Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hajj and Eid Al-Adha


The largest pilgrimage in the world.
Two and a half Million - Three Million Muslims.
Muslims from all over the world attend.
Required of all able Muslims to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime.
Men and Women.
The 5th pillar of Islam.
Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Abraham was instructed by God to leave his wife (Hagar) and infant son (Ishmeal) alone in the dessert.
The infant became thirsty.
Hagar ran back and forth seven times looking for water.
Infant cried and hit his foot to the ground/Angel Gabriel's wing scratched the ground.
Water miraculously appeared (well of ZamZam).
Years later Abraham was instructed by God to return to this place and build a place of worship next to the Well Zamzam.
Abraham and his son built the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Abraham was instructed by God to sacrifice his son.
Satan tried to persuade Abraham not to sacrifice his son.
Abraham and his son drove Satan away by throwing stones at him.
Abraham and his son proved their williness to sacrifice for God.
God replaced his son with an animal to sacrifice instead.

The pilgrimage commerartes this historical and religious history.

Day 1:
Pilgrims reach Mecca, shower and change clothes
Shedding all signs of wealth and societial distinction
Muslim men wear two white cloths, Muslims women wear simple white dress and headscarf.
Travel from Mecca to Mina
Pray, read Quran, rest for coming days

Day 2:
Leave Mina and go to the Plain of Arafat.
Muslims spend the entire day near the Mount of Mercy
Asking for forgiveness and making supplications.
(Muslims not in Hajj often fast this day)
Travel to open plain call Muzdalifah
Collect small pebbles for the following day
Spend the night praying

Day 3:
Travel back to Mina
Throw small stones that repressent the temptation of Satan (rememberance of Satan tempting Abraham not to sacrifice his son).
Sacrifice an animal
Return to Mecca
Circle the Kaaba seven times
Walk seven times between two small hills (in remeberance of Hagar search for water)
Drink from the Well of ZamZam

SEE HAJJ LIVE and learn more! :

Eid Al-Adha
The Festival of Sacrifice.
Animal sacrifice
Sacrificed animal, which must meet specific criteria
Symbolize God's mercy on Abraham when God replaced Abraham's son with a ram.
Sacrificed meat: 1/3 kept for family, 1/3 given to relatives, 1/3 given as charity to the poor.
Largest Holiday in Islam.
Follows the Pilgrimage of Hajj.

Morning of Eid rituals:
Wake up before sunrise, wash and pray Fajr Prayer.
Dress in best clothing.
Attend early morning Eid Prayer offered in congregation.
Sacrifice animal.
Visit family and friends.

Hajj is currently going on.
Eid is on Wednesday, November 16th this year.
Eid Al-Adha lasts for 4 days.
We are off work for the week.
Proper greeting: Eid Mubarak, Happy Eid.

Eid Mubarak!

1 comment:

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