The Hajj is a pilgrimage that Muslims must undertake once in their lifetime, as a sign of obedience to God's commands and in line with the practice of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). It aims to return Muslims to the heart of Islam and spiritual awakening.
It involves different acts that one must perform in and around the holy city of Makkah.
The exact method of Hajj was shown to the Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) who informed the faithful that when a Muslim performs the Hajj, with a sincere intention, all their sins will be wiped away.
Today, millions of Muslims don the simple white clothing known as "Ihram" when performing the various acts of Hajj and many return to perform the Hajj again out of devotion.
Among the rites of the pilgrimage are:
- Circling the Holy Kaabah seven times known as Tawaf (believed to have been built by the Prophet Abraham as the centre of a pure house of worship to God.)
- Offering prayers behind Maqam Ibrahim.
- Walking or running between the two hills of al-Safa and al-Marwa known as Sa’ee.
- Cutting some part of the hair and nails known as Taqseer.
- Stoning pillars representing the Devil at the Jamarat.
- Spending time on the hills and plains surrounding Makkah on Mount Arafa and the plain of Muzdalafa.
Hajj must be performed once during the adult life of a Muslim, providing the person has the financial and physical capability to do so.