10 Zulhijjah – the story
In the spirit of the Feast of Sacrifice or locally known as Hari Raya Aidil Adha, I have gathered a brief on the significance of the hajj rituals and the celebration:
– Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam (the other four are reciting the syahaddah, performing the five prayers daily, fasting in the month of Ramadhan and giving out alms or zakat to the poor).
– Hajj has been around even during Prophet Adam allaihisalam’s time.
– The first comprehensive hajj rituals as it is today, started in the 9th of Hijrah (or 630 AD) when God sent His message to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who then asked Abu Bakar As-Siddiq and Umar Al-Khattab to perform the first hajj in Makkah.
– The following year (the 10th Hijrah), Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made his only hajj before his death.
– Circling the Kaabah (the square black building) or tawaf (the act) symbolises the struggle of mankind to fight for their existence on this earth.
– Tawaf were made seven times because when Prophet Ibrahim allahisalam built the Kaabah, he ensured that the building stood straight by circling it seven times and looking over his shoulder that its in line all around.
– Tawaf is also the practise made by angels at the Baitul Makmur, which is located directly above the Kaabah in the sky.
– Wukuf means stop, so haj pilgrims stop at the Arafah plains on the ninth day of Zulhijjah. It is said that the Arafah plains symbolises the Judgement Day where humans will be judged on their deeds or evil during their lifetime and they are gathered regardless of race, status or gender on one place which is so hot and has a very high humid, much resembling Padang Mashar.
– At Arafah, there is a place called Jabal Rahmah. This is where Prophet Adam alahisalam met his wife, Siti Hawa after both were ordered to leave Heaven.
– That was also the place where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) delivered his last sermon before he died.
– Saie (the act of jogging between two places) is one of the rituals in hajj. It was said that Siti Hajar, Prophet Ibrahim alahisalam’s mother was running around for water for him. She ran from one place, Safa to another, Marwah, seven times when she thought that she saw water but those were only mirages.
– ZamZam Well (Telaga ZamaZam) – [continuation from the above] As Siti Hajar made her seventh run near Marwan, she heard a voice and saw an angel was digging the earth with its wing and out came water, which was the point for the ZamZam Well.
– It was also said that Prophet Ibrahim alahisalam, who was a baby at that time, was crying out loud as he was so thirsty being left along with his mother in the desert. He stamped his heel to the ground and out came the water.
– Saie symbolises that human should make an effort to earn their living and at the same time earn rewards for their effort.
– Stoning symbolises that Muslims should let the evil go away. The story behind this was that when Prophet Ibrahim alaihisalam received a message from God to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail alahisalam in Mina (near Makkah), the Satan appeared as a human and asked Prophet Ibrahim alaihisalam not to sacrifice his son.
– The sacrifice – When Prophet Ibrahim alahisalam was about to sacrifice his son, God replaced Prophet Ismail with a goat and this marked the start of all the sacrifices made to these days during the Feast of Sacrifice which falls on the tenth of Zulhijjah.
The day itself is unlike any social celebrations. It is more to appreciating what have been given to us and be ready to sacrifice anything. The Hari Raya Aidil Adha is usually celebrated for four days with the meat from the sacrifices distributed to the poor.
I pray I will make it to Makkah to perform the hajj at least once in my lifetime, amin. I was told that the secret is to salawat or recite praises to Prophet Muhamamd (peace be upon him) non-stop. Insya Allah.
Related post I put up a couple of days ago – The Feast of Sacrifice.