Religions and Religious Thoughts of India

||Hinduism|| ||Jainism|| ||Buddhism || ||Sikhism|| ||Islam|| ||Christianity|| ||Zoroastrianism|| ||Judaism ||
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Bahai Faith|| ||Other Faiths|| ||Pilgrimages|| ||Famous Religious Personalities||

 

Religious Pilgrimages of India

||Amarnath Yatra|| ||Haj Yatra|| ||Kalchakra|| ||Kumbh Mela|| ||Ayyappa Temple ||
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Pushkar Mela|| ||Urs of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti||

HAJJ

 

The Religious Pilgrimage of Indian Hindus

Nearly 3 million Muslims from more than 120 countries journey to the holy city of Makkah each year to make the spiritual pilgrimage known as the Hajj. The pilgrimage is one of five Pillars of Islam that form the framework of Islamic life. All Muslims who are physically and financially able are expected to perform the Hajj at least once. Haj is a pre-Islamic ritual. Islamic Hajj was first performed in 9th Hijri. Muslims trace the origin of the Haj to Prophet Ibrahim, who rebuilt the first House of Allah, the Kaaba, as the focal point for the worship of Allah alone (concept of Tawheed or Islamic monotheism). Prophet Ibrahim, who was blessed with a son at a very old age, was ordained by Almighty Allah to sacrifice his son Ismaeel. In deference to the wishes of the Almighty Allah, Prophet Ibrahim took his son to Mount Marwah, near Makkah and laid him prostate in order to sacrifice him. The Almighty Allah replaced Ismael with a sacrificial animal called Nahr. It is in commemoration of this event that animals are sacrificed during Hajj.

In the seventh century, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) refined some of the rituals of the Hajj. The Prophet (pbuh) has performed Haj only once during his lifetime.

The Hajj begins on the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic year, and lasts for six days, from 8th-12th of Dhul-Hijjah. Hajj entails physical hardship combined with spiritual enlightenment. For the first three days of the Haj, the pilgrims are required to wear special garments called Ihram, which in the case of men comprises of two pieces of unstitched clothes. The pilgrim pronounces his intention before proceeding for Haj and then recites the special prayer and utters the Talbiyah. Upon arrival in Makkah, the pilgrims go to the Haram Sharief (Holy mosque) and perform the Tawaaf or the circumambulation around the Kaaba or the House of Allah. Over the course of the Haj, pilgrims travel the nine miles from Makkah to the Plain of Arafat and back, stopping at the sacred sites of Mina and Muzdalifa to perform prayerful rituals.

The rituals also involve stoning (Rami) of the Jamarat (Satan) on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, followed by the performance of Tawaf-e-Ziyarah and Sayee at Makkah, which marks the culmination of the main rituals of the Hajj.

In India, the Ministry of External Affairs is the nodal agency which is responsible for making arrangements for the Indians Hajjis. The Ministry is coordinated in its efforts by the Hajj Committee of India and the State Hajj Committees and the Consulate General of India, Jeddah. Nowadays over 1,75,000 Indian pilgrims are going every year to perform Hajj.  Of these, 1,20,000 go through the Hajj Committee of India and the remaining 55,000 go through the Private Tour Operators (PTOs). In addition, nearly 80,000 Indian pilgrims visit Saudi Arabia every year to perform the lesser pilgrimage known as 'Umrah'.

Haj - An Indian Experience Through the Ages

 

||Hinduism|| ||Jainism|| ||Buddhism || ||Sikhism|| ||Islam|| ||Christianity|| ||Zoroastrianism|| ||Judaism || ||Bahai Faith||
||Other Faiths|| ||Pilgrimages|| ||Famous Religious Personalities||


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