Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is the Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah that is taking place this year from the 30thof August to the 4th of September 2017. All Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the pilgrimage are required to do so at least once in their lives. In just a few days, Muslims of every ethnic group, color, social status, and culture will join in solidarity in the world’s largest annual gathering of people following the footstep of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and his followers on their first pilgrimage in Islam in the year 628.
Here is why they do it:
- A pillar of Islam: For Muslims, Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It is the journey that every adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their lives if they can afford it and are physically able to make the pilgrimage.
- Unity of all Muslims: During Hajj millions of Muslims set aside all differences of race, caste, economic status, nationality, and even sect as they unite in the holy pilgrimage, each donning the simple two-piece white garb of the non-attached traveler, allowing nearly no apparent difference whatsoever as they all stand together.
- Purpose: During the Hajj the Pilgrims perform acts of worship and they renew their sense of purpose in the world.
- Humility: The Hajj makes Muslims feel the real importance of life here on earth, and the afterlife, by stripping away all markers of social status, wealth, and pride.
- Tranquility: During Hajj, Muslims from all parts of the world come together and show their love for one another and get to know one another without any barriers or obstacles between them.
- A learning journey: The season of Hajj brings a great deal of good as Muslims come together and learn from each other.
- A fresh start: Hajj is a chance to wipe clean the slate of one’s mistakes and shortcomings of the past. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said: “One who comes to this House for Hajj and avoids all lewdness and sins, he returns as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Bukhari & Muslim).