The Theater of Hajj

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Middle East Topics: Hajj Views: 23865

What does Hajj mean? The essence of Hajj is, man's evolution toward Allah. It is a symbolic demonstration of the philosophy of Creation of Adam. To further illustrate this, it may be stated that the performance of Hajj is a simultaneous show of many things; it is a "show of creation", a "show of history", a "show of unity", a "show of the Islamic ideology" and a show of the Ummah. 

The following conditions prevail in this "show". Allah is the transcendent stage manager. The theme portrayed is the actions of the people involved. Adam, Ibrahim, Hajar, and Satan are the main characters. The scenes are Masjid-ul Haram, the Haram area, Masa, Arafat, Mashars and Mina. Important symbols to take note off in this show are the Kaaba, Safa, Marwa, day, night, sunshine, sunset, idols and ritual of sacrifice. The clothing and make up are Ihram, Halgh and Taqseer. Lastly, the player of the roles in this "show" is only one; and that is YOU!

Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, young or old, black or white, you are the main feature of the performance. The role of Adam, Ibrahim and Hajar in the confrontation of Satan with Allah is played by you. As a result, you, individually, are the hero of the "show".

Annually, Muslims from all over the world are encouraged to participate in this great "show" (Hajj). Everyone is considered equal. No discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or social status is made. In accordance to the teachings of Islam, "All are one and one is all". 

Hajj imbeds in us the Quranic concept "whosoever kills a human being other than (in punishment) for manslaughter or causing corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all humanity, and whoso saved the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all humanity." [5:32] As soon as the pilgrim enters the state of Ihram (the mental and physical readiness to begin the Hajj) any form of harm to human or animal life is forbidden.

Yet the enemies of Islam continue to deliberately wage a campaign against Islam. They attack it by denying that Islam recognizes the human being as an individual endowed with special rights and values.

If we limit the concept of Hajj to the status of merely a duty we have missed the show. As Ali Ibn Abi Talib said: If Islam is a lamb fur-coat, it is put on inside out.

Living on a day to day basis, the person lacks direction. His aim is only to live. What exists is a dead spirit in a living body. However, the Hajj experience alters this unhealthy condition! 

Once you decide to perform Hajj and take the necessary steps, you are on the road to the actualization of Hajj. Before going to Hajj you reside in your home calm and reposed. Upon entering the state of mind for Hajj, you arise and move away from your routine environment. 

Hajj is the antithesis of aimlessness. It is the rebellion against a damned fate guided by evil forces. The fulfillment of Hajj will enable you to escape from the complex network of puzzles. This revolutionary act will reveal to you the clear horizon and freeway for migration to eternity toward the Almighty Allah. 


Adapted from a section of the book "Hajj" by Dr. Ali Shariati. Translated by Dr. Ali A. Behzadnia

Related posts from similar topics:


  50 Comments   Comment

  1. Babandi A. Gumel from U.K

    As my learned brothers and sisters have pointed out the Title of the Article is a bit misleading or rather sarcastic.If we take theater literally is not something serious is like metioning the word Acting and Action are two different words with two different meanings.Actors they only act pretend they are not real while those in action are the real people doing the things.As they say action speaks louder than words so those acting are only pronoucing the words trying to copy the real people.So Hajj is a serious business which should not be equated with theater which is rather unfortunate.So please take note but kep on doing the good work which you have been doing to enlighten the Ummah including the Non Muslims on the teachings of our beloved Rasulullah.

  2. jihad rashid from Canada

    Dear Br. In Islam:best greetings;

    I wish I did not see this title of yours "The Theater of Hajj ". Hajj proceedings or Manasik is not a theator. Please look for the right interpretation and if you can not find one in the English language use the original name ; you can just use the word Manasik instead.

    Jazaka Allahu Khaira'an.

  3. Ahmad Sirajudin from Malaysia

    It's not a very accurate description of Hajj. Hajj is not a show. I went on pilgrimage in 1993. I think Hajj in answering the call from Allah in order to re-live Islam. I guess different people see things in different light

  4. Fatima from UK

    The more i enter this web site, the more disgraceful it turn, i think you are not an agent of Allah but to give satsifaction to the non muslim by entertaining this kind of writer who has no knowlege of islam and the whole purpose of Hajj- You have lost your creditability as far as am corncern. Amazingly many readers are happy about this article, what world of islam are they leaving.

