What is HAJJ?
Hajj is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world. I had the opportunity to do it in 2019, and now I want to share my experience with you. I will also reveal some of the meanings of this ritual. Hajjul lasts 6 days and takes place in different locations around Mecca. My experience at HAJJ The first day of Hajj On the morning of the 8th, the month of the Arabic Pilgrim (Dhul Al Hijjah), the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. This is the first day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the only time the pilgrimage can begin. The first thing I do to start the fifth pillar of Islam is to enter the state of sacredness by bathing, putting on the specific dress, i.e. the Ihram, and putting the intention to make the Hajj pilgrimage. This time they can be done in the location where you reside in Mecca. From the moment I put on this garment, I intend to perform this ritual of worship only for Allah and then enter into a state of sacredness. Meanwhile, the bus arrives that will take us to the tents in the location called Mina. On the way I recited the Talbiyah prayer as often as possible. This prayer represents the pilgrim’s response to the Divine call. “Here I am [at your service] O God, here I am. Here I am [at your service]. You have no partners (other gods). To You alone is all praise and all excellence, and to You is all sovereignty. There is no partner to You. ” … Allah is the name given in Arabic to God. The term Allah is derived from the root El-ilah which means Absolute and Eternal God. All etymological versions of the word Allah have in common the meaning of the term love. At Mina there are over 100,000 tents, on an area of several km. From here to Mecca it is about 7 km. Here the pilgrims prepare for the day of Arafa and in the evening a sermon is given.
Once we enter the Mina region, we can see in the distance the sea of tents, waiting for pilgrims.
The next day
After a night spent in the tent in Mina, a warm day was announced in the morning. Temperatures exceed 40 degrees.
Now we head to Mount Arafat where we will spend the whole day. This is the most important ritual of the pilgrimage and represents the upright position of man before the Creator. The word Arafa means “deep knowledge of the senses”
The Prophet Muhammad performed the Hajj pilgrimage only once. When he reached the foot of this mountain he gave a short sermon:
“Oh, people! Be accountable to Allah for your attitude towards women. Behave like the pledge that Allah has given you. It is true that you have certain rights over your wives, but they also have certain rights over you. Remember that you married them with the permission and permission of Allah. If they live under your roof, then they have the right to be treated with respect and cared for. Treat them gently, because they are your life companions and your hopeful supporters. Similarly, they must respect you and not receive those you dislike in your homes.
I will leave behind one thing: The Book of Allah, if you follow it, you will not stray from the right path. You will be asked by me the next day. What will be your answer? ”
What does ARAFA mean?
THE ARAF IS THE DIRECTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON JUDGMENT DAY WHEN ALL PEOPLE COME TO THE PLACE OF JUDGMENT AFTER BEING RESUSED OF THE DEAD
Arafat is a place where man follows Adam. He admitted his mistake and repented for it. It is the best place to pray as much as possible.
What I did here
Sitting on these rocks I continually pray for the forgiveness of sins. I also pray to the Almighty to make me and my wife a positive example to those around me. I pray for my parents, friends, and last but not least for all mankind. These days prayer is the main activity. In these moments, to make sure that I do not omit something important, I reflect on my whole life and also on my sins and what I feel at this moment.
The definition of sin is largely common in all religions, and more precisely it refers to the following: not to suspect, not to gossip, not to slander, not to brag, not to hate, not to lie, not to kill. Most of the time we let fear control our soul and take the place of love, thus developing wickedness and hatred. As time goes on, they blacken the soul, but also the mind. Negative feelings become the fuel that comes to control our lives. moreover, to believe that we are well guided…
But how do we know if we have sinned or not? Especially in cases where we end up hurting the people we love …
But the worst is when we don’t realize it and we think we’re right. In turn, even the injured people think they are right, so we end up throwing things that hurt a lot. It is very difficult for me to understand how, over time, we manage to turn love into hatred and consider that we are doing God’s will.
If when we are born we have a pure soul and heart, then what changes us throughout life? How can we sustain ourselves without blackening our hearts throughout our lives?
I think only through a constant review of the feelings we have. Let us always be careful not to let dark thoughts take over us and also try to stay in the light, peace and love. This is the hardest struggle we have to fight, namely, the spiritual struggle with our own soul. In Arabic this civil war is called Jihad.
One thing is very clear, we must first become aware of our sin, and then we can repent.
What is faith fpr me?
I have always associated faith with love. Just as love must be maintained daily, so must faith. They come in waves and need to be reviewed daily. The obligatory nature of the practices: prayer, fasting, or going to pilmigradge, helps the person to give himself time to reflect on the priorities of the soul.
But the practice done only mechanically, without being aware of it, has no value.
How can we cleanse our blackened hearts?
One explanation we found in this pilgrimage is that in this journey we have time to reflect on ourselves and our lives.
– Through a very simple and modest lifestyle, especially since these places have a very high energy vibration. – Now is the right time to take action against negative feelings.
– Through forgiveness, almsgiving, humility, let’s honestly review our ego and realize better that death is near and these few years spent here are just a test, a test.
After a few hours on the hot rocks, the sky became cloudy and it started to rain instantly. It is said that rain is a blessing. I enjoyed the clean water, and then I retired to the tent set up to continue my reflections on life.
After the evening prayer Isha, we go to the location called Muzdalifa. The night party at Muzdalifa symbolizes consciousness, which signifies precise distinction.
