Explaining Hajj Essay

3748 words - 15 pages

Explaining Hajj

Hajj is the official Muslim pilgrimage made to Makkah. Hajj means
'visit to the revered place' or 'set out with a definite purpose' and
is the most significant manifestation of Muslims. For those who are
able to travel to Makkah, the Hajj is said to be the peak of their
religious life. Hajj is an obligation. It is the duty of every Muslim
who can afford it and who is physically fit to visit the Ka'bah and
stand before God at Mount Arafat, at least once in their lifetime.
Some people save money their entire lives in order to be able to go on
the pilgrimage. Others save money in a group so that they can send one
representative to go for them. This way they can experience Hajj
without performing it.

Hajj is the fifth pillar of faith, or Arkan. Without the pillars Islam
would not exist. All of the other pillars, Shahadah, Salat, Zakah and
Sawn, demand that normal life be broken off but Hajj involves the
complete suspension of wordly activities so that Muslims can devote
themselves to God. Hajj is one of the best forms of worship and is one
of the most sublime deeds because it is one of the pillars of Islam
that Allah sent Muhammad with. A servant's religion is incomplete
without it. A form of worship is only acceptable when the following is
true: - One devotes it to Allah alone, with a desire for the
Hereafter. It cannot be done with the intention of being seen among
men of for worldly gain; One follows the Prophet's example, in words
and deeds.

The true Hajj extends over five days from 8 to 12 Dhul-Hijjah, which
is the twelfth month of the Islamic year. If a Muslim makes the
journey at any other time it is known as Umrah, which is a lesser
pilgrimage and does not have the same significance. The Islamic
calendar is lunar, not solar, which means Hajj can fall at any time of
year.

The end of Hajj is celebrated by the Eidal-Adha festival, which
involves prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities all
over the world. This celebration is combined with Eid al-Fitr, the
feast day, which marks the end of Ramadan. These two Muslim festivals
are important events in the calendar.

If a Muslim is prevented from going on Hajj as result of illness, a
lack of sufficient money or unavoidable circumstances, for example a
funeral, then it is possible for them to join the other pilgrims in
spirit and in prayer. This is known as niyyah, or intention. If they
want to, a Muslim can pay a representative who has already performed
Hajj to go on their behalf, of they can give the money they saved for
Hajj to a charity.

A ii) Describe why a Muslim might take part in the Hajj and what this
involves.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of God gave Muhammed and so it is very
important that all Muslims attempt to circle the Ka'bah and stand
before God on Mount...

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