The Significance of the Hajj on the Community and Individual

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Hajj is a once-in-a-life time obligation upon Islamic adherents whose health and means permit it. It is an essential part of Muslim faith and practice as it is the fifth pillar of faith, symbolises central concepts of Islam and commemorates the trials of the Prophet Ibrahim. Hajj provides individuals with the opportunity for spiritual rebirth through developing a closer relationship with Allah as well as fulfilling the five pillars of Islam. The global Islamic community are also united through submission to the will and communal worship of their “one God” Allah.

Hajj takes place during Dhul-Hajjah, the twelfth month of the Muslim calendar. Preparation before this time is highly important and involves redressing wrongs, paying all debts, money for family and journey, as well as adopting good behaviour. The significance of the intensity of Hajj is that individuals learn skills such as determination, perseverance, patience and control of human will. The community is also affected through the local Muslim communities who involve themselves in the preparation. International media coverage is also gained from the enormity of the Hajj encouraging the Islamic community to take part. Thus the significance of the Hajj on both community and individual is evident.

Diverse rites also take place during Hajj and many of these reinforce the five pillars of Islam. Hajji itself is the fifth pillar of faith, making it extremely significant as individuals to perform to become closer to Allah. Muslims also fulfill the first pillar “Shahada” by declaring their belief in Allah and his oneness, by attending Hajj, significantly strengthening bonds with Allah. One of the most significant rituals performed during Hajj, occurs on Mt. Arafat in which pilgrims simulate the Day of Resurrection at which all pilgrims must be present. The Ihram, white garments, symbolic of human equality and unity before Allah, must also be worn. This is significant for the individual as barriers of...
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