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The Hajj

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The Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Islam, is one of the central religious duties of Muslims and is enshrined in the Qur'an.

The pilgrimage is also inspired by the earlier example of obedience to God set by the Prophet Abraham.
The Hajj to Mecca is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation upon male and female adults whose health and means permit it, or, in the words of the Qur'an, upon "those who can make their way there."

The rites accompanying the Hajj are elaborate and varied, partly because the Prophet Muhammad himself introduced a beneficial element of flexibility.

Before setting out, a pilgrim is expected to redress all wrongs, pay all debts, plan to have enough funds for his own journey and for the maintenance of his family while he is away, and prepare himself for good conduct throughout the Hajj.

In recent times the number of pilgrims making the journey to Mecca has risen dramatically and upwards of two million pilgrims are expected this year from as many as 70 nations. For the Saudi Arabian government this creates enormous logistical difficulties. To help cope many governments now play an active role in ensuring the welfare of their citizens who make the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Hajj takes place each year between the 8th and the 13th days of Dhul al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Muslim lunar calendar. The corresponding Gregorian dates this year are January 17th to 22nd.

 



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“My parents went a few years ago and the thing I remember the most is my dad crying for days after he came back, because he didn’t want to leave Mecca.”- Mahmood

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