One of the biggest dreams of every Muslim is to embark on a spiritual journey called Hajj at least once in his or her lifetime. While there are numerous regulations, rules, and details on how to perform Hajj, the most important of them all is to have pure intention.
Aside from being the most religious obligation, performing Hajj also strengthens the faith of a Muslim in Allah and purifies the soul. Whether you are a Muslim or not, here are six interesting Hajj facts and pilgrimage to Mecca.
1. What is Hajj?
Hajj is an Arabic term for Pilgrimage. It refers to the journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. All Muslims who meet the financial and physical requirements must go on Hajj at least once in their lifetime. Hajj is held in the final month of the calendar of Islam between the 8th to 12th Dhul-Hijjah.
2. You Gain a Place in Paradise When You Complete a Hajj
Despite all the tribulations and trials involved with planning and completing a Hajj, the reward far outweighs any challenges that pilgrims may face during the process. The physical, financial, and spiritual hurdles are nothing compared to what Allah has to offer. The reward for completing a Hajj is a spot in paradise that is worth more than what you can give.
3. Hajj is Islam’s Fifth and Final Fundamental Pillar
Islam has five pillars that are the obligations that all good Muslims need to fulfill for them to live devout lives with their faith put first more than anything else. Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It is an act that all Muslims need to do once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage to Mecca is a display of both inner strength and faith.
4. Hajj and Eid al-Adha Go Hand in Hand
The Hajj begins with the celebration of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha. After the stoning ritual is completed at Jamarat, the pilgrims perform Qurbani where they sacrifice cattle, goats, or sheep. The meat is distributed to families, neighbors, and the needy. It is done to honor the Prophet Ibrahim and his steadfast devotion to Allah.
5. Muslims Who Successfully Complete the Hajj are Given the Title Hajjis
Muslims take great pride in completing a Hajji because it helps strengthen spiritual fortitude and unwavering devotion to Allah. The moment a Muslim completes a pilgrimage to Mecca and fulfills the fifth pillar of Islam, they will earn the title Hajji. Several Muslims even use the title before their names to show that they achieved Hajj.
6. Hajj Has No Gender Separation
Although many other rites in the Muslim faith practice gender separation, men and women are not required to separate at the Grand Mosque of Mecca. Male and female Muslims can walk together around the Kaaba, climb Arafat, and throw stones at the Jamarat. It represents the equality of women and men before Allah. However, gender segregation is recognized once again after the Hajj is completed.
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