The fifth act of Islamic worship is the performing of the Hajj or the pilgrimage to Mecca. A Muslim must perform this pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime if economic and political conditions are favourable. The focal point of this pilgrimage is the Ka’ba, which was rebuilt by Prophet Abraham some 4,000 years ago. Today, the Ka’ba stands in the middle of a large courtyard of Masjid al Haram or the Sacred Mosque. The courtyard of Masjid al Haram contains, besides Ka’ba, the Maqam a Ibrahim and the fountain of Zamzam.
The Hajj is performed during the Muslim month of Dhul Hijjah which comes two months after the festival of Eid al Fitr. The various ceremonies of the Hajj include:
Here we come, O God, here we come No partner have You, here we come
Indeed, praise and blessings are Yours, and the Kingdom too No partner have You, here we come
Although not part of the prescribed pilgrimage, many pilgrims carry on to Medinah and visit Masjid al Nabvi or the Prophet’s Mosque. It was in the compound of this Mosque that Prophet Muhammad was buried.
While the Hajj may only be performed during the prescribed dates of the month of Dhul Hijjah, a Lesser Pilgrimage called Umrah may be made individually at any time during the year.