A Pilgrimage to Mecca
A pilgrimage to Mecca during the Hajj is one thing that Muslim people must ensure during their lifetime, if they possess the means to do so. Today we will learn more about why it is essential for one to experience a pilgrimage to Mecca and why it is so special for the Muslim community.
Travelling to Mecca during the Hajj can be slightly tricky, particularly since it is the largest gathering of people in the world! Many airlines, such as Saudi Airlines, travel to and from all of the Gulf States and many major destinations in the world, making it accessible to Muslims all across the world.
What is it?
The Hajj is the name of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca; the literal meaning of the word is to “intend a journey” and as stated before, it is an obligation for all Muslims to carry out at least once in their lifetime, given that they have the financial and physical means of doing so.
When is it
The Hajj occurs from the 8th to the 12th of the last month of the Islamic calendar where the month is known as Dhu al-Hijjah. This is a lunar calendar and as a result, it is actually eleven days shorter than a Western calendar. This means that the date of the Hajj will vary from year to year in the Gregorian calendar.
The Hajj forms one of the five pillars of Islam, which relate to the ways that Muslim people are intended to fulfil their lives, wherein the Hajj represents a devotion to Allah (God). The tradition dates back to the prophet Muhammad during the 7th century, where he is believed to have formed the pattern of activities that are common today during the event. Many people believe that the pilgrimage itself dates back further than this, but it generally accepted that Muhammad shaped the principles of the Hajj today, especially when walking around the Ka’aba seven times in an anticlockwise direction.
The Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage to Mecca and the most important to them; however, it is possible for Muslims to visit Mecca outside of the Hajj, but they are still obligated to make a pilgrimage at least once during the Hajj.