Thereâ€™s always a excitement right before the Eid throughout the country. It is not due to the long holidays coming up but because it is the time to Hajj and almost everyone has a relative or a friend who is undertaking the journey. Hajj is the highlight of the year in the Islamic calendar. Itâ€™s a complex and exhausting spiritual journey which makes the fifth (optional) pillar of Islam.
Hajj is supposed to perform at least once in the lifetime of a Muslim. It carries many rituals that go back to the time of prophet Abraham PBUH. One such rite performed by all pilgrims commemorates the story of the prophet Abraham PBUH when he was asked by God to leave alone his wife Hagar and son Ismail in the desert. When the child became thirsty, his mother went to and forth in a panic trying to search water between two hills known as el Marwa and el Safa, walking in some places and scurrying in others. However, her efforts were in vain and in despair, she returned to her crying baby. At that moment, either baby Ismail, crying in despair hit the ground or the angel Gabriel PBUH, hit the ground with the tip of his wing and water came out.
The name of Zam Zam arrives from the phrase ‘stop, stopâ€™, or â€˜zome zomeâ€™, which Hajar kept repeating when water burst below her feet in fear that it would finish. Abraham PBUH, upon his return, built the house of God, or the Kaâ€™aba near the well so pilgrims would come and drink from it. It was Abraham who called people to come perform the pilgrimage as he and his son Ismail made the Kaâ€™aba.
Today, re-performing the acts of Hajar is a ritual in Haj known as Saâ€™i. It commemorates Hajarâ€™s quest for her son and Godâ€™s mercy in answering her prayers and making a miracle out of her plight. The well of Zam-zam is said to never run out of the water and today it is given freely to all pilgrims and is available for all. It is regarded as a blessing to drink from it and many return home with bottles full of it.
The Grand Mosque – Al-Masjid al-á¸¤arÄm is surrounded by Islamâ€™s holiest region, the Kaaba. It is the largest mosque in the world and is located in the city of Mecca. Muslims throughout the world turn toward Kaaba while performing prayer. Every Muslim requires to perform the Hajj- one of the Five Pillars of Islam pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime if able to do so, including circumambulation of the Kaaba. Performing Umrah in Ramadan is also equivalent to Hajj. There are many agencies providing umrah packages from UK.
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