At least once in their lifetime a Muslim is to make the Hajj, if they can afford it. The Hajj is a practice where Muslims from around the world travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to perform rituals in and near the sacred masjid, near the Kaaba. Most people in the world are familiar with the picture shown above of a million Muslims circling around the Kaaba, which is believed to be the first house built to commemorate the worship of the One G-d, the Creator of the skies and the earth.
At the Hajj, many rituals are performed and these rituals contain tremendous symbolic meaning and wisdom, which cannot be fully explained in this short description of the Hajj. But, Imam Mohammed has described the meaning of these rituals and in time we will include these descriptions on this website.
Some of the major rituals that are performed are the circling of the Kaaba seven times in a counter-clockwise direction, the running back and forth between two mountains, drinking from the well of ZamZam, throwing stones at the heads of the devil, climbing up the mountain of Arafat, kissing the black stone, prayers, sacrificing an animal and feeding it to the people, and a few more other practices.
But, these are the practices of making the Hajj. We referred to the Hajj as a great principle of Al-Islam. What is that principle? It is the principle that humanity is on a lifetime journey back to its unity as a human family, practicing the noble principles and values under G-d, the Creator of the skies and the earth. This is our great destiny as human beings.
For most Muslims, making the Hajj is a life-changing or inspirational experience. The Hajjis (males) and Hajjahs (females) return filled with stories to tell of their experiences, their contemplations, and their struggles.
The apex of the Hajj is the celebration of Eidul-Adha, which is a celebration commemorating the human being’s return to enlightenment. Eidul-Adha is the second Holy Day for Muslims and we celebrate with food, prayer, socializing, and much much more.
Allah says in 22:27, “and proclaim the Hajj among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways.”
So, every Muslim seeks to make this journey, for its message is so important to inculcate into our heart and this powerful set of rituals helps to plant those lessons, feelings, and ideas deep within the love in our hearts.