Five Pillars of Islam
Pilgrimage to the Ka'bah (Hajj)
Muslims are required to go for the Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah (Hajj) at least once in their lifetime.
The tradition of the Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah (Hajj) was started by Abraham (Ibrahim) after he and his elder son Ishmael (Isma’il) (Peace be upon them), constructed the Ka’bah in Makkah.
This pilgrimage is obligatory upon only those Muslims who can afford the expenses and withstand the rigors of the journey.
The Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah (Hajj) begins on the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah (twelfth month of the Islamic calendar) every year, and lasts for five days.
During the pilgrimage, the male pilgrims wear a simple dress, consisting of two unstitched sheets of cotton, to cover the upper and lower portions of the body. This humble dress removes all signs of social differences. Ladies perform the pilgrimage in their usual Islamic attire.
Hajj pilgrims go around the Ka’bah seven times in an anti-clockwise manner, walk briskly between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah seven times, stand at the plains of ‘Arafat asking for forgiveness from God, stone the Satan at Mina, offer sacrifice to God, and either trim or shave their heads.
Over 3 million Muslims of different nationalities, speaking different languages congregate in Saudi Arabia for the Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah (Hajj) every year.
Muslims, who are unable to make the pilgrimage, celebrate the event around the world as ‘Id al Ad-ha (Festival of Sacrifice) on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah.