The fifth pillar of Islam is Hajj, which translates to mean “the pilgrimage to the Holy city of Makkah.” The Arabic word, Hajj, linguistically, means “heading to a place for the sake of visiting.” In Islamic terminology, the term describes the act of heading to Makkah to observe specific actions and rituals. Hajj, or the pilgrimage, is a 5–6-day journey to this sacred place between the 8th and 13th day of the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Dhul-Hijjah. The Hajj journey is obligatory for every Muslim, male or female, to complete at least once in a lifetime, provided they are mentally, physically, and financially capable of making the trip. God states:
“…And due to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House — for whoever is able to find thereto a way…” (Quran 3:97)
The Hajj includes detailed reenactments of certain symbolic rituals performed by great Prophets and righteous individuals in the past. The Hajj Pilgrimage and its symbolic rituals commemorate the legacy of Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him; this is why one needs to learn about Prophet Abraham to understand the reasoning behind individual acts performed as a part of Hajj.
Integral to Hajj is the Kaaba, a holy shrine — a black silk-clad cube stone structure at the heart of the Grand Mosque in the modern-day city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Kaaba is at the center of the Earth, built by Prophet Abraham and his son Ismael, peace be upon them. Upon completion, God the Almighty commanded Prophet Abraham to relay a single Message to the people: that they would be required to make a pilgrimage to this House.
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