World Bulletin / News Desk
Nearly 3 million Muslims became hajji after fulfilling requirements of hajj pilgrimage in holy lands.
Hajj is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.
Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of Muslim people, and their submission to God. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.
Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which Muslims live while on the pilgrimage.
Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage toMecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham.
Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, the building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer, runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, and throws stones in a ritual. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate Eid al-Adha holiday.
Last Mod: 26 Ekim 2012, 11:07