Becoming a Practicing Muslim: The Five Pillars of Islam [V]

Dina Essawy

24 Mar 2018

Fourth: Hajj

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It must be carried out at least once in a Muslim's lifetime. It can only be carried out by adult Muslims, who are physically and financially capable to do so, as it requires travelling. Hajj is performed in Mecca, the holy city located in Saudi Arabia. Hajj only occurs in the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.  During Hajj, Muslims wear ihram, which is a special type of garb specific to Hajj, and refrain from certain actions.

Every year, the rituals of hajj start during a five-day period from the 8th to the 12th of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. The rituals of Hajj were first established by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). During Hajj, hundreds of thousands of Muslims join together to walk and pray around the Kaaba, dash back and forth between Safaa and Marwah (mountains in Mecca), drink from the Zamzam Well, stand at the plains of Mount Arafat, spend the night in the Muzdalifa plains, and perform symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars.

Allah says in the Quran: "And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass." [Al-Haj, 27]

Hajj has the greatest significance to Muslims worldwide. It is a chance for all Muslims to stand united for what they believe in. Hajj for Muslims is a chance for self-renewal and it is also a symbol for the Day of Judgment. It provides spiritual reinvigoration and Muslims wait for it every year.

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