah. A 'Muslim' is someone whose life is submitted to Allah. If they do not want to do these things, then they should not be Muslims. ...read more.

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