  5. ali from U.S.A.

    I disagree with the title given to this article.First of all this kind of articles should not be posted.HAJJ is mentioned in the Holy Book "The Noble Quran" by ALLAH SUBHANA WA TALLA and taught by PROHPET MOHAMMAD SALLAIALAWA ALLAIHI


  6. Joe Huckle from LA

    As non Muslim I looking concrete tower called the Big Satan, it look the same and obelisks around the world where secret societies is running the country. What a coincident. The biggest of them all are in Washington!!!

    Million and million go to your Hajj, I sure they will see the symbol of the devil.

  7. Rais Ahmed Farooqui from Al-Hind (India)


    Please clarify the context behind using the word "idols" in the following sentence from your article. Hope, it is not misguiding.

    "Important symbols to take note off in this show are the Kaaba, Safa, Marwa, day, night, sunshine, sunset, idols and ritual of sacrifice. The clothing and make up are Ihram, Halgh and Taqseer."

  8. saif khan from usa

    Important symbols include Idols along with Kabah and other symbols, please explain.

  9. Khaja Nazimuddin Ahsan from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    My fellow neighbour of Jannah by the Rahmat of Ar Rahman Nir Rahim. In the present times, we ebadah have become extremely shallow, even performing Hajj (this is required only one time in life). What I understand from the writer's opinion is bring the people to their senses and understand we are the people to fear Allah Ta'ala

    at every moment of our life and practice the teachings of he most successfull person our beloved prophet and messenger of Allah, Muhammad Mustafa, salle Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

    Some words and not digested by some and they feel

    that the words should be respectful, that is what we are collectively practically doing with Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and with the traditions of our prophet salle Allahu alaihi wa sallam.

    The purpose is create an awareness and we have to become as the people of the time of Rasool Allah

    salle Allahu alaihi wa sallam. Then we will be

    trying to deliver the message of Jannah to all people and that is the purpose of our living in

    this critical period of time.

    The contribution of Islamicity, surely, is being

    recorded with Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala. Those who are getting the benefit are getting the benefit. Me, the writer and you the readers have to grow in Eeman, in Islamic knowledge and have to beg to Allah Ta'ala to bless us more wisdom. Insha Allah, then we are trying to be on Sirat Al-Mustaqeem and surely Allah's help is there, to

    bless us success, Insha Allah.

    I am student of Islam


  10. zaffar from India

    your words have to be chosen very when u call the hajj as show, drama. than u r in mistake.our whole life is drama.

    truth is ALLAH.Any act to identify with with ALLAH is truth not the drama/show.dont call Hajj a "show". if it is show than waht is reality?


  11. Adil Imtiaz from USA

    In response to Talawat Bukhari:

    Dear sir,

    The house of Allah SWT, the Ka'ba, was built by Prophet Ibraheem and Ismail (AS) long before the later generations of Arabs had forgotten the message of the one true God.

    Owing to their confusion and close-mindedness, they had created many intercessors in the form of idols and had housed them all in and around the Ka'ba. As a result, the ways and practices of Ibrahim AS were corrupted and a pagan Arab society began to develop.

    The final prophet of Allah SWT, Mohammad (SAW), came and led a lost people back to the straight path. The Ka'ba was purified, the idols destroyed and the ritual of Hajj reinstated in its true Abrahamic form, for the worship of one God!

    For more information you could check out this website.

  12. ADAMU MARAFA JADA from Nigeria

    I pray and also hope that our intended muslims brothers and sisters from all over the world for this year's Hajj would come back with a complete lessons of hajj with clean minds.

    may Allah continue to guide us right,may Allah Make their Hajj (Mabrur)and may Allah answer our sublications and protect us agaist the enemies of islam.

  13. abdulazeez badamosi from nigeria

    a dream of a life time to all muslim i pray allah(swt)made it easy for me.

