‘Hajj’ is the name given to the annual pilgrimage to Makkah undertaken by Muslims around the world. It is a sacred journey that happens once a year, where more than 2 to 3 million Muslims participate. According to the beliefs of Islam, Hajj is obligatory for all Muslim believers who can afford. This is why many Muslims attach special spiritual importance to Hajj, saving money and planning this trip throughout their lives.
Undergoing the other foremost four pillars, Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam which means “to intend a journey’ from 8th to 12th of Dhul-Hijjah and to go to the holiest city (Makkah) to perform obligatory rituals of the pilgrimage to make up the core of the Islamic belief. According to Saudi Arabian Embassy, It’s the largest gathering of human beings on earth. During this religious happening, Muslims get closer to Allah by walking around the Kaaba seven times which was the first house built exclusively to worship Allah for nonstop five days.
Holy Qur’an says in a short and meaningful sentence:
“It is on people for the sake of Allah to perform Hajj of his house, anyone who is able to undertake the journey to him.” (2:196)
The history takes us to the traces of a time when Prophet Ibrahim was ordered by Allah to leave his wife Hajra and his beloved son Ismail alone in the desert of Makkah then. Hajra ran desperately between the hills of Safa and Marwa as baby Ismail was badly in the thirst of water. On her return, she saw her son scratching the ground with his leg and a splash of water sprang forth underneath his foot. Later, Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by Allah to build Kaba on that site and to invite people to perform the pilgrimage.
In 632 CE, Prophet Muhammad guided his followers from Makkah to Madinah, cleanse the Kaba by destroying all the pagan idols that were once surrounded the Kaba and re-constructed the building of Allah where now Muslims face and make prayers. When Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) instructed the rites of pilgrimage on his last Hajj, it became the fifth pillar of Islam.
The pilgrimage of the Hajj takes place from the 8th to the 12th of Zul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hijiri calendar. This is for a motive that Islamic year has almost seven days short-lived then Gregorian calendar and the respective date’s changes every year.
Hajj 2018 will commence on 19th August, Sunday continuing to Friday, 24th August 2018. This is not the actual date as the original date will be subject to sighting of the moon of Dhul Hijjah.
Allah mentions the benefits of Hajj as:
“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle that He has bestowed upon them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor unfortunate.” (Quran 22:28)
On the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, Eid al-Adha is celebrated. On this day, Muslims slaughter an animal in the name of sacrifice for Allah, remembering Ibrahim (RA). Ibrahim (RA) sacrifices; intended to slaughter his son Ismail (RA) on Allah’s orders, but Allah replaced Ismail with a sheep. This occurrence in history marks the submissive act of faith on Allah and a gesture to surrender for the will of Almighty.
The Hijiri or Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar based on the moon sighting. The advent of each month depends on the physical sighting of the new moon. The corresponding Gregorian dates are estimates based on astronomical calculations, approved by the Fiqh Council of Pakistan. The Gregorian dates of the Hajj change from year to year. Islamic day begins at sunset.
As per the estimates of the Fiqh Council in Pakistan, Hajj is expected to fall between August 19th, 2018 to August 23rd, 2018 Inshaa'ALLAH.
It is rightly believed in the shine of Sahih Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad once said that those who completed the holy pilgrimage without any obscenity will have their sins washed and wiped away till the judgment day freezes world.
Allah mandated Hajj to preach Muslims about unity and modesty. During Hajj, everyone prays together, wear same clothes, go around Kaba together.
The official dress for men to perform Hajj is ‘Ihram’ (apparel that’s made of two pieces of white clothing). Any clothing which is stitched is forbidden to wear which can cover their ankles and heads. Vice versa all females are forbidden to wear such clothes which can cover their face and hands.
Muslims are also forbidden from having obscenity (sexual intercourse, proposing marriage, cutting their hair or nails, and killing animals) during Hajj.
If from Allah’s will, you’re able to make it to this year Muslims gathering then do not overlook these special events in five days of Hajj.
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