Hajj Rituals - Origin and History
Hajj is a mandatory religious obligation offered by the Muslims. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is compulsory for every Muslim who posssesss the wealth and physical fitness to perform it. Hajj is an Arabic word meaning "to set out" or "to make pilgrimage". In Shariah, it refers to the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Makkah and to perform certain religious rites in accordance with the teachings and ways told by Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). Hajj starts from from 8th to 12th Dhu al-Hijjah according to the Islamic calendar.
The origin of Hajj connects back to 2000 BC and many of the Hajj rituals come directly from the life of Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) (AS) Hajj Packages. For example, the act of Sa'i when Muslim pilgrims run/walk between the two hills named as Safa and Marwa seven times is done to remember the Hajra's wife of Hazrat Ibrahim distressed search for water for her infant son, Ismail (AS), when both of them were left alone by Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) in a barren valley on the command of Allah Almighty. Hajra was the second wife of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). In order to get water for her son, Hajra ran back and forth between the two hills Safa and Marwa Cheap Hajj Packages. It is said and believed by Muslims that the angel Jibril (Gabriel), on Allah's command, came down to earth and created a spring of fresh water for the baby. This spring is today called as Zam Zam and till still runs in Makkah.
Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was a righteous and pious man. Although his father, Aazar, was known as idol sculptor and a polytheist, Ibrahim (AS) denied to accept his father's religion and believed in the oneness of God Cheapest Hajj Packages. He was chosen as a prophet and dedicated his whole life to Allah SWT. Hazrat Ibrahim was given the title of "Khalilullah" (friend of Allah).
Hazrat Ibrahim son Ismail (AS) was also having a strong faith in and Allah SWT tested their loyalty by ordering Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his beloved young son, Ismail (AS), in the name of Allah.Allah Almighty wants to sees the level of faith and belief of the father and son, when Ibrahim (AS) told his son about his dream and the order of Allah, Ismail (AS) was instantly willing to follow Allah's command Cheap Hajj Packages. However Allah Almighty placed an animal instead of Ismail (AS). To remember this great sacrifice and the readiness to accept Allah Almighty order, Muslims from all over the world celebrate "Eid Al-Adha" at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Around this Ka'aba pilgrims perform the ritual of Tawaf, which involves circling the Ka'aba seven times in anti-clockwise direction.After performing Tawaf, Muslims go to the place named as Muqam e Ibrahim to pray two Rakhat prayer, and then drink water from the sacred Well of Zam Zam, before moving to the next ritual of the Hajj. Muqam e Ibrahim is the name of the stone on which Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) stood while building the Ka'aba Cheapest Hajj Packages. It was one of the miracles by Allah Almighty for Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) that stone became soft and his feet sank into it, forming an impression on it which can be seen even today.
"Ramy al-Jamrat" (Stoning of the Satan), another important ritual of Hajj, also related to the event in life of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) life. Pilgrims perform Ramy al-Jamrat by throwing stones at three pillars. These three pillars are located at the three different locations where Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was stoped by Satan when he was going to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS), as ordered by Allah Almighty. The pilgrims must hit each pillar at least seven times with the pebbles they have collected from Muzdalifah. The notion behind this rite is to show defense to the Devil/Satan.
On the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims make their way to Mount Arafat or known as 'Jabal Al Rahmah', the hill of forgiveness. Pilgrims gather on the plain of Arafat and engage themselves in Zikar, prayers and Quran recitation Hajj Packages. This is known as "Wuquf" and termed as the highlight of Hajj. The importance of Mount Arafat is that it is the site where Prophet Muhammad (SAW) delivered his famous Farewell Sermon (Khutbah Hajjatul Wida) to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj before the end of his life. It was on Jabal al Rahmah where Adam and Hawa (Eve) were reunited and forgiven by Almighty Allah for their mistake made in heaven and it is the same plain where all humans will gather in front of Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgment.
Each and every rite of Hajj has a history and a lesson associated with it. Knowing the lesson and reason behind these rituals will help the pilgrims to perform Hajj with a heightened level of zeal and devotion.