What the believer does during hajj is to recall what happened to important persons in Muslim history. The rituals performed around the Ka'ba recalls the acts of Abraham and Isma'il when they turned the Ka'ba into the sacred place of worship and peace (Koran sura 2 aya 119). The next act recalls the running of Hajar, when she ran for water for her son. But following this, and we have now arrived at the core of hajj (the acts above are also performed in the smaller pilgrimage, umra) both the theological and historical background is more unclear. Muslim and Western researchers trace the backgrounds to Muhammad's own performance of the hajj. It is clear that Muslims commemorates Muhammad's acts, but why Muhammad did exactly what he once did, is unclear to modern researchers. These are the ones that are not obliged to perform hajj at least once during their lifetime: Mad people, slaves, women that are without travelling company (close relative or husband), people without the necessary funds. Most hajjiyys arrive in Mecca a few days before the hajj proper begins, while some see the opportunity of arriving in Ramadan, the month of sawm, an act which is seen as especially merited. While it is recommended that the hajjiyys should robe themselves in the ihram already at the beginning of the journey, the clear majority puts this on towards the end of the journey to Mecca. The first that the hajjiyy does is to perform the umra, while the hajj proper starts on Dhu l-hijja. 7. But the umra is by all means understood as a part of the hajj, and many of the symbols connected to hajj are as a matter of fact happenings during the umra. 7. Dhu l-hijja
This day is spent with praying in the Great Mosque in Mecca. This act is preparing the hajjiyys for the holy ceremonies.
8. Dhu l-hijja
The hajjiyys now leave Mecca. Following the two caskets that are being brought every year to the hajj from Damascus and from Cairo, the hajjiyys reach the plain of Arafat, after passing...