Here we spend the night under the open sky and gather stones, to throw them, then, to Satan, meaning Sheitan, in Arabic.
I feel tired, the ihram is getting dirtier, I can barely find a place to lie down.
I can’t really sleep in this constant agitation, but I try to lie down a bit. If the tents in Mina seemed uncomfortable to me, what is happening here helps me understand that it can always be even worse. . . Now I feel blessed. I lie down and enjoy every minute, knowing that it will not last until after the dawn prayer.
The word patience came to my mind. Does patience have a limit? Can we know when I had enough patience? Or can we say, ready, from now on I can’t wait?
This whole pilgrimage is training of patience. Here, in this sea of people, I have no choice but to have a lot of patience. If we could overcome the limits of patience, I think we would be able to create a better world.
The sun is beginning to rise. We say the Fajr prayer here, then head to Mina. We enter the highway, full of pilgrims, which pierces the rocky mountains. This leads to the location where we meet, namely Jamarat. All men are dressed the same. We advanced slowly, reciting Telbiya (the Muslim’s response to the divine call).
I feel a lump of energy widening in my stomach. This energy floods my chest with a heat that extends through all the veins to the tips of my fingers. Suddenly, my body is out of weight. I don’t feel tired anymore. I have a feeling of happiness and love for everyone around me. The legs move forward on their own … I look around me, as if we are all the same, even the oldest. We all walk at the same pace, people from all corners of the earth, we all walk as if we are one.
Throwing stones at Jamarat
After about 7 km we approach the pillars of Jamarat. Here you can hear the sirens of police cars, the rustle of the crowd and the sound of pebbles hitting the pillars that symbolize Satan.
This ritual signifies man’s struggle against Evil and his inner desires which have come under his obedience.
Seitan comes and whispers evil to us or often works through the people around him who come in contact with us.
Every stone I throw is meant to shatter bad behavior and improper attitude.
The history of the stone-throwing ritual
The story of this ritual comes from the prophet Abraham, the same one from the Old Testament. This ritual symbolizes the power of the faith of the prophet Abraham, whom the Creator asked to sacrifice his son, Ismail, to test his faith. As he was going to the place of sacrifice, Seitan tried to seduce him and remove him from the command of Allah.
The prophet Abraham took stones and threw them at Seitan to leave him alone. When he reached the place of Sacrifice, God showed him a ram and commanded him to sacrifice the ram in place of his son. Since then, this sacrifice is celebrated as the Feast of Sacrifice or Aid Al Adha, the sacrificed animal is called Kurban and must be distributed to those in need.
Regarding this sacrifice Allah swt says in the Qur’an:
“Their flesh and their blood will not reach Allah, but your humility will reach Him” (Hajj 22:37)
Just as creatures have a spirit, so do human actions have a spirit. The spirit of action is consciousness.
The meaning of the Kurban is a teaching given to man: “O man! Don’t get so attached to this life! ” There is a difference between: “To be the possessor of wealth or to belong to wealth”
I finish throwing the pebbles and continue on my way to the exit.
Now comes the haircut, after which I can remove the ihram. Then, following the visit to the Al Haram Mosque, where I have to do tawaf and sa’y.
Kaba – the first temple
Inside the Al Haram Mosque is the Kaaba. According to the Qur’an, it is the “first temple” built by man on the surface of the Earth (Al Imran 3:96). This is a simple construction. Now it is in the shape of a cube and was rebuilt by the prophet Abraham, together with his son Ismail, who sends us the following message:
“No matter how hard Adam’s sons strive to worship Allah without fail, they will not be able to succeed. Therefore, they must accept their inability to worship Him properly. ”
Tawaf – the rotation around Kabei
Throughout history, the Kaaba has been destroyed, rebuilt, and renovated for various reasons. Among the few items left from the time of the prophet, Abraham is the Black Stone. This is the starting point of the Tawaf pilgrimage.
The first time I walked in and saw the Kaaba I felt inner peace, as if you didn’t
she’s coming to take your eyes off her. It is said that the Kaaba softens souls and is the heart of the Earth, and the heart of man is the Kaaba. Just as in pilgrimage we perish around the Kaaba, so every person must perish, permanently, around his heart and those around him, by showing love, respect, care, almsgiving, advising, and showing them. how to do good deeds and keeping them away from bad deeds.
Sa’y – the perch between the Safa and Marwa hills
After tawaf follows sa’y, inspired by the story of Islmail’s mother, Hager, namely the perch between the two hills, Safa and Marwa, near the Kaaba, inside the Al Haram Mosque.
This ritual signifies the effort that people have to make to fulfill their purpose of existence…
In the Qur’an Allah swt tells us
He is the one who created life and death to prove which of you is better in deed. He is Mighty, Forgiving. (Mulk 67: 2).
˹He is the One˺ Who created death and life in order to test which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Almighty, All-Forgiving.
We are the only ones responsible for our lives and we should not blame those around us for our actions.
Aid Al Adha
Today is the first day of the holiday, Aid Al Adha in Arabic.
Even though I took down the ihram, the Hajj pilgrimage did not end.
Three more nights
We have three more nights to return to stay in the tents in Mina, and after the Fajr prayer to come to Jamarat, to continue throwing pebbles at Seitan.
After throwing the last stones at the 3rd pillar, the one at Jamarat, the great pilgrimage, Hajj, ended.
I pray to the One full of Love to accept this ritual and make us righteous.