Hajj is the Muslim pilgrimage, which it is compulsory for Muslims to undertake at least once in their lifetime as long as they are healthy and can afford it. In order for it to count, a Muslim’s journey must take place within the month of Dhu’l-Hijja, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar.
God told the prophet Ibrahim to take his wife Hajira and son Isma’il on a journey to Arabia. He then told Ibrahim to leave Hajira and Isma’il with some food and water.
Having run out of water, Hajira ran up and down two hills, Safa and Marwah, in search of more. Unable to find any water, she prayed to God and water then sprang from the ground. This source of water is called the Zamzam well.
When Ibrahim returned, he was commanded to build the Ka’aba as a shrine dedicated to Allah where worship would take place.
Over time, people began to worship idols at the Ka’aba instead of the one God, Allah. However, Muhammad restored the Ka’aba to its original purpose when he converted Makkah to Islam.
Those completing the Hajj are known as Hajji. Everyone taking part in the Hajj pilgrimage is treated as an equal and there is a great sense of unity. The pilgrimage shows self-discipline and fulfils a religious duty, bringing Muslims closer to God.
Some hadith agree that sins are cleansed by the journey:
He will return as if he were born anew (Sahih al-Bukhari 26:596).
What is the importance of Hajj?
It fulfils a religious duty.