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The Hajj

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Introduction

The Hajj Hajj is the name that Muslims give to the pilgrimage that they go on. It means to go on a journey that has a particular purpose. Hajj is one of the five pillars (Shahada, salat, saum, zakat) that Muslims follow as a guide for life. The word Hajj itself is an Arabic word that means pilgrimage. The main part of the journey takes place in Mecca and the surrounding areas such as Arafat and Mina. The expedition is something that all Muslims must take part in providing that they are well enough, are financially stable enough and that they are sane. The trip can only be carried out once a year during the first two weeks of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hija. A Muslim would take part in the Hajj for many reasons. Some feel that it is a way of cleansing yourself from all your past sins whilst others feel that it is a way of getting closer to their god, Allah. Many Muslims see the journey as a way of strengthening their beliefs and seeing what they have dedicated their lives to. They also see it as a form of spiritual guidance. Another reason that Muslims see the trip as something significant is because there is an aspect of self sacrifice where they only get basic things and have to live a lot less comfortably than they normally do this can mean things like they have to wear simple clothes, have limited food and they have no luxuries. ...read more.

Middle

The Muslims believe that the baby found a spring when he dug his toes in the sand and now this spring is in the courtyard of the Great Mosque (the spring is now called Zamzam) many Muslims drink from it and a lot of them take the water home with them. The next stage of the Muslims pilgrimage is to go to mount Arafat. Mount Arafat is 20 km from Mecca. Many pilgrims gather at the foot of mount Arafat to pray for their god Allah. And then go to Muzdalifah to pray in the evening. The reason that the pilgrims travel to Arafat is so that they can stand before Allah. At this stage they ask Allah for forgiveness so as to eradicate their sins and the wrong things that they have done in their lives. Standing on the plain of Arafat is seen as the most important part of the pilgrimage and they stand there from midday until sunset. When the pilgrims leave Mount Arafat they then go to Mina. At Mina they find the three pillars that represent certain places where Ibrahim and his family fought against temptation. Mina is a small village. When the pilgrims are in Mecca they re-enact the way in which the devil was driven away by throwing stones at the pillars, they throw the stones seven times and they are stones that were collected from Muzdalifah on the previous night. ...read more.

Conclusion

The part of the hajj that makes every one equal by making them give up all of their personal possessions can make the Muslims stronger people. They learn that it is possible to live with out modern day things such as television and also what the most important part of their religion is for example the Shahada- declaration of faith and belief in only one god, Allah. The pilgrimage can reveal hidden strengths that a lot of Muslims would not of really realized were there before. It can develop people's stamina and prove to them that if they believe in their god Allah they have inner strength. On the journey they learn a great deal about the 'brotherhood of Muslims' and ummah, this teaches them that in the eyes of Allah everyone is equal. It also teaches them about community, awareness and love and respect for others. Although I feel that the hajj can teach you a lot about yourself some Muslims may not agree with me and could say that it has just helped to confirm what they already knew about their god, Allah. In Islam hajj is a strong part of their religion and is seen as something that must be done by every adult that can participate as hajj is such a strong belief of all Muslim's many see it as a once in a life time experience that will make them a better person. ...read more.

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