MuslimPilgrimage to Mecca
MuslimPilgrimage To Mecca
Islamas a culture requires consideration of some different practices thatare believed to be mandatory to believers, therefore, making them thefoundation of Muslim life. Among these factors would include the fivepillars of Islam. The pillars involve paying the alms tax dailyconfession of faith, daily ritual prayer, fasting and Haji which isthe Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. I believe Haji is Islam’s mostimportant act as it marks an important point in time in one’s lifeand therefore improves their relationship with God through personalpurification (Hitchcock 2014).
Oncein a lifetime, all Muslims are required to take on this pilgrimagethe sacred city of Islam. The practice was started by the ancientArabs since the process was regarded as a holy journey. This Muslimtradition can be traced back to Adam and Abraham. The scripturestates that angels instructed the two in the performance of the rite.The significance of the act is seen from prophet Mohammed lastactions before death since he visited the place and advised allMuslims to follow his footsteps. The visit, however, is notrestricted to a given moment of the year even though it is oftenrecommended during Dhu al-Hijja. It takes place during the Islamicyears last month that helps in the expectations of the Haji. The Hajiprocess can be avoided in different events. The Quran states that theholy journey can have some exception if a person finds himself insome situation. One will be able to let go the idea of Haji if itcauses hardship for his or her family. They can send someone else intheir place because they cannot be able to go to Mecca. Thepilgrimage, therefore, acts as a unifying effect since it helps bringall Muslims from all corners of the world to come and worshiptogether. All considerations in this ritual show why the process iscarried out from time to time and why Muslim have tried to embracethe act.
Theceremony takes place in some systematic ways so as to help theworshiping process. Upon arrival, nearly six miles from Ka’ba thisbeliever goes into a state of purity (ihram) and remain in that statethroughout the Hajj. During this state, the male individuals wraptheir bodies in pure garments which are two white seamless sheets andput on sandals. Through this, we have the reason of the ritual shownclearly, and that is not only holiness consideration but also servewith the idea of spiritual quality as well as unity. The efforts areto ensure any visual demonstration of wealth, class or culture isdone away with as individuals humble in their purification process. Women, on the other hand, have their mode of dressing that requiresthem to be in white robes covering every body part except the faceand their hands. When in the holy state there are some practices allbelievers are expected to refrain from. Among these involve cuttingtheir nails or hair, fight, hunt, argue or engage in sexualrelations.
Onentering Mecca pilgrim take the initiative of walking around Ka’baseverally as they recite the talbiya while touching and kissing theblack stone. When carrying out such they pray twice in the directionof the stations of Abraham and the Ka’ba as they walk seven timesthrough the small mountains of Marwa and Safa (Tütüncü 2015).Different members that have come from worship go through this processwith their primary goal of the process of purification. The nextchapter of Haji then takes place around the eighth and the twelfthdays of Dhual Hijja (Pashaet al 2015). The whole process starts witha sermon on the seventh day, referred to as khutba, at the mosque. Onthe eight day, the believers are required to stay together at Arafatand Mina for the good of the process of purification. The ninth dayhas its procedure which includes the ritual of standing (wuquf). Theprocess takes place at Jabal al-Rahma in Arafat and goes on an entireday. During the night, the pilgrim returns to Muzdalifa which is atown located within boundaries of Mecca (Porter 2012).
Onthe tenth day, there is the feast of sacrifice. It is referred to asEid al-Adha and regarded as a major holiday practiced by all Muslims.When you are taking part in Hijja, it is required that you spend theday in Mina. The activities that take place are in commemoration ofAbrams sacrifices. There is the act of animal sacrifice and throwingseven stones to all the three pillars from three consecutive days.The process is in symbolism too much greater subjects, and that islooking at the instructions given to Abraham by God as the threepillars stand for the devil and sins. Afterward, the pilgrims go backto Mecca and repeat the ritual of going round the black stone andpraying. The last process then involves the shaving of their hairwith the need of symbolizing the end of the state of ihram.
Hajjis completed by about two million Muslims each and every year. Allare with the goal of trying to be pure before their death. Because ofthis, there are some factors displaying motivation that have come upfrom this process. The different factors of motivation are meant toimprove the process of worship and consideration of various factorsof holiness. The government of Saudi Arabia has helped in thecontribution of significant resources to help in the preservation ofthe different holy places and assist in the management of the crowdof pilgrims. Despite the fact that Mecca registers an enormousamount of Muslims that come to worship annually, only a small portionof individuals has fulfilled the duty of that particular pillar ofIslam. However, anyone who has gone through the process can add thetitle of hajj to their names (Sardar 2014).
Duringthe ritual, there are some accidents recorded in the history. Theprocess comes from the fact that we have large numbers of people whoattend and therefore bringing the need to control the crowd. Amongthe problems that have led to disaster involve:
Thisperiod had the explosion of two bombs that result in the killing ofone pilgrim and injuring 16. Sixteen Shiites were found guilty bythe Saudi authorities. To serve as an example as they were beheadedafter they were convicted of the crimes.
Therewas a stampede at one of the tunnels that were leading to Meccabringing about 1402 pilgrims’ death.
Therewas a stampede that resulted in the death of 244 Muslims during thestoning of the devil ritual.
SaudiArabia authorities are doing all that is in their power to help indealing with the problems associated with disasters from the holyjourney. The primary goal is to ensure that there is hope restoredand motivation to any Muslim who wants to make that step in life butis with fear of what might come up. Among the processes involveputting strict rules to anyone who would bring harm to the pilgrims. Individuals are also advised to help with the process of usheringindividuals as they move from a single place to another. Patience isalso preached to help prevent any cases of stampede. Security isbeefed up in these particular areas with the need of increasing thelevels of motivation and help each and every Muslim with theopportunity to live their dream of going to Mecca.
Inconclusion, it is evident how Muslims dedicate their effort and timein life in ensuring they maintain the different pillars of theirreligion. Among the five pillars involve the Muslim pilgrimage toMecca and its significance to their lives. That can be seen from theremarkable numbers recorded annually on those visiting Mecca. Sincethis pillar needs to be carried out at least once before one dies aswell as being done by prophet Mohammed, Adam and Abraham gives it thesignificance it requires. The ritual also takes care of differentpeople in the society, and that is with the determination ofdifferent social status. Those who are not well off consideringfinancial capabilities are given an option of representatives andtherefore help in the performance of the holy practice. Through allthese considerations comes the significance of the Muslim pilgrimageto Mecca.
Hitchcock,J. (2014). The 5 Pillars of Islam. Verbum, 2(2),43-50.
Pasha,M. J., & Alharbi, B. H. (2015). Characterization ofsize–fractionated PM 10 and associated heavy metals at twosemi–arid holy sites during Hajj in Saudi Arabia. AtmosphericPollution Research, 6(1),162-172.
Porter,V. (2012). Hajj:journey to the heart of Islam/edited by Venetia Porter…[et al.].British Museum Press.
Sardar,Z. (2014). Mecca:The Sacred City.Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
Tütüncü,M. (2015). tHe uppSala mecca paIntIng: a new Source for tHe culturaltopograpHy and HIStorIograpHy for mecca. Hajj:Global Interactions through Pilgrimage,137.