Eid Al-Adha 2019: Hajj history, significance and importance
Eid Al-Adha 2019: The Hajj in Islam is symbolised as a great equaliser and unifier among Muslims, with pilgrims shedding overt displays of wealth and materialism.Updated: Aug 12, 2019 12:09 IST
Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city of the Islamic religion that takes the faithful along a path chosen by the Prophet Muhammad around 1,400 years ago. The Hajj in Islam is symbolised as a great equalizer and unifier among Muslims, with pilgrims shedding overt displays of wealth and materialism. Muslims pay a visit to this place annually.
Hajj is among the five pillars of Islam, where the cube-shaped Kaaba is placed. As per tradition, it is usually planned in the last days of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Eid-al-Adah or Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id) is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. Pilgrims around the world travel to this holy place and perform a certain set of rites and rituals for days associated with Ibrahim, followed by a sacrificial ceremony.
A visit to the holy shrine has a remarkable history, it is believed that Prophet Ibrahim, the dearest friend of God and father of prophets, was instructed by God to leave his wife and son abandoned in the desert of Saudi Arabia.
Ibrahim left the family well-flourished but in due course of time, it all diminished. His wife Hajara and son Ishmael faced lots of trouble. Hajara travelled seven times to the hills of Safa and Marwah but was unable to find any source of water. Their drained hopes were revived when Ishmael rubbed the floor with his foot and a water fountain sprang up at the spot. This spot was then marked sacred and God ordered Ibrahim to build Kaaba, and this is how the pilgrimage originated.
As per Islam, it is an obligation to visit the holy shrine once in a lifetime. It is believed that whoever performs the rites truly and with purity, returns home washing off all their lifelong sins.
Hajj facilitates and tends to bring together Muslims across the world, despite any discrimination based on caste, culture, and colour, an unmitigated representation of equality.
Hajj not only ensures equality but it also rewards pilgrims heaven after death if the obligations are performed righteously. It symbolizes kindness, positivity, as well as this, is the highest form of honour earned.