The Haj, A Religious Pilgrimage To The City Of Mecca

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The Hajj is a religious pilgrimage to the city of Mecca and its surrounding important sites. The Hajj is more than just a week and a half long trek through the Saudi Arabian desert; it is a religious and spiritual experience, and one of the Five Pillars of Islam. During the Hajj, pilgrims will reenact the acts of Hagar and Abraham, pray for days and nights on end, endure perilous and exhausting hikes to faraway cities, and, ultimately, come out a new person. A person who completes the Hajj will return home cleansed and forgiven of their sins and with a stronger relationship with Allah. The history of the Hajj is one of great religious significance. Mecca was a site of great interest even before Muhammad, probably due to the people’s interest…show more content…
After this, they travel to the city of Mina. On this initial visit, they will pray all through the night, and recite the Quran (Molloy 422). The next day, the exhausted participants travel to Arafat, the place where Muhammad gave his final sermon. This day of prayer is said to be the crux of the Pilgrimage, as they are physically standing in the location one of their most respected and exonerated religious figures once stood. Here, they pray that their past sins will be forgiven, and Allah will accept them as they continue on their journey (Saudi Embassy, “Hajj”). After this day of prayer, they spend the night in a town called Muzdalifa, a town between Arafat and Mina (Molloy 422). In Muzdalifa, the pilgrims gather between forty-nine and seventy stones in preparation for the next day, the Day of Sacrifice (BBC, “Islam: Hajj”). The tenth day of the Hajj is called the Day of Sacrifice, in which pilgrims return to the town of Mina. Here, they throw stones at three pillars, called the Jamraat (BBC, “Islam: Hajj”). This throwing of stones is representative of Abraham’s blatant refusal to disobey God. When the Devil told him not to sacrifice his son on the top of the mountain, Abraham threw stones at the creature to drive it away (Molloy 422). When the pilgrims throw stones at these three walls, they are essentially committing themselves to obey God/Allah’s will, as well as symbolically rejecting the

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