Millions of Muslims are pouring into Islam’s holiest city of Mecca for the annual Islamic pilgrimage, Hajj, the religion’s fifth pillar.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the divine instructions for Hajj in the ninth year of Hij’ra (Muslim migration from Mecca to Medina) when Allah decreed the performance of Hajj as a religious duty which must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so at least once in his or her lifetime (Qur’an, Chapter 3:97).
It is a collection of religious rituals performed from the eighth to the twelfth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. During these days, pilgrims are required to spend at least five days at specified locations around Mecca.
The history of the Hajj dates back to 2,000 B.C. when Ismail, the infant son of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his (Ismail’s) mother Hajarah were stranded in the desert.
With Ismail close to death from thirst, Hajarah ran back and forth between the hills of Safa and Mar’wa looking for water until the angel Jibril (Gabriel) touched the earth and created a spring of fresh water known as the Well of Zamzam for the baby.
With Allah’s orders, Ibrahim built a monument (the sacred Ka’abah) at the site of the spring, paving way for the development of the city of Mecca. The Ka’abah remained in the control of polytheists until January 11, 630 AD (20th, Ramadhan 8AH) when Prophet Muhammad led Muslims to a peaceful takeover of the city from which they had been expelled.
Several idols that had been placed at the Ka’abah by the polytheists were …continue reading at observer.ug