During Dhul Hijjah or final month of the Islamic Calendar, Hajj pilgrimage is undertaken by Muslims. Hajj will start from August 9, 2019.
Several devotees from all parts of the world arrived in Saudi Arabia’s Mecca which is the epicenter of Islam to undertake the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage will last for five days ending on August 13, 2019.
Significance of Hajj Pilgrimage
Among the five important pillars of Islam which are namaaz (prayers), zakat (Charity), Sawm (fasting in Ramadan) and Shahadah (Muslim profession of faith states “there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah), Hajj is the most important pillar.
Men arriving in Mecca’s grand mosque for Hajj are bound to wear unstitched white cloth which signals the equality of all before Allah. The rituals include circling the Kaaba or the monotheistic house of worship located in the center of Grand Mosque.
The pilgrims are further required to walk between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as Abraham’s wife did in search for water for their son Ismail. This is followed by a symbolic stoning of the devil at three stone columns.
The importance associated with Hajj in Islam is reflected by the large number of Muslims who apply for a visa each year. Only around two million people are granted permits for Hajj. It is based countrywide depending on the nation’s Muslim population.
The overall cost for Hajj per person is nearly $5000 for a Muslim based in the United States and around Rs 3 lakh for a pilgrim from India.
However, hajj is not compulsory of Muslims who are not physically fir to undertake the journey or aren’t financially able.