  14. asia from united states

    Assalaamu'Alaikum, brothers and siters, Alhamdulillah for the information. We should focus on TAWHID, not nit picking on the little things amongst purselves. For those who can make the HAJ, I pray that your joourney will be accepted and that you remember me to Allah, as His humble servant and that He Blesses all Muslims (true believers) to come together in Tawhid and have much Taqwa, not contempt for each other. Ma salaam.

  15. H.A. from Yathrib

    Hey Sameena!

    What I do? What I do? What I doooooooo!!!!

    You may be right, BUT IT ALL "...DEPENDS ON WHAT THE MEANING of the word..." Juvenile is...

  16. Talawat Bokhari from Pakistan

    But was not Hajj a pagan ritual also which Islam continued with slight modifications? And is it not the 'Black Stone' which is worshipped there as was done during its pagan times? What was the pagan philosiphy behind this grand ritual which is now claimed to be Islamic?

  17. Abdulazeez Adebayo AFOLAYAN from Nigeria

    Alhamdu lilai. Perhaps, the realisation that the individual (he/she) is the "hero" of the "show" of Hajj will make every pilgrim more sober and ambitious in dutifully carrying out Hajj rites thereby putting Satan (man's avowed enemy) to shame. When shall we come to terms with the reality that Hajj was never meant to be a Jamboree? May ALLAH's guidance never depart us. Amin.

  18. Aisha from TURKEY

    This article is a very inappropriate description of Hajj. Calling Allah

    as the stage manager (Hasha) is the most inappropriate definition.

    You should act much more sensitively while quoting from other's

    books. I advice you to remove that article from your website. It is

    full of descriptions that are not convenient to Quran and spirit of a

    Muslim. Can not you see that?

  19. Idris Suleyman from USA

    Brother Castro,

    Greetings to you, brother. I hope that you have the opportunity to read this. I can appreciate your sentiments on the exclusivity of Hajj, but I think that one needs to consider the nature of Hajj to understand why it is that only Muslims are allowed to attend.

    Firstly, let me say that Hajj is not merely some annual religious spectacle. It is one of the 5 Pillars of our very faith, an action to demonstrate our fidelity to our Lord, and is thus at the very core of what it means to practice Islam (submission) and to be a Muslim. Some there are who save what little they have to go on Hajj; some die on the way-most recently in the Tsunami (may Allah give barakh to them and their families, they are martyrs). So, please understand that Hajj is a very sublime activity, and not some mere "vacation to the holy lands of Islam."

    That said, if I may suppose that you (Mr. Castro) are a Roman Catholic Christian due to your Spanish name (and if I am wrong, please forgive me, but read on, my point still applies) I'm sure you know that not everybody can take part in your religious rituals without being Catholic: communion and confession for example. To undertake these sacraments (to use your terms)one must be an initiated Catholic; and while those born to your religion have undergone first communion, first confession, etc, those new to your religion are expected to take classes and undergo the sacraments and initiation in order from an ordained priest so that they can regularly perform them. So you see, your tradition maintains similar prohibitions on non-members partaking of its sacred activities without due process.

    I hope that my explanation is of value to you. I will not be critical of your faith, Mr. Castro, our religions are very similar. According to our tradition, the Catholics (and indeed, all Christians, Jews and Sabians) are dhimmi, "People of the Book," and are protected under Islamic law. I respect your Church and its leaders. May Allah bless

  20. Sameena from US/India

    H.A. : stop referring to yourself as "H.A.", it's juvenile!

  21. Ibraahim from USA

    May ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY reward the writer for his/her efforts in informing, the Informed and the UNformed about this beautiful religion and the beauty of the Hajj.

  22. nadia from u s a

    the writer keeps mentionon you , you ,you instead of one as in one can feal or one is fighting thee wrong in them self, the Hajj is a holy expieriance The writer should be more balanced in writting thier artical.Wassalam.

