Pilgrims performing Hajj
24 September 2015,Nirapad News: Millions of pilgrims are performing the holy Hajj, the largest Muslim congregation, on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia’s holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
The pilgrims include 106,060 Bangladeshis, who are performing Hajj under government and private Hajj initiatives.
All pilgrims wearing Ahram are seen moving from the holy city of Makkah to nearby Mina for the start of Hajj rituals. They will spend the night at Mina under the open sky before moving to Arafat Wednesday morning to perform the main ritual of Hajj, called Waqoof.
Labayk Allahuma Labayk Labayk. La shareeka laka Labayk. Innal hamda wannimata laka wal mulk. La shareeka Lak
(Here I am at your service, oh Lord, here I am – here I am. No partner do you have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the favor are yours, and the dominion. No partner do you have.)
The words chanted by some two million people from across Saudi Arabia and throughout the world heading, as if pulled by a magnet, to one single spot on Earth. As has happened every year for 14 centuries, Muslim pilgrims gather in Makkah to perform rituals based on those conducted by the Prophet Muhammad during his last visit to the city.
Performing these rituals, known as the Hajj, is the fifth pillar of Islam and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity. Undertaking the Hajj at least once is a duty for Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah. The emphasis on financial ability is meant to ensure that a Muslim takes care of his family first.
The requirement that a Muslim be healthy and physically capable of undertaking the pilgrimage is intended to exempt those who cannot endure the rigors of extended travel.
The pilgrimage is the religious high point of a Muslim’s life and an event that every Muslim dreams of undertaking.
After completing the rites, pilgrims come out of Ihram and wear their normal clothes, but remain at Mina for the Eid ul-Azha, the festival that signals the culmination of the Hajj. Over the next two days, they stone the three pillars in the Jamarat, before performing the Tawaf Al-Wida’, the Farewell Circumambulation of the Ka’abah before their departure from the city.
While not required as part of the Hajj, most pilgrims visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during their visit to the Kingdom.
Throughout the Hajj, the largest annual gathering of people on earth, the pilgrimage is marked by a total absence of any disagreements or altercations among the pilgrims. Courtesy and helping others are the norm. Peace, serenity and piety pervade the entire pilgrimage and the pilgrims.