Hajj 2017: Islamís Pilgrimage to Makkah, Facts, History and Dates of Muslim Holidays
What is Hajj?
Hajj is one of the religious obligation offered by the Muslims from all over the world. The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the world’s largest gatherings, as millions of Muslims arrives at Makkah, Saudi Arabia, to participate in it in order to perform this religious obligation. Hajj is one five pillars of Islam. Muslims around the globe gather together for a number of five days to pray as one community, celebrating the history and be thankful to Allah Almighty for his blessing. Moving from Masjid Al Haram complex to the hills of Mina, the rituals includes, circling the Khana Kaaba seven times and visiting sites of historical and religious importance. When people plans to go for Hajj they look for Hajj Packages to have ease in their journey.
When is Hajj 2017?
This year’s hajj is expected to start from 30 August and ends on 4 September in accordance to the Hijri calendar date of 8 Dhul Hijjah to 13 Dhul Hijjah. The dates may vary as it is also dependent on the sighting of the moon. Hajj Packages takes place on the eighth day of the month of Dhul Al-Hijjah every year according to the Muslim calendar. It’s considered an obligation for those Muslims to perform the pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially capable.
What’s the history of Hajj?
The pilgrimage to Makkah has been going on since ancient times, as Makkah economic development source during the time of the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad was due to the income earned from visitors. People try to get their hands on Cheap Hajj Packages to have the trip in their desired budget.
Muslims believe that the rites of the Hajj are in accordance to the story of Hagar, the second wife of Hazrat Ibrahim. Hazrat Ibrahim left his wife and his son Ismail in the desert on the command of Allah Almighty. The wife of Hazrat Ibrahim ran between the two hills named as Safa and Marwa to look for food and water for her son after their food supply and water ran out. In these circumstances she prayed to Allah Almighty for mercy, the place where Ismail was rubbing his feet water sprang out and in present days it is known as the well of Zam Zam. When Hazrat Ibrahim returned, he built the Khana Kaaba with the help of his son Ismail.
What are the steps of Hajj?
The steps that are included in the Hajj are first pilgrims go to a point called as Miqat, the entry station to the Hajj, where Pilgrims bath, put on special cloth named as Ihram which is just a two-piece plain white cloth that is unstitched. Next pilgrim enters to Masjid al-Haram complex keeping right foot first to do Tawaf, a rite that involves circling of Khana Kaaba seven times while reciting prayers. After its completion, the pilgrim is encouraged to sip water from the Zam Zam well, then pilgrim performs Sa’i that’s a walk between the two hills known as Safa and Marwa seven times.
Next, the formal Hajj ritual begins with an intention to perform this obligation. Pilgrims then go to Mina on the 8th of Dhul al Hijjah and they stay there until next morning. Then pilgrims move to the valley of Arafat to stand in the heat and praise Allah Almighty. The day concludes with a visit to Muzdalifa and collecting of small pebbles. Next day the symbolic stoning of the devil occurs in Mina along with the animal sacrifice which is part of Eid al-Adha. Male pilgrims shave their heads while Women cut a specific length of their hair. Pilgrims again return back to Makkah to perform farewell Tawaf again, along with the crossing between Safa and Marwa 7 times. Pilgrims visit Mina for the second time and symbolic stoning is done. People prefers to travel in group for Hajj so they select Cheapest Hajj Packages as it fits in their budget.
What are other rituals associated with Hajj?
Pilgrims perform the Hajj in a state of purity called ihram, which for men is wearing a simple two piece white unstitched cloth. It represents the equality of humanity in front of Allah Almighty.
How many people go on Hajj?
According to Al Arabiya report, 1.8 million people visited Makkah to perform Hajj in 2016.
When is Eid –ul- Adha 2017?
Eid-ul-Adha will be celebrated on Friday 1 September 2017(Calculated). The day may vary in a Gregorian calendar as according to Islamic calendar the day is 10 Dhul Hijjah which is according to the sighting of the moon (Lunar Calendar).