  23. Hussein Abdellah from USA

    Asalamualeykum for all brothers and sisters muslims i hope you haj mabrur sai mashkur

  24. Faheem from U.S.

    Salaam Mr. Castro and Mr. Melosh,

    Many of the rules of Saudi Arabia have nothing to do with Islam. In fact many of their laws are in contradiction to the Quran. They have no good reason to ban churches. That being said, I see no reason why Christians or Jews can't go to Mecca or Medina, so long as the rules of these places are observed. Go get a Quran and look up all references to hajj. There is no prohibition for Christians and Jews to visit these places. There are rules that must be followed though. These rules apply to everyone, be they Muslim, Christian or Jewish. I guess it's simlar to going into a restaurant and having to wear shoes and a shirt. These are the rules, the restaurant forces you to do this in order to keep it status as a restaurant. You can't go into a restaurant and start excercising. It is not set up for excercising, but rather for a specific thing, eating food bought at the store. Doing anything else would change the character of the place and it would cease to be a restaurant any more. The case is similar with Mecca and Medina. If non-Muslims were to go there and parade around, openly preaching Christianity or whatever, then the cities would soon cease to be dedicated to Allah alone, but rather Jesus and the Holy Ghost would be added on. They could become places of worship dedicated to Budda or Vishnu, and the cities would lose their unique status.

    BTW, Mr. Melosh, it is not hajj that has become a joke, but rather it is many MUSLIMS that have become a joke. Just thought I'd clarify. Hajj is a serious and deeply meaningful phenomenon. Unfortunately some of us Muslims don't live up to the ideals personfied by hajj.

    I apologize for the lenghty response.

  25. H.A. from Yathrib

    Sir Castro!!!

    As far as H.A. knows, Hajj/pilgrimage to Mecca at the Mosque you see in this article is ONLY for Muslims, NOT for christians or others who associate partners with God, like you (Christians) ascribe son (Jesus (PBUH)) to the partnerless God.

    The disbelievers used to worship idols and mulitple gods before the last messenger (PBUH) of God start receiving the verses of the Quran. I think that's the main reason you can't go at the site b/c you still associate a son to Him. You are no different now. You are allowed to visit other parts of Saudi Arabia, even other Mosques in Saudi Arabia.

    I think you (christians) really do not understand the definition of God. Ever wonder why so many christians and even Christian priests are becoming Muslims??????????????? Hello!!!

    Muslims = those who worship only the partnerless God + those who believe in Torah, Gospel (all previous messengers of God) and the final revealation (Koran) and believe in the last messenger Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

    In terms of having no Churches in Saudi Arabia, it's your fault, not the fault of Muslims or Islam. You have to fight for your rights. All the other Muslim countries have churches. In fact, in certain parts of the world, Jews feel safer to have their synagogues next to mosques. What do you have to say about that? I'm not making it up.

    I suggest you start cleaning the thugs of U.S. gov't who are backing and supporting the kings and Queens of Saudi Arabia. That's the problem, in my opinion.

    Of course, there are Muslim extremists in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, you have Christians extermists in the USA who call our last prophet (PBUH) a terrorist and Hindu extremists who demolishing moques and burning Muslims alive.

    H.A. kind of detects hatred from your comments. I suggest you visit Saudi Arabia and learn about Islam. Please do not learn Islam from Jerry Falwell or the evangelists.

    If you're Muslimophobic, you gotta hang out with Muslims to dispell

  26. Tony Melosh from USA

    Salamu Alaikum Shuja and all of you,

    I do concur with you Shuja. Hajj has become a farce and a mockery of Islam. It is a shame that we have stooped to this level of dishonor and disempowerment. I am sick and tired of the same old stuff that nowadays Muslims claim. They claim one thing and they do another thing. The true Muslims are gone and I am not sure if they will come back ever again. Muslims as you have mentioned are divided, conquered by their corrupt leaders, and driven into an abyss of no return. Where is Islam? The Saudi fat cats luxuriate in lust, power, and wealth and the rest of the poor Muslim states languish behind in filth, poverty, corruption, chaos, and degradation. Muslim nations are not getting along. Saddam Hussein killed about 3 million people of his own and the neighboring countries. Where is Islam here folks? Since I live in America, I can clearly see why Americans and Europeans consider us sub-humans. We are sub-humans because we have strayed too far from the right path of Islam.

  27. Cesar Castro from USA/MEX

    Annually, Muslims from all over the world are encouraged to participate in this great show" (Hajj). Everyone is considered equal. No discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or social status is made." with the exception if you are not muslim then you are not welcome to experience the Hajj at least on a superficial level to document or observe.

    If muslims are so accepting why are there not any Christian churches in Saudi?

  28. mauroof sultana. from canada

    an excellent article everyone looks according to his own eye have an excellent lens .

  29. Faheem from U.S.

    Salaamu Alaikum sisters & brothers,

    I think that some people need to go to and look up the word "show" because according to a few people's objections the word is not clearly understood. The author is perfectly right in saying that, "performance of Hajj is a simultaneous show of many things". This "show" is also a worship. Having a clear understanding of the english language is essential to participating in a discussion on articles written in english. The word "show" has many meanings. Unfortunately a few have confused the wrong meaning with the one used in the article.

    Thank you for posting the article. It was very informative.

  30. Shuja from Toronto, Canada

    This is a bluffing. About 1.5 million Iraqis were murdered next door by brutal sanctions from the surrounding Muslim countries, while Hajj after Hajj was performed year after year without any scant regards for the next door hunger and starvation. "Show of unity", a "show of the Islamic ideology" and a show of the Ummah is false under the current circumstances. Hajj has become just a rite being perfomred by millions without its aspirations and demands. Thousands of them pay bribery to the authorities to get their lottery number for Hajj from the backdoor. What kind of Hajj is this? The spirit of Hajj was when Omer (rd) punished the son of the Governer of Egypt for his execess against one of the citizens. Where is that Hajj that unites Muslims? Where is the Hajj that will liberate Iraq? Do these Muslim-monks, who are more passive then Buddhist-monks have any clue of the demands and spirits of Hajj? The corrupt Saudi government by INVESTING billions on the Holy constructions reaping trillions in the name of Islam, who is selling the flesh and blood of Muslims should not be praised. These criminals have sold Muslims and their honour in the day light. Brothers and Sisters, Hajj has a much bigger meaning than what we imagine. Islam is not just the spiritual elevation. It demands the economical, political and social justice from its followers. Otherwise, it simply tells them to go to hell. Today we are in hell.


  31. Abdul Azeez from USA

    Assalamu Alaikum

    May Almighty Allah reward you for your good intention. But i think this is not the right way to explain one of the greatest five pillars of Islam. I think you are suitable for writing screenplay and not Islamic articles.

  32. mike from usa

    I read the comments before making my own. I found one that matches what I wahted to say. It is the following by Br. Mustafa mahmoud (may Allah protect him):

    1. The first is the use of "show" to describe hajj. A more appropriate word should have been selected, preferably from the Qur'an.

    2. The second is the statement that "Allah is the stage manager", this is a very unfortunate choice of words. It follows right in line with the Judeo-Christian belief that god created man in his own image.

    I want to add that word "show" is reflect "ego". Hajj is a worship not a show. Show is for the outside. Hajj is for the whole person, inside and outside.

    Allah can only be called by the names Allah mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, not "stage manager". That description does not fit the Allah.

  33. Muhamma Aslam Gadi from Pakistan

    I am very glad to see your website. You are doing very good job for Islam. May God succeed you in effort.

  34. Asif from Canada

    I loved the analogy he made there!! an excellent example indeed! How he used hajj as being a "show" and the characters, scene, etc.. nicely done.

  35. To H Karriem Al-Mansour......from H.A. from Yathrib

    Mr. Al-Mansour,

    Hajj for all people????? If I guess you right, you mean Jews, Chrisitans and idol worshippers would be permitted to go to MECCA and ascribe partner to the ONE partnerless God?

    So people would be allowed to take dates (from date trees, not sweethearts) and to form some kind of Gods with the dates and to be allowed to worship Gods made from the dates and later when they get allowed to eat the dates like the people of the days of ignorance????

    Please educate H.A.?

    Hope to see you at the Mosque during Fajr and Asr?

    Ta..Ta for now!!!

  36. mohd suffry bin abd rahman from malaysia


    i have no special comment here. just want u to know that i have just got my first islamicity free newsletter. i think it's very good for me to gain more knowledge about islam.


  37. Khalid Ansari from USA

    Assalaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullah.

    Jazakumullahu khairan for your efforts in educating and serving the Ummah. I enjoy your newsletter. However, I have a comment about the "40-day spiritual prayer program." There's no authentic evidence of this form of worship. And thus must not be encouraged.

    Please see the following Q/A on this issue.

    ( Q#34752)

    Here are some excerpts from it:

    "Al-Albaani said in his book Hujjat al-Nabi (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (p. 185) that it is an innovation (bid'ah) to visit Madeenah and tell the visitors to Madeenah to stay there for a week so that they will be able to offer forty prayers in the Prophet's Mosque so that they will be free from hypocrisy and saved from the Fire."


    "Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:

    With regard to the widespread idea that the visitor should stay for eight days so that he can offer forty prayers in the Mosque is wrong.... "

    I hope you take my comment in the right spirit, and research this issue further with an open heart.

    Jazakumullahu khairan wa salaam.

    Khalid Ansari

  38. H Karriem Al-Mansour from USA

    For so long, Hajj has been thought to be for Muslims only. However, the Holy Qur'an says that it is for All of Humanity (Annas) Thank you

  39. ANSAR SARFRAZ from india

    that was fantastic keep up and thx for the information plz keep up.

  40. sophy from nigeria

    i will like to sincerely thank this organisation for enhancing my knowledge everyday the work is so perfect and i hope we can purchase all journals on this work.thank you may ALLAH enhance our knowledge and reward the organisation for a well done job.AMIN

  41. Sulayman Olagunju from NIGERIA

    One needs to perform Hajj to appreciate this write up better. Thanks for the good job, May ALLAH accept it from you. Amin

  42. maryam jumah from tanzania

    assalam aleikhum

    the topic is very educative and has elaborated

    to me essence of Hajj. Please give us more and

    more of our religion. Wither Islamicity

  43. D Wallis from UK

    RE: THE THEATRE OF HAJJ - ARTICLE published this week by Islamicity.

    I would like to say I do not feel that Hajj should be likened to a "Show" or that ALLAH (SWT) should be likened to a "Stage manager". In my view this is disrespectful.

    The word 'show' implies a degree os falsity or acting. This is not the purpose of Hajj. And to ascribe the status of show manager to ALLAH is belittling and derogatory.

  44. taiwo hassan murtadha from nigeria

    i wish to partcipate fully with the help of allmighty allah in hajj program

  45. Mostafa H. Mahmoud from USA

    Alsalamu Alaykum

    We have few comments on the language used in this bulletin. We know that you meant good, but we have issue with two choices of words.

    1. The first is the use of "show" to describe hajj. A more appropriate word should have been selected, preferably from the Qur'an.

    2. The second is the statement that "Allah is the stage manager", this is a very unfortunate choice of words. It follows right in line with the Judeo-Christian belief that god created man in his own image.

  46. aamir from india



  47. Rev.Dr. Wendy.Yona NooN from usa

    AllA be Blessed with Life AllWays & Blessed be All

    his Children & we All walk in the Rite

    & Light from the Teachings of Righteous

    so or children will be Wise Sages & Allow AllA 2 be Proud of R Actions & Depend on us 2 Think in the highest possible thoughts so R actions R the wisest

    most prophetic & most profitic 4 R Children & Familys & the Continuation of their Life on Planet Earth, if possible.

  48. MahmoodUl Hayat from Pakistan

    AOA,i have a question to ask,which was the first language spoken in the world,and who was the first person to put the cloth around the Holy Kaba.

  49. Ahmad Masnor from Singapore

    The show goes on right from the start of the intention to go there to perform the hajj and back to their own country.

    Some with get their name Haji or Hajjah only.

    Some will get and experience the sweetness of the hajj.

    Some will suffer during the duration of the hajj.

    To be safe and best is to learn, practice, and make it perfect on how to perform the hajj in a proper way before setting on board the vehicle to go there.

    It will take some time like you learn and practice walking/running until you get the momentum for a few months that one hour walking/running is without pain but freshness of the body and soul.

    So start reading the Al Qur'an for a few minutes until you reach the one hour line without tiredness and reach the sweetness of it.

    So start going to the Masjids near your home and congregate there to find the sweetness of going to the Masjids if not when you reach both Masjidil Haram and Masjidin Nabawi it will be easy for you to get the sweetness there.