Muslims gather in Saudi Arabia’s Mecca for Hajj
Muslims from across the world are converging on the holy city of Mecca to undertake this year’s Hajj rituals, with Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque) being their focal point.
The Masjid al-Haram is the holiest Islamic site and houses Ka’abah, the point toward which all Muslims face when praying.
Muslims call the Hajj a unique experience, allowing them to tell the world that all people are equal as human beings.
Muslim pilgrims have traveled thousands of miles to perform the Hajj rituals in the same manner as Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) did almost 14 centuries ago.
All the pilgrims who enter into Mecca should undertake a minor Hajj before performing their major Hajj, due to take place on October 13.
When the pilgrims arrive in Masjid al-Haram, they perform Tawaf, which requires them to walk seven times around the Ka’abah. Next, they walk between mountains of al-Safa and al-Marwa seven times to reconstruct the desperate search of Prophet Abraham’s (AS) wife, Hagar, for water. Although she could not find it, God caused the spring of Zamzam to gush out of the Earth under the feet of her child, Ismail (AS).
The Hajj is performed during a five-day period from the 8th through the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Muslim lunar calendar.
According to the holy Quran, the Hajj pilgrimage is obligatory for all Muslims once in their lifetime, if they are able both physically and financially. The teachings of Hajj are also very significant. Muslims remember that they are not joined together on the basis of color or race. But they are joined on the basis of belief in God and his messenger.
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