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The Hajj

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Introduction

GCSE Islam (Pilgrimage) There are many reasons for people to go on a pilgrimage because they want to devote themselves to God. The main reasons are as follows: to renew or deepen their faith; to get closer and nearer to their God, their supposedly creator; to receive a cure either physically, mentally or spiritually; to please God (as a response to a command; to give thanks). Other reasons are: to search for something; the meaning of life; peace of mind; to learn more about the faith and finally to gain unity and closeness with other members of the faith. he Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah), is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. The pilgrimage occurs from the 6th to the 12th day of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the event cannot be pegged to the Gregorian calendar, whose (solar) year is eleven days longer.Pilgrimage has countless significance and importance to all Muslims. The pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia is the most essential place; a Muslim can go for worship. It was the birth place of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who lived there for most of his life and he also used to perform religious acts and ritual there. Mecca has always been a very important, holy city for Muslims even before e the prophet Muhammad reclaimed it for Allah. ...read more.

Middle

The major rites of Hajj which are performed by Muslims today were well-known in the days of the Prophet Ibrahim, who built the Ka'bah and made Makkah a place of pilgrimage. These rites include Tawaf, the sevenfold circling of the Ka'bah, originating from Allah's command that Ibrahim took his wife Haggar and their son Ismail into the desert to hand over them to the protection of Allah. In a desperate search for water, Haggar ran seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah before demanding the help of Allah, whereupon the well of Zam Zam burst forth at her feet. Hajj pilgrims have ever since evoked this story in their sevenfold running between Safa and Marwah.This is known as the rite of Saiy ('striving'). The abandoning of Haggar and Ismail was only one of Allah's many ways of testing Ibrahim's faith. Others are remembered by the three rocky pillars at Mina, about 3.7 miles/6km east of Makkah. Each pilgrim collects seven stones on the slopes of Muzdalifah hill, and uses them in a ritual stoning of the three pillars, which are known as 'satans'. The ritual is known as Jamarat and follows the sacrifice of a sheep by every pilgrim who can afford it. The sacrifice takes place in memory of that offered by Ibrahim at Allah's command. ...read more.

Conclusion

The effects may come in different forms: may be negative; they may be positive, they may be small or they may influence different aspects of life. For some, the experience felt in Hajj is an enormous life-enhancing change just as if they were starting a new life. Pilgrimage means to set out with a definite purpose and is meant to play an important part in the spiritual development of Muslims on the return home. Their personal religious commitment and effort may be deeper and their behaviour towards other people may be more considerate because they will have to build up tolerance for individuals with whom they have travelled. This could be described as a long term effect. The Hajj pilgrimage also builds generosity and develops in the individual, a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Hajj encourages spending of material wealth for the sake of Allah, which is the chief characteristic of Zakaat. By spending from his wealth to perform the Hajj, the pilgrim cleanses from his heart the greed deposited by love of this world. Furthermore, the experience of seeing the Ummah, the equality, brotherhood of its members and the unity of purpose, also has a profound effect on Muslims. Finally the Hajj develops, in man, the spiritual and moral goals of the various forms of worship in Islam. A deep spiritual transformation takes place within the individual, resulting in the reformation of his or her life according to Islamic ideals. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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