[Hajj 2011] Hajj rites at a glance - Nov 4, 2011 - English

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Hajj   journey   body   soul   Pilgrims   Allah   bait   baitullah   House   of   God   purify   purity   hearts   mina   mecca   rituals   kaaba   kaba   macca   makka   mekka   prophet   Ibrahim   wife   hajra   commemorate  

Hajj involves two parallel journeys, namely the journey of body and the journey of soul. Pilgrims of the House of God purify their hearts from what keeps them away from God. The rituals start in the Great Mosque by circling seven times round the Kaaba in an anti-clockwise direction, which is known as Tawaf, followed by two rakat of prayers. Pilgrims often experience a very moving moment when they first set their eyes on Kabba. They walk and run seven times along a passageway in the Great Mosque between Safa and Marwah mounts, commemorating a search for water by Hajar, wife of the Prophet Abraham. Rituals also involve travelling to the valley of Arafat and standing in the open praising God, supplicating and meditating. This is followed by spending the night in Muzdalifa. In the morning, pilgrims head towards Mina and start the first in a series of throwing stones at pillars symbolizing the devil. The pillars stand at three points where Satan is believed to have tried to tempt the Prophet Abraham. Pilgrims also sacrifice an animal to commemorate the incident when the Prophet Abraham was about to sacrifice his son for the sake of God and God accepted a sheep instead. Pilgrims then shave their heads or cut some parts of it. They should return to the Great Mosque at Mecca for further rituals either before or after they complete their stay and stoning the devils in Mina. At the end of it all, pilgrims hope that God accepts their Hajj. Hajj rituals are performed at different locations but the kaaba stands out. It is the holiest place on earth. You can feel the energy here.

Added by Zawwar on 04-11-2011
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