Large Banner Ad
Small Banner Ad

October 20, 2010

The Hajj - get the DVD free

The Canadian Charger

More by this author...

(To introduce the Hajj, The Canadian Charger is offering a National Geographic DVD free to its Canadian readers. To receive your copy, pay only $15 to cover shipping and handling using the online donation button.)

Some 5,000 Canadians are getting ready to perform the Hajj, the great pilgrimage to Mecca. It comes annually during the last month (Duhl-Hijja) of the Islamic lunar calendar, which this year falls during the first two weeks of November.

The Hajj is no vacation. At the end of the two weeks, more than 2 million Muslims will be utterly exhausted, having endured severe heat and hardship for a spiritual experience they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

The Great Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) at the center of Mecca can accommodate more than half a million worshipers at a time.

Women, who constitute about 40 per cent of pilgrims (Hajji), wear long white gowns, with their heads covered but their faces exposed. Men are clothed in two white unsown sheets—a waist wrapper and an outer garment covering the upper body.

The mosque encloses the Kaa’ba, a cube-shaped building of grey stones on which verses from the Qur’an (Koran) are embroidered in gold and silver.

The Kaa’ba, a one-room praying house, was first built by Adam and rebuilt by the prophets Abraham and his son Ishmael as a house of worship to the One Creator, God Almighty.

When the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Mohamed in AD 610, the angel Gabriel told him to cleanse the Kaa’ba of the pagan idols that the people of Mecca had been worshiping there. From then on, it became the Holy Ancient House of God.

At one corner of the Kaaba is a black stone set in silver, the only remaining artifact from Abraham’s time. That stone has become the starting and finishing point of the tawaf, or seven circlings that pilgrims make around the Kaa’ba, which covered in black silk drapery. During the pilgrimage, a sea of people circles the Kaa’ba 24 hours a day, constantly reciting prayers and reaching out to touch or kiss this special stone.

In some parts of the world, the desert is a testing ground for weapons, but in Mecca the desert is a blessing of God, for it is the desert that has from time immemorial provided a testing ground for human souls.

During the Hajj, Mecca becomes the most cosmopolitan of all cities, with an international choice of cuisine and shopping. At an Indonesian takeaway, an Indonesian pilgrim introduces his new Canadian friend to “hot soup with meat balls” and they discuss politics and their experiences. They exchange addresses and depart, often never to meet again.

As part of the Hajj ritual, pilgrims walk between two small hills, emulating the journey of Abraham’s wife, Hajir, as she sought water for their infant son, Ishmael. It is then told that the baby rubbed his heels together and a spring of holy water, called Zamzam, emerged from the ground to form a stream that has flowed by the Kaaba ever since.

After the Hajj is completed, so many thousands return home at the same time that a plane takes off every five minutes from Mecca’s Hajj Terminal, one of the largest roofed structures in the world. Some carry a small bottle of Zamzam water back to their relatives, but all carry within the spiritual experience of a lifetime.

While God is surely not in Mecca to the exclusion of other places during this time, the vast assembly that gathers during the Hajj feels His presence in their very midst.

The higher significance of such an intense spiritual experience is evident for all. Many sob, but the most important experience is the inner spiritual change that overwhelms every Hajji and affects them for the rest of his or her life.

After all, the Hajji answered God’s call “Come to Me.”

To get your free copy of the DVD on Hajj (only for our Canadian readers) please pay $15 to cover shipping and handling:

  • Think green before you print
  • Respond to the editor
Subscribe to the E-bulletin

On July 7, 2024 in Toronto, Canada, Dimitri Lascaris delivered a speech on the right to resist oppression.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel