Pilgrimage (Hajj) and the Kaaba (the House of God)
The Quran enjoins all Muslims to perform the Pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime if they can afford it and if the journey is safe. The centre of pilgrimage is Kaaba which according to the Quran, is the first house built for the worship of God. The object of the Pilgrimage is to create in the minds of the Muslims a feeling of an international brotherhood, and through the performance of certain rites to impress on the minds of the pilgrims that God is to be the focal point of their lives.
22: 26. As to those who disbelieve and hinder men from the way of ALLAH and from the Sacred Mosque, which WE have appointed equally for the benefit of all men, be they dwellers therein or visitors from the desert, and whoso seeks wrongfully to deviate therein from the right path - WE shall cause him to taste of a grievous punishment.
22: 27. And call to mind when WE assigned to Abraham the site of the House and said, `Associate not anything with ME and keep MY House clean for those who perform the circuits, and those who stand up and those who bow and prostrate themselves in Prayer;
22: 28. And proclaim unto men the Pilgrimage. They will come to thee on foot, and on every lean camel, coming by every distant, deep, track.
22: 29. `That they may witness the benefits provided for them and may mention the name of ALLAH, during the appointed days, over the quadrupeds of the class of cattle that HE has provided for them. So eat thereof and feed the distressed and the needy.
22: 30. `Then let them accomplish their needful acts of cleansing, and fulfil their vows, and go around the Ancient House.'
3: 98. In it are manifest Signs; it is the place of Abraham; and whoso enters it, is safe. And pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men - those who can find a way thither - owe to ALLAH. And whoso disbelieves, let him remember that ALLAH is surely Independent of all creatures.
2:198. The months of the Pilgrimage are well known; so whoever determines to perform the Pilgrimage in these months should remember that there is to be no foul talk, nor any transgression, nor any quarrelling during the Pilgrimage. And whatever good you do, ALLAH knows it. And furnish yourselves with necessary provisions for your journey and surely, the best provision is righteousness. And fear ME alone, O men of understanding.