Hajj and Umrah are some of the most important religious duties in the Islamic religion. Muslims have been doing Hajj and Umrah since the begging of the Islamic religion because of the sacredness of this duty no matter how difficult or expensive it could be.
Hajj is one of the most important mandatory duties in the Islamic religion. It is mandatory once in a lifetime for all Muslims and it’s the fifth pillar of the Islamic religion. The history of hajj goes back in history to thousands of years ago in the age of the prophet Abraham. It has been a very old tradition in the Arabic world and it was associated with commerce frequently.
The rites of Hajj
Hajj has its own rites. It starts in eighth of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. Where the Hajj wears the “Iharm” which is a custom way of dressing specified for “Hajj” from a set of specific locations called “Miqat” and there are five of them. Then the Hajj goes to mecca and performs Tawaff which means walking seven times counter clockwise around the Ka’aba. Afterwards the Hajj goes to “Mina” to spend the whole day there. Then the Hajj goes to Arafat to spend the day of Arafah which corresponds with the ninth of Dhul-Hijah and in this day the pilgrims stand in specific locations which they are not allowed to leave. When the sun sets the pilgrims begin walking towards Muzdalifah to spend the night and by the morning they go back to Mina where they perform a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing seven stones at a large pillar. After finishing the stoning, the pilgrims return to Mecca to perform “Tawaf Al-Ifaadah” which is another Tawaf around the ka’aba in Mecca.
The Umrah is also an important part of the Islamic religion. It is not compulsory but highly recommended. During Umrah the pilgrims visit the holy mosque to perform the rites of Umrah.
The rites of Umrah
It starts with wearing the Ihram from Miqat then assuming Ihram after performing a prayer in the mosque of Miqat. Then the pilgrims go to Mecca. After arriving at mecca they begin performing Tawaff until they finish the seven times. Then they perform sa’I which means walking seven times between “safa” and “marwah” and both are places very close to the Ka’aba. After finishing sa’I the pilgrims cut or shorten their hair which is the last rite of Umrah.
Since the beginning of Islam millions of Muslims perform both Hajj and Umrah because of their high importance in Islam and the relief they bring upon the pilgrims.