• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why do Muslims go on Hajj?

Extracts from this document...


Why do Muslims go on Hajj? The annual pilgrimage to Makkah - the Hajj - is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Muslims perform Hajj in order to visit for themselves the holy sites where their faith started. The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is the duty of every Muslim to go on the Hajj at least once in their life time to follow the footsteps of Muhammad. The Hajj, or pilgrimage to Makkah is a central duty of Islam whose origins date back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH). It brings together Muslims of all races and tongues for one of life's most moving spiritual experiences. For 14 centuries, countless millions of Muslims, men and women from all over the world, have made the pilgrimage to Makkah, the birthplace of Islam. In carrying out this obligation, they fulfill one of the five "pillars" of Islam, or central religious duties of the believer. The Pilgrimage Once a year, Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Ka'ba praising Allah together. The Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, "Paradise is the only reward for a pilgrimage accepted by God" It is a ritual that is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah. ...read more.


Here I am at your service. All praise and blessings belong to you. All dominion is yours and You have no partner. The Arrival Ihram When they arrive at certain points outside Makkah, pilgrims must enter the sacred state known as ihram. They have to make a conscience effort to attain purity, as the pilgrims dedicate themselves to worship, prayer and denial of vanity. Male pilgrims wear two sheets of unsewn white cloth, one wrapped around the waist, the other over the left shoulder. Women wear a plain undecorated ankle-length, long-sleeved garment, leaving only their hands and faces bare. Women can uncover their faces if they normally cover them because no man should look at them with lust at this time. These clothes symbolise three things: 1) equality 2) single-mindedness 3) self-sacrifice. Ihram also reminds Muslims of death, when all 'disguises' of rank, wealth, and appearance are left behind. A prayer called the talbiyah is uttered repeatedly by the pilgrims as they enter Makkah - the answer to the devout call to come. The Circling On arrival in Makkah, the pilgrims go to the Ka'bah and encircle it seven times at a fast pace, running if possible, to symbolise love for God. This is called the tawaf. As they arrive, the pilgrims call out 'Labbaika, Allahumma, Labbaika!' which means 'At Your command, our Lord, at Your command!' - the call of response to the call and dedicate their lives to God. If the pilgrims can get near the Black Stone they will kiss or touch it, but if it is impossible because of the vast numbers, they shout and rise their arms in salute each time they go past. ...read more.


Next, on 10 Dhul-Hijjah, the Feast of Sacrifice begins and the pilgrims all camp at Mina for two to three days of the feast. Every pilgrim must sacrifice an animal. The Saudi authorities now organise the freezing and disposal of the carcasses because with about two million pilgrims it is impossible for the meat to be eaten immediately even if it is shared amongst the poor. After the sacrifice, the men have their heads shaved and women cut off at least 2.5cm of their hair. Ihram ends at this point. The pilgrims then return to Makkah for another encircling of the Ka'bah. The final events are enjoyed in holiday spirits and many go back to Mina for a period of rest and recovery. Pilgrims finally return to Makkah for the farewell. Some take water from Zamzam and dip their white clothes in it. They drink as much water as possible, believing it can cure diseases and they take as much as they can carry back home to heir families. Some are given pieces of the Black Cloth as souvenirs. They are at last entitled to take the name Hajji or Hajjah. Muslim Tourism After the Hajj, most Muslims go to visit Madinah, to pay their respects at the Prophet's tomb. Muslims may see the grave of the prophet himself, and his companions Abu Bakr and Umar, and according to some traditions, a place reserved for Jesus after his second coming. Mount Nur can be visited where the Prophet first saw the angel and Mount Thawr where he sheltered from the Quarish. Other places are the battle sites, and the Masjid at-Taqwa that is the mosque built when the Prophet entered Madinah ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hajj section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Hajj essays

  1. Hajj and its importance to Muslims?

    It also makes people concentrate more towards Allah and show total loyalty. Ihram is also the state of holiness a pilgrim is in. Everyone then should be barefoot or either wears sandals. The pilgrims must be particularly mindful of Allah's laws, and must there fore avoid violence and sexual intercourse.

  2. The Hajj

    Pilgrims must spend the afternoon within a defined area on the plain of Arafat until after sunset. Many pilgrims spend time praying, talking to God, and thinking about the course of their lives. If a pilgrim does not spend the afternoon on Arafat then their pilgrimage is considered invalid.

  1. Describe what is involved in performing Hajj.

    When the pilgrims return from Hajj they will have gained the name 'Hajji' for a man and 'Hajja' for a woman. This title goes in front of their name for example if I had been on Hajj I would be called 'Hajja Charlotte Jenkins' This gives pilgrims great creditability among

  2. Explain and anylayze Hajj and Makkah

    kept (in 'Uman), but continued to turn towards the Ka'bah in Mecca. Even the building of the Ka'bah is not essential: if it is demolished, for instance for repairs and new construction, Muslims turn to the same spot, whether the Ka'bah with its Black Stone is there or not.

  1. Free essay

    What is Hajj?

    The sacrificed animal is the either frozen for future use or given to the poor Muslim community to eat. Men then shave their heads, and women cut off a lock of hair, usually a small amount; a few centimetres or a quarter.

  2. Religious Education Hajj Coursework

    and his family in Paradise (or Heaven), as Allah says: "All who obey Allah and the messenger shall dwell in the company of those whom Allah has favoured with His Grace: the prophets, the sincere lovers of Truth, the martyrs, and the Righteous who do good.

  1. The Hajj

    This happened on the 9th of Dhul-Hajjah, the second day of Hajj and is one of the highlights of the pilgrimage. Modern day pilgrims will also gather on the Mount of Mercy and beg for forgiveness. Muslims and also Christians and Jews believe that Ibrahim and Isma'il are two very important figures in their holy scriptures.

  2. RE coursework HAJJ

    The ensuing coursing back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah retrace the steps of Mother Hajar, looking for water in the desert to save the life of her son, Isma'il. The travel to the Plain of Arafat symbolises mankind awaiting judgment on the Day of Resurrection.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work