The Five Pillars to Islam: The Hajj or Pilgrimage to Makkah

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The Hajj or pilgrimage to Makkah is one of the five pillars of Islam "arkan-al-Islam”- Its purpose is essentially to facilitate the act of submission to Allah which is pinnacle to all followers of Islam. "Perform the pilgrimage and the visit [to Mecca] for Allah" Surah 2:196. It has enormous significance, not only for the pilgrim undertaking the Hajj but also for the wider Muslim community, the Umma, as it allows for all individuals to gain unification of faith. Such purpose can be examined through considering various rituals; the stand before Allah "wuquf", the stoning of the pillars at Mina, the commemoration of the festival of sacrifice "Id-ul-Adha", the circling of the Ka'bah and drawing water from the well of Zamzam. Such rituals give example to a profound meaning of the Islamic faith and upon completion, the individual is fulfilling to the ultimate goal of Islam, a more perfect submission to Allah. Commemoration of the restoration of the individual and the forgiveness of sin is central when examining the primary ritual of the Hajj: the stand before Allah, “wuquf”. It resembles the disobedience of Adam and Eve and the forgiveness of their sin, which is of great significance to the Muslim pilgrim. The forgiveness and restoration experienced by Adam and Eve gives assurance that Allah is willing to forgive people today. The opportunity to experience the love and forgiveness of Allah is encountered, allowing the pilgrim to begin life afresh, being free from past sin, being in peace with themself. "Whoever performs Hajj and stay away from lewdness, wrangling, and obscenities will come home like a newborn." Al-Bukhari. Consequently, such ritual of the Hajj is of great significance to the individual, as it gives focus to the act ... ... middle of paper ... ... significant expression to the diversity of Islam, however it is also a powerful witness to the unity of Islam, and the meaning of the Umma, with millions of people, of every race and nationality uniting together in one goal of submission to Allah. “We were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood” (Malcolm X, a Sunni pilgrim, 1965) In essence, undertaking Hajj is of great to the Muslim and to the Muslim community. Through examining the core rituals of Hajj, one can explore to the purpose of them; the reinforcement of the fundamental beliefs of Islam and the strengthening of the ultimate goal of Islam, the submission to Allah. Therefore, the Hajj, the rituals involved and their meaning are of the greatest significance to the individual and community, attaining to the ultimate goal of the more perfect submission to Allah.

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