Hajj Mubarak (pilgrimage) constitutes the fifth fundamental practice for Muslims and is referred to as one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a blessed journey that every Muslim has to perform if he/she is financially and physically stable. Hajj Mubarak happens in the 12th month of the Islamic calendar which is known as Dhul-Hijjah. Hajj Mubarak takes place gradually across all four seasons of time, as Muslims perform it in accordance with the Lunar calendar, known as the Muslim calendar. For instance, this year Hajj Mubarak falls from 7 to 12 July. Two million Muslims worldwide are expected to fulfill this religious duty by coming to Mecca.
Mecca For Hajj Mubarak
Mecca is also the birthplace of our holy prophet Muhammad. The Kaaba locates in the center of the Great Mosque in Mecca. All Muslims around the world consider it a blessed place on Earth. Though, Mecca is a spiritual destination for Muslims all around the world and is the heart of Islam.
Muslims perform their prayers from all over the world towards Kaaba in Mecca. They buried their dead bodies faces towards the Kaaba as well. The direction is known as Qibla in Arabic.
In Islamic belief and tradition, Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail who is his son raised the foundation of God’s home in compliance with the divine command in Quran that is in Surat Al-Baqarah: 2:127.
The Road Towards Mecca
In accordance with Islamic belief, pilgrims perform Hajj Mubarak in response to God’s call and obey Ibrahim’s command. As soon after he completed building the Kaaba, God commanded him to call people to perform Hajj Mubarak and commended them to visit the blessed house, according to the Almighty’s saying in the Quran (Surat At-Hajj: 22:27).
The Performance Of Hajj Mubarak
The first ritual of Hajj Mubarak is entering the state of Ihram, a sacred consecration while crossing the outer boundaries of Mecca known as Miqat.
In the Ihram, men must wrap seamless white sheets around their bodies, while women should wear modest attire, adhering to ethical rules.
On the very first day of Hajj Mubarak (eight of Dhul-Hijjah), the pilgrim reached Mecca and starts performing Tawaf and Sai, which is walking around the Kaaba seven times as a greeting to God’s house. The pilgrims run seven times between the two mountains that are Al-Marwah and Al-Safa, in recall of the story of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail and his wife Hajar.
Pilgrims performing Hajj Mubarak proceed to Mina, near Mecca, where they spend the first day in separate white tents for temporary accommodation. On that day the pilgrims spend their time in remembrance of God and perform prayers.
On the second day of Hajj Mubarak, the pilgrims go to a nearby mountainous area which is Arafat, nine miles away from Mina. Jabal al-Rahman (the Mount Mercy) at Arafat was the act of Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon.
The pilgrim’s position at the Jabal Al-Rahman foot where they perform prayers and remember God from sunrise till sunset. Pilgrims pray to God in reflection and appeal to their own lives, future, and the afterlife. The day of Arafat is an important requirement for Hajj to be valid.
On the day of Arafat in Hajj Mubarak, after sunset, the pilgrims go toward Muzdalifah which is a place between Arafat and Mina. Pilgrims pray and spend the night under the open sky, gathering pebbles for the next day’s ritual of stoning Satan.
Eid-Ul-Adha Third Day Of Hajj Mubarak
The third day of Hajj Mubarak is the day of Eid-ul-Adha for Muslims, it is one of two Eid’s for Muslims. Pilgrims celebrate in remembrance of Ibrahim’s son Ismail, following a divine order to sacrifice him as seen in Ibrahim’s dream. Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail believed in the dream and continued to carry out the order of God. Then God ordered him to sacrifice a sheep instead of his son. On this day, Muslims approach God by sacrificing a cow, camel, or sheep and distributing the meat to the poor.
At Mina The Stoning Of Satan
Now the pilgrims have to go back to Mina where they perform a ritual that is the stoning of Satan during Hajj Mubarak. This is the fact of Islamic belief that when God ordered Ibrahim for sacrificing his son, on that spot in Mina, Satan appeared and tried hard to discourage him from accepting God’s command. Ibrahim then responds back to Satan by throwing stones at him.
At Jamrat Al-Aqaba, millions of people gather, it has three pillars that represent Satan, to re-enact the story. The pilgrims then throw seven pebbles in sequence. After completing the ritual, men shave or trim their hair, while women cut a small portion of their hair.
The people then proceed to perform the rituals by walking around the Kaaba and running in between Al-Marwah and Al-Safa. Pilgrim before returning to Mina on the third day, spend the whole night praying. Pilgrims repeat the act of throwing pebbles at Jamrat Al-Aqaba on the fourth and fifth days after sunset.
The End Of Hajj Mubarak: Last Circumambulation AroundThe Kaaba
Before departing from Mecca, after completing Hajj Mubarak, pilgrims perform the final circumambulation, walking around the Kaaba seven times.
The pilgrims then go to Medina to visit the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad and the mosque. Although it is not a part of the Hajj Mubarak pilgrimage. Hajj Mubarak unites followers of diverse backgrounds in the celebration of Islam. Properly performing Hajj erases previous signs for the truthful believer, believed by the pilgrims.