The hajj is a set of rituals that take place in and around Mecca every year, beginning on the eight and ending on the thirteenth day of the last lunar month, Dhu'l-Hijja (The Month of the Hajj). Mecca was a sacred center long before Islam, and according to Muslim belief, Adam himself built a sanctuary at Mecca. Eventually it was rebuilt by Abraham, and by the time of the appearance of Islam, the Kaaba (cube) had long been a place of pilgrimage for the Arab tribes. The Koran and the Prophet modified and resanctified the rituals performed at the Kaaba, making them a pillar of the religion.
Muslims are required to make the hajj once in their lifetimes, but only if they have the means to do so. To understand some of the significance of the hajj, one needs to remember that steamships, airplanes, and buses are products of the past hundred years. For thirteen hundred years, the vast majority of Muslims made the journey to Mecca on foot, or perhaps mounted on a horse or a camel. It was not a matter of taking a two-week vacation, and then back to the office on Monday morning. Rather, for most Muslims the hajj was a difficult journey of several months if not a year or two. And once the trip was made, who wanted to hurry? People stayed in Mecca or Medina for a few months to recuperate and to prepare for their return, to meet other Muslims from all over the Islamic world, and to study. Often they stayed on for years, and often they simply came there to die, however long that might take.
Today, one can go to Mecca in a few hours from anyplace in the world. Some people decide to do the hajj this year because they did Bermuda last year. In the past, most Muslims had to fulfill strict conditions in order to make the journey. In effect, they had to be prepared for death. They had to assume that they would never return, and make all the necessary preparations for that eventuality. One of the conditions for making the hajj is that people have to pay off all their debts. If a man wanted to make the hajj, but his wife did not want to accompany him, he had to make sure that she was provided for in the way in which she was accustomed. He had to see to the provision of his children as well, and anyone else for whom he was responsible.
Traditionally, the hajj was looked upon as a grand rite of passage, a move from involvement with this world to occupation with God. In order to make hajj, people had to finish with everything that kept them occupied on a day-to-day basis. They had to answer God's call to come and visit Him. The hajj was always looked upon as a kind of death, because Koran repeatedly describes death as the meeting with God, and the Kaaba is the house of God. The hajj, in short, was a death and a meeting with God, and the return from the hajj was a rebirth. This helps explain why the title "hajji" ("one who has made the hajj") has always been highly respected throughout the Islamic world. Hajjis were looked upon as people who were no longer involved with the pettiness of everyday life. They were treated as models of piety and sanctity, and no doubt most of them assumed the responsibilities toward society that the title implies, even if some took advantage of the respect that was accorded to them.
Excerpted from the book "The Vision of Islam" by Sachiko Murata and William C. Chittick.
Such beliefs are unfounded scripturally since there is contrast in the personality of Adam and Abraham. They did not do the same thing, in principle. Adam had a self willed wife that looked for godliness in disobedience. Abraham's wife Sarah was obedient to her husband and abode with him always. She did not beget children by another even when they remained barren to their old age. Eve begot Cain who is said to be from the evil one although she declared that she got him from God. Cain was the first murderer on earth that killed righteous Abel.
Abraham's children are not known to have killed each other, although begotten from different mothers. The children of devil hate the children of Abraham but Jesus Christ, Abraham's promised Son possessed the gate of His enemies, to subdue them forever. The above quote is sensational and emotional, capable of disillusioning the unlearned. The Scriptures of truth has to guide the blind to safety instead of taking away the eyes from those that see and leading them to disaster!
rather than simple Makkah and Medinah the two best cities in the World.They got this title not because of their mordern amenities but because of the people who used to reside in them i.e Rasululah and his companions. The Kaaba still has that awe and Medinah still retains its serenity due to the presence of Rasululah and the people of the city have the same qualities of the Ansar helpers although to a lesser degree than their previous ancestors or dwellers in the olden days.In fact the Hajj of the sixties and seventeith or eighties or even nineteth had much more resemblence of the Hajj of the beloved Prophet Alahis salat Wa Salam.People did not consider it a burden then to sacrifice for the sake of Deen unlike today making it like a two week vacation which is very unfortunate.This is why Rasulullah said the best generation is my generation,then those who follow them and those who follow them.The more closer a person was to the time of Rasulullah the more closer we are to the Sunnah of our beloved Nabi (S.A.W).May Allah give us taufiq to follow the footsteps and ways of the Prophet (S.A.W) to the minutest details.
We should not be saying this only Sunnah as Sunnah is more beloved to Allah than the whole World.
i want urgue Muslims in world to remain firm and should always remember to asked question like; What makes you a Muslim?
What differentiate a Muslim from a non Muslim?
What makes us different from other religion or religious practices?
Unpon anwering the said question you will realise that Islam is found on principle of peace follwing the five pillers in which its built.
May Allah guide us through this error where temptation is becoming a daily thing (Ameen)
Insha'Allaah Allaah protect us in this world and in the HereAfter... Ameen
I very much appreciate the message and be very much grateful if you could kindly offer me some of your teaching and learning materials for Da`wat.
I am a Da`i and the Chief Executive Officer/Manager of Progressive Cooperative Onion Farmers & Traders Society Limited,and also teach at Hijrah Islamic School,Nima.
Hajj must be taken serious and its rituals
must be followed. Airplane has made it easier to travel before it was ships and quite expensive task.
I found the article illuminating and thought-provoking, especially in this electronic and inforation age, when our lives are moving much too fast. Because life is so short, one should take time to reflect -- in the Islamic sense -- as the authors have reiterated, and remind oneself that The Hajj should be performed only in true obedience to Allah (SWT).
Thank you both Drs. Sachiko Murata and William Chittick !! May Allah be pleased with your good works in propagating Islam.
since then i have started to look at these kind of muslims who have least regards for holy places and their virtues as CULT within muslims.
who live in mortage houses in west and drive cars on interest payments, have no respect for mosques and dont care about the etiquettes in mosques, have least respect for hijab. dont care about zabiha halal or not.
borthers and sisters this is the CULT one needs to watchout for and they are everywhere especially in the west.