What is the meaning of pilgrimage (Hajj)? What are the wisdoms of and reasons behind hajj?

Hajj is a kind of worship that consists of represented acts all over.

During hajj, hajjis wear a seamless garment resembling a shroud called ihram. This act represents dying and breaking off all relationships with the world.  

Waqfa in Arafat is a small sample of the Day of Gathering.

Hajjis, who go to Muzdalifa uttering takbirs after Arafat, stay there during the night before eid. They set off to go to Mina on the day of eid in order to throw stones at Satan.  To throw stones at Satan is a symbol and manifestation of hating the tricks and delusions of Satan. It also means to follow the sunnah of throwing stones by Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh).

After expressing their enmity and hatred toward evil and that they will struggle against evil by doing their best by throwing stones at Satan symbolically, who is the symbol of evil, hajjis slaughter animals to show that they are ready to sacrifice their own lives in the way of Allah. They experience the surrendering of being sacrificed in the way of Allah shown by Hz. Ismail.

Even if a cause is right, it cannot be superior without having defenders and followers that are ready to sacrifice their lives for it. Thus, with the animals that they slaughter, hajjis show symbolically that they will sacrifice their lives for Allah if it is necessary. 

Circumambulation, that is, rotating around the Kaaba, is a worship derived from the system of the universe. In the universe, planets rotate around the sun, electrons around the nucleus and moths around the fire; with this rotation, they show their loyalty and love to the center. In this sense, rotating around the Kaaba, which is the symbol of the religion of oneness, symbolizes love and loyalty to the religion.

Each rotation around the Kaaba symbolizes going up to the 7 skies by passing a phase at each rotation, going up to the highest level of the soul, which has 7 levels, from its lowest level in our inner world, attaining the goal of human life and reaching the spiritual life.  

Wisdoms and Benefits of Hajj

Hajj has many wisdoms, and material and spiritual benefits. Let us mention some of them:

* Believers come together with the same purpose and belief thanks to hajj. A large crowd that cannot be seen anywhere in the world turn to the Creator of the universe with the consciousness and excitement of worshipping and request from Him, ask for forgiveness and pray Him in order to live and die with belief. With the spiritual pleasure that they attain, they give up their bad characteristics and habits. They attain the enthusiasm to adhere to the orders of Allah.  

* With barefoot and bare head, hajjis wearing white garments all over denotes Gathering Day. Thus, hearts will soften, gazes will change, emotions will be obvious and a kind of spiritual eid is experienced.  

*Hajjis, who perceive the magnificence of Allah, who has made millions of people run to the Holy land with one command for 14 centuries, with all of their emotions, see, with their own eyes, millions of people who believe in the same things; thus, they do not heed the doubts and delusions of Satan. Their belief becomes strengthened. 

* When hajjis visit the holy lands where their religion emerged and spread to the world, where people struggled for it, sacrificed their lives and shed their blood, and when they visit the graves of the respectable heroes, they will nurture the desire and enthusiasm to practice and serve Islam. They will virtually address those mujahids and say, "We promise to maintain the holy relics you left to us and transfer them to the generations to come after us."

* The hardships and problems experienced during journeys make man appreciate the bounties they have and thank God for them. To be away from one's property, relatives and friends and not to be able to have a rest will remind man of the problems of the poor and make him show compassion to them and help them.  

* Hajj has the reward of jihad because during hajj, one travels, struggles against his soul and bears troubles and fatigue.  

Apart from the otherworldly and spiritual benefits mentioned above, hajj also has some material and social benefits:

* Hajj is like the general congress of the Islamic world that convenes every year. During hajj season, Islamic Countries have the opportunity to agree on their internal and external issues and to act together against the world. They also have the opportunity to know one another and to exchange their ideas on culture, science and art.

* During hajj season, which is like an international fair of Islamic Countries, every country can display their material and spiritual existence. They will have underdeveloped Islamic Countries and help them develop.

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