Farah Azzouz: Pilgrimage

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Farah Azzouz Pilgrimages, or holy travels, are done for many reasons. Mostly religious, almost every faith has pilgrimages specific to its beliefs and work to strengthen one’s beliefs. The pilgrimages below, the Hajj and the Kashi Yatra, differ in many ways, yet compare in many ways. They are from two different religions, yet show similar ideals and similar ritualistic activities. Both hold certain values strongly and the rituals they perform showcase what values they hold deeply. In the case of the Hajj, they hold solidarity and devotion to Allah strongly; they consider vigil prayer extremely important. In the case of the Kashi Yatra, marital status is prominent throughout the pilgrimage and is the main ideal of many ritualistic ceremonies. …show more content…
The Hajj is one of five pillars of Islam, the other four being Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, and Sawm. Considered the largest coming together of people in the world, the Hajj pilgrimage in extremely significant to the Islamic religion (Mosher). The purpose of the Hajj pilgrimage is for the Muslim people to demonstrate their solidarity and submission to Allah. The Hajj occurs from the eighth to the twelfth of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar, or the Hijri calendar, is lunar so it is eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, making the Hajj on different days each year. This year, it occurred on October 1-6. The Hajj is in reference to the life of Muhammad, the Islamic prophet from the seventh century; however, the specific ritual of journeying to Mecca can be traced back as far as thousands of years ago to the time of Abraham. Throughout the Hajj, …show more content…
The longing is defined by the desire to make the pilgrimage, possibly starting extensively previous to the actual pilgrimage. In the case of the Hajj, the sole quality of being born a Muslim is the longing of the pilgrimage. The religion requires it to be done at least once per lifetime, so the desire to complete the pilgrimage occurs at birth. The next stage of the pilgrimage is the call. The call is the idea of the pilgrimage expressing itself to be done. The call stage of the Hajj can almost be combined with the longing stage. This can be done because in this certain pilgrimage, it is required by birth as a Muslim to complete, it is not optional, but mandatory so the call of beckoning of the journey can be said to of occurred at birth. In other cases, the call can occur when the pilgrim feels possibly separated from their religion. In matters of weak connection to the faith, the pilgrim can express the desire to complete the Hajj to strengthen their beliefs, in which case the call can be at a variety of times in the pilgrim’s life prior to the Hajj. The next of the pilgrimage and the last stage before the actual ritual of the Hajj is the departure. The departure is the physical separation of the pilgrim from his routine life to begin the Hajj. This, depending on the distance one lives from Mecca, can range from a few days to two weeks before the eighth of Dhu

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