In day to day conversations, during lectures, and even in online posts, Muslims use many different terms from the Arabic language. These can be confusing for someone looking into Islam for the first time or even for a new Muslim, and understandably. This Hajj season, WhyIslam wants to help increase understanding regarding the numerous special and seasonal terms that will be used often in these blessed days.
The twelfth and final month of the lunar calendar, which is the calendar Islam follows. The 8th through 13th of this month are when the Days of Hajj occur.
Before praying, Muslims must perform a washing of their hands, face, head, and feet. This washing is called ablution. The purpose behind it is to ensure physical purity before standing in front of God. However, the ablution also reminds one of the need to be spiritually pure. As one washes their limbs, they remember the sins they might have committed with those limbs. The Prophet peace be upon him said: “When a Muslim washes his face for prayer every sin he has committed with his eyes is washed away from his face along with the water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought is erased from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin towards which his feet walked is washed away with water, or with the last drop of water, with the result that he comes out cleansed of all sins” (Sahih Muslim).
In 2017, over two million Muslims from around the world traveled to Makkah for Hajj. People from within Saudi Arabia come for the Hajj, as well as from outside continent. Whether by air, land, or sea, millions gather to fulfill this obligation every year. One finds Muslims from Malaysia to their right, Sudan to their left, England behind, India in front, and the list of countries goes on and on. It is quite the scene to take in, witnessing people of all colors, ages, and walks of life coming together for one common goal.
Islam has two primary holidays, the first is called Eid al-Fitr (Holiday of the Feast). This holiday takes place at the end of the month of Ramadan. The second holiday is called Eid al-Adha (Holiday of Sacrifice) and is considered the holier of the two holidays. Eid al-Adha takes place on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja in the Islamic calendar. Eid al-Adha marks the end of the pilgrimage that takes place in Mecca known as Hajj. Every year, 2-3 million Muslims from throughout the world make the pilgrimage to Mecca during a one-week period.