Essay, Pages 3 (700 words)
The expedition to Capital throughout the Hajj is the specifying moment in a Muslims life. Every Muslim is required to check out Capital and take part in the rituals. The trip to Capital is one of Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith. This pilgrimage shows a Muslim’s dedication to Allah (God). In the Muslim faith, Mecca is considered the holiest city. It is regarded so highly that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca. The celestial house of God, the Kaaba, is located in the center of Mecca.
“Mecca, understood to the Muslim faithful as ‘the mother of all cities,’ is the holiest location in the Islamic world” (Steiger). It is the location of the Hajj, or expedition.
The pilgrimage to Capital is the 5th pillar of faith that all Muslims are needed to do a minimum of when in their life time. Capital is also the sacred city were the Prophet Mohammed was born and matured. The Great Mosque is located in the heart of the city of Mecca.
Outside the mosque, there is a courtyard. Inside the courtyard is the most spiritual place of Islam, the Kaaba. The Kaaba is “the home of god, thought by Muslims to have actually been built by Abraham and his son, Ishmael” (Faith Facts). The “the black stone” plays a really vital part in the Koran. According to the Five Pillars of Faith, Muslims should hope five times a day dealing with the Kaaba.
On every day of the Hajj, pilgrims should participate in a various routine in the city of Mecca. “To get ready for the Hajj, the Koran instructs pilgrims to get in a state of consecration called the Ihram: A pilgrim should prevent upset words, sexual intercourse, and the cutting of hair or nails” (Creighton). After the pilgrims have ended up preparing, they carry out the Tawaf. This is where the pilgrims walk seven times counter-clockwise around the Kaaba. According to Dr. Zakir Naik, “Muslims circle the Kaaba to show that there is one center meaning that they all worship the very same God, Allah.” Next, is the Sa’l. This is when the pilgrims run seven times between 2 hills.
This symbolizes Hagar’s search for water for her son, Ishmael. The pilgrims then walk five times around the city of Mina. “The time of the journey is spent in prayer and meditation” (Steiger). The fourth aspect of the pilgrimage is Ramy al-Jamarat, which is the reenactment of when Abraham threw stones at the devil. “The final stage of the Hajj is achieved with a festival in which a sheep, goat, cow, or camel is sacrificed to commemorate the moment when God rescinded the command to Abraham to sacrifice his son and permitted him to slay a ram and offer its blood in Ishmael’s stead” (Steiger). To finalize the ritual of the Hajj, the pilgrims walk around the Kaaba one last time.
The annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is among the largest mass gatherings in the world. In 2012, the Hajj took place October 24–27. Hajj 2012 was one of the biggest ever with almost 4 million pilgrims in attendance. To help ensure the pilgrims safety, “Saudi authorities have spent billions of dollars in recent years improving Hajj infrastructure to avoid of stampedes and accidents” (Arabiya). They have made other changes as well to ensure the safety of the visitors. In 2012 the pillars, that pilgrims throw stones at, were replaced with long walls and a trough at the bottom of the wall to collect all the stones.
- Steiger, Brad, and Sherry Hansen. Steiger. The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2003. Print. Creighton, Linda L. “The Pilgrimage to Mecca Is Dangerous but Exhilarating.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 07 Apr. 2008. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. .
- Religion Facts. “Mecca: The Holiest City in Islam.” Mecca: Holy City of Islam. N.p., 13 Feb. 2005. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. . Arabiya, Al. “Saudi Arabia Declares Hajj 2012 One of the Most Successful.” Saudi Arabia Declares Hajj 2012 One of the Most Successful. N.p., 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. . Do Muslims Bow down to Kaaba or to God. Dir. Zakir Naik, Dr. 2006. Youtube.