The Fifth Pillar of Islam
There are five pillars of Islam, namely Shahadah, Salat, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj. However, the term pillar is more of an analogy used to describe the five components on which the very core of the Islamic faith is based on. These are the five key elements that define a person as a Muslim; five tasks that (Allah SWT) has made compulsory on all able Muslims.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is a pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim must take at least once during their life. It occurs during the month of Dhul Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar and concludes with Eid-ul-Adha prayers.
The Hajj pilgrimage includes the following:
- Wearing the Ehram - the standard clothing for pilgrims upon arriving in Mecca
- Performing Tawaf and Sa'ee in Masjid Al-Haram
- Staying and praying in Mina
- Spending the night at Mount Arafat in prayer
- Staying in Muzdalfah
- Revisiting Mina and stoning the Jamaraat (3 three devils)
- Performing Eid-ul-Adha prayers
- Performing Qurbani / Udhiya, the Sunna of Ibrahim
- Shaving his head. Women simply clip a piece of their hair.
- Performing Tawaf-ul-wida
Hajj is by no accounts an easy journey; however it is not painstakingly difficult either. There is a fair amount of struggle involved which is needed and in some cases required, to gain the spiritual blessings from this sacred pilgrimage. Performing prayer in the scorching deserts of the Arabia can be a daunting task yet millions of Muslims perform Hajj every year in order to renew their faith, their Taqwaa and become better human beings.
Over three million pilgrims are expected to perform Hajj this year. We, at MAA would like to wish them a safe journey, and may the spiritual benefits of their voyage last them a lifetime. May Allah watch over them and may He accept their Hajj. Ameen.