Pilgrimage, a one-off sacred journey in life

Eid al Adha is over as all Muslims around the world celebrated the occasion with various festivities with family, friends and loved ones. On the other hand, millions of pilgrims have marked the celebration of Eid differently by performing rituals of a pilgrimage (Haj) over the past week. They have observed Eid in different practices in Mecca and the other sacred places.
Pilgrims were really distinguished and honoured as everyone was wishing to be among them; thrilled to
perform this significant mission assigned to all Muslims.
Haj, as compulsory religious assignment, is aimed to commemorate the name of Allah in those special days when pilgrims are performing the rituals of Haj there. This has been clarified in the verse of Quran: “You shall commemorate God for
a number of days”.
As a matter of fact, Haj is an appeal from pilgrims to the Almighty Allah seeking forgiveness, mercy and acceptance as obedient worshippers. Days of Haj are very blessed and it’s a good time to ask for other wishes in addition to seeking other merits.
Generally, activities of Haj are being practiced collectively in crowd where all pilgrims of different backgrounds, nationalities and languages converge for the same cause mostly at the same time or day. They unite all the days there wearing the same pieces of white cloth for men and black coloured for women starting from the eighth day of Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth month of Islamic Calendar. With no exception, all pilgrims come for the same reason and mission which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other pilgrims came for thousands of years ago. Similar tasks and activities that have been performed in the past centuries are being performed today in the same locations.
Although Haj is a religious mission, it mirrors a social and spiritual unity for Muslims where all individual differences are standing apart. Besides, Haj brings harmony and compassion among pilgrims despite their huge crowd all over the place there. The feeling of being a pilgrim is unbelievably different and heartening. Pilgrims are sharing respect, sympathy and support to each and everyone as if they are one family; brothers and sisters. It is very touching indeed how they move around performing their assigned tasks. The way on which pilgrims are united and coming together is undoubtedly magnificent.
Pilgrims are sincerely worshipping the Almighty Allah in a different way unlike the usual daily prayers that are performed in mosque five times a day.
On each day they spend there, they are performing different tasks in which they become very serious in what they do and sincere with the prayers they say. Although the reason behind performing some tasks the way they are done is non obvious, pilgrims are obliged to follow what both Prophets, Muhammad and
Ibrahim, have performed earlier on their days.
Despite Haj is the fifth essential pillar of Islam, only capable Muslims are requested to perform it at least once during their lifetime. Those who are physically or financially unable to go for Haj can do it afterwards when they are ready; else they assign someone on their behalf, but with certain serious conditions. Otherwise, many people might get an excuse, but they get deprived from the honour and big reward of performing Haj. All Muslims, who are intending to go for Haj, must be hale and hearty as well as strong enough to sufficiently perform all the tasks required.
The reward granted by the Almighty Allah to all pilgrims is that all their sins, faults and wrongdoings will be forgiven once they come back home from Haj. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever performs Haj and does not commit any obscenity or transgression shall return free from sins as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him”. He also said: “The reward of a Haj mabroor is nothing, but Paradise”.
Congratulations to all pilgrims!