The significance of pilgrimage in Islam

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The Eaalim al-Hajj book series book one discusses the meaning and significance of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of Islam. Muslims perform pilgrimage on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th of the lunar month of DhulHijjah. Dhul Hijjah is one of the four Hurum months. The four Hurum (prohibited) months are: Rajab, Dhul Qi’dah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram. Prophet Mohammad recommended pilgrimage. He said that the blessed pilgrimage is better than the world and what it contains. Therefore, for a Muslim, there is no reward for a blessed pilgrimage other than paradize. Performing pilgrimage is important in a Muslim’s life. This is because pilgrimage reshapes a Muslim’s life. Moreover, pilgrimage makes a pilgrim as pure as a newly born Muslim, as prophet Mohammad said. 

The four Hurum (prohibited) months are: Rajab, Dhul Qi’dah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram.

The meaning of pilgrimage:

The meaning of pilgrimage

Pilgrimage means to visit Kaaba in Makkah for Hajj on certain days to do certain actions of worship in the lunar month of Dhul Hijjah. Pilgrimage dates back to the life story of prophet Ibrahim, the father of prophets and messengers. Ibrahim, aided by his son Ismail, built and purified al-Kaaba. This was upon the command of Allah. Allah had commanded to take his Egyptian second wife, Hajar, to the arid place and region of Makkah. Having given birth to Ismail, Hajar suffered the jealousy of Ibrahim‘s first wife Sara. Sara could not stand it. Therefore, Ibrahim took Hajar and baby Ismail to live in Makkah. That is why a lot of al-Hajj acts commemorate the story of Ibrahim, Ismail and Hajar.

The month of Dhul-hijjah and the lunar calendar:

The Islamic calendar follows the changes and positions of the moon in the sky. There are twelve months in a lunar year. There are either twenty-nine or thirty days in a lunar month. That means that there is not a lunar month with twenty-eight or thirty-one days, like the solar Gregorian months. The twelve lunar months are: Al-Muharram, Safar, Rabee al-Awal, Rabee al-Akhar, Jumaada al-Aula, Jumaada al-Akhira, Rajab, Sha’ban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’dah and DhulHijjah. Each lunar month starts with a newborn crescent or baby moon. That is why months such as August and September are not considered lunar months. The lunar Hijri months are important for the different forms of worship in islam.

The lunar month and the feasts of Muslims:

The lunar month and the feasts of Muslims

Months like may and june are not lunar months Rather, they are solar Gregorian months. Consequently, there are some significant lunar months. For example, Shawwal is the lunar month in which Eid ul-fitr is celebrated. Muslims celebrate Eid Ul-fitr after the end of the lunar month of Ramadan. Muslims go fasting during the month of Ramadan. This shows us the philosophy of feasts in Islam. Allah rewards Muslims after every season of worship. Now that Muslims have exerted effort to attain the pleasure and sawtisfaction of Allah, they experience a time of joy. 

The joy of worship in Islam:

Allah cares for the happiness of Muslims. This is represented in celebrating Eid ul-Fitr. Therefore, Muslims celebrate completing the fasting of the lunar month of ramadan. Likewise, DhulHijjah is the lunar month during which Eid ulAdha is celebrated. pilgrims make a great effort performing the rituals of pilgrimage. Pilgrims travel in a rather hostile rocky landscape. Pilgrimage costs a lot of money. Therefore, pilgrims exert physical and financial effort. This is all for the objective of attaining the pleasure and satisfaction of Allah. In islam, worship is prescribed for the benefit of Muslims. worship brings a Muslim closer to Allah. Therefore, Muslims themselves benefit from their worship. 

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