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 in a black meteorite that had landed there. However, Mecca didn’t become the thriving historical and religious site it is today until the touchdown on earth of the angel Jibril, and the struggles of Hagar, Ishmael, and Abraham that occurred there. The Biblical figures of Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael are as important to Islam as they are to Christianity. When Hagar and her son, Ishmael, became stranded in the desert, the angel Jibril created a spring of water for Hagar’s dying, dehydrated baby. By God’s orders, Abraham, Ishmael’s father, built a monument to commemorate this angel touching down on earth and creating the well of Zamzam. This monument Abraham built is known as the Kaaba, the holiest site in the Islamic world. People from all over the world flock to see where this beloved angel had touched down on earth. Muhammad is said to have led the first official Hajj in 630 A.D. He and his followers destroyed all other religious relics left at the site, and Muhammad fully dedicated the site t...
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...The Pilgrims return to Mecca and walk around the Kabah once more, renewed and cleansed of their previous lives. This is the official end of the Hajj, but many pilgrims will go on and continue their journey to visit the city of Medina, where Muhammad is buried (Molloy 372).
The pilgrimage to Mecca is so incredibly important to Muslims. Not only does it solidify one’s relationship with Allah and to the religion as a whole, it creates lasting relationships among its participants. Up to two million people participate in this pilgrimage every year (Fetini, “The Hajj”). Participants come from all over the world, from different countries, backgrounds and upbringings. By the end of this pilgrimage, they are, essentially, one. They have spent many days together worshipping, praying, running and hiking together. Forgiven by Allah, they will all return to their lives renewed.
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