A set of basic questions and answers on Hajj
1. What are the two major religious celebrations in Islam, and what important events do they correlate with?
Eid ul-Fitr correlates with Ramadan, Eid ul-Adha correlates with the Hajj
2.What is the Hajj, and how many Muslims participate every year?
Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah and around two million Muslims participate every year.
3.Overall, what do the ceremonies of the Hajj symbolize?
Answer:They symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, such as monotheism, and commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
4.How do Muslims, Jews, and Christians view Abraham?
He is a figure revered by these three religious groups because he is considered to be the patriarch of monotheism, who sought a relationship with the One God.
5.How did the city of Makkah come to be?
Answer:Hajar,once left in a desolate valley in Arabia, began searching for water. In response to her prayers, a spring gushed forth. Eventually, some traders stopped in the valley to water their camels, and over time decided to settle there. This settlement became the city of Makkah.
6.What is the significance of the Ka'bah, and who was it built by?
Answer:The Ka'bah was built by Abraham and his elder son Ishma'il as the first house of worship dedicated to the worship of the One God.
7.How often must a Muslim perform the Hajj?
At least once in their lifetime
8.In what way do the pilgrims change their physical appearance before embarking on the Hajj?
Muslims enter a state of consecration, ihram, by removing one's worldly clothes and donning the attire of the 5 pilgrims - two seamless white sheets for men and simple white dresses and scarves for women.
9. What is the significance of the white garments of the pilgrim?
They are symbolic of human equality and unity before God.
10. What are other ceremonies that pilgrims must perform during the time of the Hajj?
Answer:tawaf, sa'i, and travelling to other locations close to Makkah.
11.Explain the importance of the Hajj?
Muslims believe it was designed by God (Allah) and taught through Prophet Muhammad to make each pilgrim aware that he or she has a unique and personal responsibility to seek truth and to pursue justice by promoting good and opposing evil in human affairs.
12.What did Prophet Muhammad say about the Muslims who perform the Hajj properly?
Answer:A pilgrim who performs the Hajj properly will "return as a newly born baby [free of all sins."
13. What does the pilgrimage enable Muslims from all over the world to do?
It enables them to come together in a spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood to worship the One God together.
14. What is one of the lessons learned by a Muslim on the Hajj?
Answer:The equality of all people, regardless of wealth or status, is an essential and important part of Islam.
15.When does Eid ul-Adha take place?
10th of the Islamic lunar month Dhul-Hijjah
16. How do Muslims celebrate the Eid holiday? What is the significance of the celebration?
Muslims celebrate by dressing in their nicest clothes, gathering for a special Eid prayer, then greeting one another with "Eid Mubarak". Later, they visit one another's homes to share meals, and give gifts. The significance of Eid lies in remembering Abraham and his family's sacrifices.