Hajj is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. After the obligatory five daily prayers, Muslims are required to perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they are able to do so. The Hajj consists of a series of rituals that are performed over the course of five days, culminating in the Eid al-Adha festival.
Muslims believe that the Hajj is a re-enactment of the journey of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and is a way of demonstrating their devotion to Allah. The Hajj is also seen as a time of forgiveness and renewal, and is an opportunity to reflect on one’s life and to make a fresh start.
The five days of the Hajj begin with the arrival of pilgrims in Mecca. They then perform a series of rituals, including circumambulating the Kaaba (the sacred black stone in the centre of the Grand Mosque), and walking or running between the hills of Safa and Marwah.
On the fourth day, pilgrims head to Mina, where they spend the night in prayer and reflection. The following day, they take part in the stoning of the devil, a symbolic act of rejecting evil.
Finally, on the last day of the Hajj, pilgrims perform the Eid al-Adha prayers and sacrifice an animal, usually a sheep or a goat, in remembrance of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. The meat from the sacrificed animal is then distributed to the poor and needy.
After the Hajj, pilgrims often return to their home countries with a renewed sense of purpose and spirituality. For many, the Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
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