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The purpose of  al-Hajj

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The Eaalim al Hajj book series book two discusses what pilgrims do to assume the state of Ihram.The purpose of Hajj, pilgrimage, is to show obedience to Allah. Therefore, al-Hajj is an act of physical worship to Allah. Consequently, pilgrimage, alHajj is obligatory only for the physically and financially capable Muslims. That is why a capable Muslim must go to pilgrimage, Hajj, at least once in a lifetime. On the other hand, before leaving home and family for pilgrimage, a pilgrim must provide their family with necessities and the basic needs to survive till they return back home after pilgrimage, Hajj.

The long history of al-Kaaba:

Al-Kaaba was the first house of worshiping Allah. Therefore, al-Kaaba has had a long history. Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail built al-Kaaba. Allah commanded them to build and purify His house of worship. It was a great honor and blessing for Ibrahim and Ismail to do so. al-Kaaba has a significant role in a Muslim’s everyday life and the daily five obligatory and voluntary prayers. For a Muslim’s prayer to be accepted, a Muslim must direct their faces towards al-Kabba whenever they want to offer their prayer. 

The purpose of al-Hajj

The first step for pilgrimage, al-Ihram:

Pilgrimage is to leave behind all the worldly interests and lifestyle. To be physically, spiritually and psychologically prepared for pilgrimage, a pilgrim assumes the state of al-Ihram. One of the features of the state of Ihram for Muslim males is to wear two unsewn white pieces of white cloth covering the upper and the lower parts of their bodies. Muslim women and females do not have to wear those two white pieces of unsewn cloth. Rather, women and females assume Ihram in their ordinary sewn clothes. It is important to note that there are some actions which pilgrims can and can not do.

What a pilgrim can't do during Ihram:

A pilgrim can’t do certain things while assuming the state of Ihram.  For example, a Muslim assuming the state of Ihram can’t practice their natural daily life activities. They can’t either go hunting land animals. However, they can go fishing. On the other hand, a Muslim woman may cover her face in ordinary life. Nevertheless, a woman assuming the state of Ihram must uncover her face in that state. Also, a pilgrim, male or female, can’t have their hair or nails cut. a marriage contract while assuming the state of Ihram is null. In this case, a pilgrim totally leaves worldly matters, affairs and interests behind, focusing only on their pilgrimage acts. 

What a pilgrim does after assuming Ihram:

The purpose of al-Hajj

A pilgrim takes a shower and wears the unsewn white cloth. This is for male pilgrims. For female pilgrims, a female takes a shower, wearing the usual sewn clothes to assume Ihram. It is very important to note that each direction through which a pilgrim comes, has a starting place of Ihram. This starting place before entering Makkah is called al-Miqat. During the state of Ihram, a Muslim female is required to keep her face and hands uncovered. After assuming the state of Ihram, all pilgrims look equal. you can’t distinguish who is rich and who is poor. All class differences disappear during pilgrimage.

The beautiful of the pilgrims in white:

The whole scene in white unsewn clothes reminds everyone of the Day of Judgment when people are resurrected wearing only their white coffins. Pilgrimage has its own code of ethics and etiquette. A pilgrim must not dispute or debate with others. If they do, their pilgrimage is at risk. It can be void and null in that case. Although al-Hajj is a well organized ritual in Islam, there is a lot of tolerance, flexibility and ease for a pilgrim while doing this act of worship for the sake of Allah. Truly, Islam is the religion of ease and mercy for its followers.

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