Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
An excerpt from why Islam (dot) org on Hajj
Hajj literally means, “to continuously strive to reach one’s goal.” The Hajj, or Pilgrimage to Mecca, is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.
The Hajj is essentially a re-enactment of the rituals of the great prophets and teachers of faith. Pilgrims symbolically relive the experience of exile and atonement undergone by Adam and Eve after they were expelled from Heaven, wandered the earth, met again and sought forgiveness in the valley of Mecca. They also retrace the frantic footsteps of the wife of Abraham, Hagar, as she ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa searching for water for her thirsty baby (which according to Muslim tradition, God answered with the well of Zam Zam). Lastly, the pilgrims also commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son for the sake of God. God later substituted a ram in place of his son.
Performing the rituals of Hajj provides a reminder of how the great prophets and teachers of faith established a deep and personal relationship with God. As the pilgrim makes his supplications to God, he realizes that He is asking of the same God that answered the prayers of those before him. These reminders are an important part of strengthening one’s faith, trust and dependence in God.
The faithful hope that the Hajj will bring about a deep spiritual transformation, one that will make him or her a better person. If such a change from within does not occur, then the Hajj was merely a physical and material exercise devoid of any spiritual significance. As all great religions teach, we are more than mere physical creatures in that we possess an essence beyond the material world. Indeed, this is why all great religions have a tradition of pilgrimage. In the Islamic tradition, Hajj encapsulates this spiritual journey toward this essence. Hajj teaches one to show sincerity and humilty in one’s relationship with God. The result of a successful Hajj is a rich inner peace, which is manifested outwardly in the values of justice, honesty, respect, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and empathy.
These are the articles and videos covered in this section:
Hajj: The Journey of a Lifetime
“Pilgrimage is a central duty of Islam and brings together Muslims from all races, colors and statuses for one of life’s most moving and spiritual experiences….”
Universal Lessons of Hajj
The result of a successful Hajj is a rich inner peace, which is manifested outwardly in the values of justice, honesty, respect, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and empathy to others.
Origin and Significance of Hajj
Like the prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, Hajj shapes the life of a Muslim and prepares him to live in submission to God’s will.
Hajj and the Neglected Legacy of a Great Woman
“Eid al-Adha is a great and unique occasion of joy and celebration. Ironically, this joy and celebration revolve around sacrifice. It would probably make sense to only those who understand that the joy of giving that touches others’ lives is far greater and deeper than the joy of receiving.” Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq
Hajj: One Year Later
“The Hajj was the most powerful and emotional spiritual experience I have ever had……” Hesham A. Hassaballa, M.D
Festival of The Sacrifice
Eid-ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice, is a representation of two significant Islamic events: the culmination of the Hajj and the sacrifice that God commanded to Prophet Abraham of his beloved son.