The significance of hajj
• It’s the 5th pillar of Islam. It’s a command, for those who can afford the expenses.
• It’s the sunnah-prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) performed it.
• The places of hajj are connected to great prophets: Ibrahim, Ismail, Adam (a.s), Muhammad (s.a.w).
• It makes Muslims realise that Islam isn’t a new religion.
• All the sins that Muslims confess at Arafat will be forgiven; therefore Muslims can start a new life.
• It brings a Muslim closer to Allah.
• It makes the pilgrims aware of the power & unity of Islam.
Day 1: 8th Zul Hijjah (Yawm ut-tarwiyyah)
On this day the pilgrims go to Mina after sunrise. They’ll stay there in their tents & perform their Salaah including the Fajr of next day.
Day 2: Zul Hijjah (Yawm ul-arafah)
After sunrise, the pilgrims proceed to Arafat & perform the wuquf (stand). The wuquf starts from Zawwal (noon) up to Maghrib. They’ll read Zuhr & Asr & after sunset, will make their way to Muzdalifah. There, they’ll read Maghrib & ‘isha & spend the night there (in the open).
Day 3: 10th Zul Hijjah (Yawm un-nahr)
After performing Fajr in Muzdalifah, the pilgrims make their way back to Mina; 4 important acts are done on this day:
1. Pelting the big Jamarat only(3rd & largest pillar known as Jamarat ul-uqba)
2. Sacrifice of an animal.
3. Shaving of the head.
Day 4: 11th Zul Hijjah All 3 pillars are pelted.
Day 5: 12th Zul Hijjah All 3 pillars are pelted & return back to makkah.
What happens at Makkah & its relationship to the prophets
• The pilgrims go round the Kabah 7 times. Each time, they try to touch the kabah or kiss the black stone as a sign of devotion to Allah.
• The Kabah was built by Adam (a.s) & re-built after the flood, by Ibrahim & Ismail (a.s), so they remember these prophets as they perform this ritual which is called tawaf.
• The pilgrims run between the hills of Safa & Marwa copying what Hajar (wife of prophet Ibrahim) did as she searched for water to survive in the desert.
• The pilgrims collect water from the Zamzam well. This is regarded as the holiest water in the world & bottles are taken home.
What happens at Arafat & its relationship to the prophets
• The stand at Arafat is the main part of hajj.
• The pilgrims listen to a sermon given by the imam.
• They stand up for several hours & confess their sins to Allah.
• Arafat is where Adam & Hawwa (a.s) met at the mountain of mercy & were reunited after being told to leave the garden in paradise & the place where they confessed their mistake. It was this place where they were forgiven, & Adam (a.s) was also made a prophet in this place.
• Standing at Arafat reminds them of the day of Qiyaamah (judgement).
• It’s an opportunity for Muslims to attain closeness to Allah & seek his forgiveness & start fresh.
What happens at mina & its relationship to the prophets
• On the way from Arafat to Mina, the pilgrims gather 49 stones, which they throw at the pillars of stoning in Mina. They do this to remember how Ibrahim (a.s) stoned Shaytan at Mina when Shaytan tempted him to disobey Allah & not sacrifice his son.
• As they do this, they also promise to get rid of all the evil in their own hearts.
Celebration of eid-ul-adha
• The festival of eid-ul-adha is a time when Muslims all over the world remember the sacrifice that the prophet Ibrahim was willing to make to please Allah.
• At mosques all over the world, there’s a congregational prayer as on eid-ul-fitr.
• The families gather together to make their sacrifice & eat it as a celebratory meal. In the UK, Muslims who wish to make a sacrifice themselves will pay a halal butcher to make the sacrifice for them. They will share this meat with family, friends & the poor.
• It reminds Muslims about the greatness of Allah & to share the spirit of hajj with those who were able to go to makkah, & reinforces the feeling of the ummah.
• The sacrifice of the animal reminds them that they should be prepared to sacrifice everything for Allah.
Article by Zaid Hashware (A student at Majlis e Dawatul Haq Leicester)