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Islam Coursework

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One. Allah the Eternal Absolute [Allah- the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need]. He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him." (Qur'an: 112: 1-4) A. 1) What is Hajj? Muslims often think of the practice of their faith as a kind of temple for God held up by five pillars, called Arkan. These are the five duties that all Muslims must perform. Hajj is one of the five pillars so therefore it is an act of Ibadah, which means acts of worship and adoration in utmost submission and obedience and with utmost love to Allah. In other words, a term that indicates all that pleases Allah, including sayings and actions of the heart or limbs. Love, fear, reverence, desire (hope), trust and sincerity are some forms of worship from within the heart. Prayers, attending to someone's needs, invocation, supplication and sacrifices are some forms of worship of limbs. Ibadah is to worship Allah as he wishes to be worshipped. "Allah! There is no god but He, the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things In the heavens and on earth. Who is there that can intercede in his presence except As He permitteth? He knoweth What (appeareth to His Creatures As) before or after Or behind them. Nor shall they compass Aught of His knowledge Except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend Over the heavens And the earth, and He feeleth No fatigue in guarding And preserving them For He is the Most High, The supreme (in Glory)." Al-Baqara (2): 255 Going on Hajj is also an act of Islam- that means "submission" to Allah. It stands for a person's decision to surrender totally to the will of God. Muslims believe that "submission" and "obedience" to the will of God is the only way to achieve peace of heart and mind. ...read more.

Middle

This festival is in commemoration of the story of Ibrahim's testing. After the sacrifice the men have their heads shaved and the women have at least 2.5 cm of their hair cut off, this is called the Unfurling. The pilgrims then go back to Makkah. They can purchase water from the Zamzam well, and dip their ihram in the water. They are also allowed to buy pieces of the black cloth (Kiswah) that covers the black stone in the Ka'ba. Finally they are entitled to take the name Hajji or al-Hajj, to show they have successfully completed the journey of Hajj. The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a re-enactment of the experience of Prophet Abraham and his wife Hagar and of the Hijrah of the Prophet from Makkah to Medina and his triumphant return to Makkah eight years later. It is also an acknowledgement of the re-establishment of the Ka'ba as the House of worship of God and the heart and centre of all Muslims of the world. Religiously, Hajj provides spiritual solace. B. 1) Explain the meaning and the significance of the events of Hajj for a Muslim. The most holy structure in Islam is situated in Makkah, and is according to Islam the centre of the world, this is the Ka'ba. The Ka'ba is the qibla, the direction Muslims perform the salat, the obligatory prayer, towards. The area around the Ka'ba is considered sacred, and inside the area the "truce of God reigns". Man and animals are all safe here, according to ancient Muslim traditions, and shall not be forced away. In the Holy Qur'an, it is written: " ...the first house built for mankind, was in Mecca, to bless and guide all worlds " The base of the Ka'ba is 10.5 x 12 meters, and it's 15 meters high, and is standing on a marble base which is 25 cm high. ...read more.

Conclusion

This requires you to search your mind and soul. But when on Hajj you are with the Ummah, and you share prayers together and do the same thing as everyone else, so this shows that it is not just a journey within, but a journey through out the family of Islam, the ummah. The main social part of Hajj is probably Eid-ul-Adha, and without this Hajj would not be valid and it would be a wasted journey. When you are in accommodation in Makkah, the pilgrims are closely situated and would need to co-exist through Hajj to maintain good Niyyah, so you need to rely upon your neighbours and not just upon yourself. So in this sense Hajj is a very social "outer" experience. So by saying 'A true pilgrimage is a journey within' one would be only partially true because you need to work with the ummah to fulfil the pilgrimage. "God chooses for Himself whoever He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn to Him" However, it could be argued that the significance of the physical journey is only important because of the inner response of the pilgrim. Without the right inner intention, Wuquf is invalid. The emotional impacts of performing Wuquf is most important to the Muslims, some people are changed forever (they come even more religious), people are revived, inspired some almost feel reborn-but without the physical journey the inner journey could not take place. The most lasting impact of Hajj is going to be an inner one, a changed heart. As the relationship with god is strengthened, Taqwa and Ihsan. "O God, this sanctuary is Your sacred place, and this city is Your city, and this slave is Your slave. I have come to You from distant land, carrying all my sins and misdeeds as an afflicted person seeking your help and dreading Your punishment. I beg You accept me, and grant me Your complete forgiveness, and give me permission to enter You vast garden of delight." ...read more.

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