Hajj Pilgrimage: A Guide to Educating Colleagues and Students on Cultural Diversity

Hajj Pilgrimage: Empower Your Learning Community with Insights into the Significance and Impact of the Hajj Experience” Imran And Tasneem Carim decided in the early 2010s shortly after they got married, to have a Hajj together. 

Both of them completed the formalities through an experienced nearby Muallim (Hajj guides) located in Riverside county, in southern California and requested extended leave at their workplace. 

Three months before Hajj Imran was a Financial Advisor for a reputable Financial Company in California, quit his job in search of new employment to explore the areas of his expertise. 

In a specific company, during the interview, he said that if he gets the job, he would like the company to look into his personal situation. He stated that the couple are looking to fulfill their obligation of faith and travel to Hajj and arrangements have been established. He gave details regarding Hajj arrangements to interviewers. 

Also Read: Historic Gathering: Saudi Arabia Commences the Largest Hajj Pilgrimage in History

The company later hired him and taking into consideration the information provided by him about Hajj and agreed to a three-week vacation in advance.

This will be added to his vacation upon one year of his job. This is among the instances in which a company has had approved vacation time for Hajj prior to granting the job. Tasneem Carim who is employed as a teacher was granted a three-week vacation from the Public School.

Imran was hired at his new job. Imran spoke to his coworkers two weeks prior to his departure for Hajj giving details on Hajj and advising the group that they should not be surprised when they saw him returning from Hajj shaving his head. 

The teachers of Tasneem’s Middle School as well as Imran’s coworkers were interested in Hajj and wanted to know more details and images about Hajj rituals.

When Imran as well as Tasneem came back after Hajj, Tasneem prepared a presentation entitled, “23 Days on a Spiritual Journey of an eon”. The presentation was modified by each. Imran made his presentation unique to address his financial firm colleagues, and also to display live Tawaf during the ayah at the end of his presentation. 

Tasneem modified the slides and altered her presentation to appeal to her audience, 7 8th graders, keeping the fact that during the class on history, these students were just finishing their study of their Unit of Islam and the Rise of Islam. This is an ongoing project for the students who are entering to 7 7th grade every calendar year. Tasneem is presenting her custom-designed presentation over 20 times so in the past.

In the office, Imran started his presentation by referring on the Hajj pilgrimage made by Michael Abdul-Majid Wolfe who is an American poet and writer who narrated his Hajj experience in a television show on his channel ABC Television Network in 2007.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Launches Unified Visa Platform ‘KSA Visa’ – A Boon for Indian Hajj Pilgrims

He then spoke about the five the pillars of Islam and explained that he and wife Tasneem took a decision on the day of their wedding to attend Hajj. They joined a group of people from Riverside, California and embarked on the journey of a lifetime.

They flew 8120 miles to get from Los Angeles to Dubai. In the Dubai airport, they utilized the facilities available, washed and changed into Ihram clothing (White two-piece dress) before departure in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. From Dubai they flew to Jeddah via plane, and then to Makkah via bus. 

When they traveled across Jeddah to Makkah they came across the top of a hill close to Makkah in which an old clock tower appeared shoot upwards toward the sky. It was a tall structure. On their way to Makkah they spotted this structure and were told that it is the highest Hotel in the entire world.

It also features the largest clock face in the world. The hotel is situated across Makkah’s Grand Mosque. Kaaba is situated within the middle in The Grand Mosque. On the very first night, they performed “Umrah” The Shorter Extra Credit Pilgrimage. Tawaf is a ritual used as the initial stage of Umrah that required circling around the Kaaba counterclockwise, seven times and reciting simple prayers with heart. 

For Muslims it is believed that circling the Kaaba symbolizes the concept of Oneness in which the whole universe revolves around. The concept of worship is derived from the structure for the creation of our universe. 

The planets revolve around the sun, and the electrons orbit around the nucleus, and moths around the candle; and then rotating around a central point the Mosque built by the patriarch Ibrahim Kaaba. Kaaba signifies a pledge of allegiance by loving God the creator of the universe.

The second thing he talked about that the second ceremony involved walking or running around for seven consecutive times, between the two hills, called Safa and Marwah that lie in the north and south of the Kaaba following in the footsteps of Hajra (Hagar) the mother of Prophet Ibrahim who had hurriedly been running seven times between the two mountains to determine whether she could find water or someone who could provide some water for her newborn baby son Ismail. 

Also Read: Journey Through Time: The 1960s Hajj to Mecca Unveiled

It is a sign of turning towards God and never giving up the mercy of God. Later, Hagar discovered the well, which is now known as Zam Zam Well.

Then Imran told of the fact that five days later they travelled to Madinah The city which provided shelter to the Prophet Muhammad when he left Makkah. In Madinah Prophet Muhammad built the first Mosque which is considered to be the second-highest in holy places in the world, after that of the Grand Mosque. 

In this place, Prophet Muhammad was buried for the his final days and is buried with his two companions, the first two Caliphs, Abubaker as well as Umar. They resided at Madinah during five weeks, and then returned to Makkah for the start of the Hajj.

The following portion of the program focused on the actual rituals of Hajj. The initial day of Hajj they traveled across the desert from Makkah to Mina which is a town that’s about five miles away from The Grand Mosque, and stayed in a tent, where they stayed for the remainder days.

Also Read: The Ka’bah : Appreciating The Ka’bah’s Profound Significance in Islam

The 2 2nd day, they travelled to Mina in the valley of Mina to Arafat valley via train. They all day long, they stayed near the Mount of Mercy in the plain of Arafat and spent time prayer and reflection. 

The group left Arafat valley at sunset, travelled to Muzdalifah and stayed the night there. They also collected 21 stones to be used in the stoning and pelting ceremony. In Muzdalifah they performed a night prayer and then slept in the open ground under the stars.

They then proceeded directly to Mina at dawn and made a stop at the first stone monument, which was called Jamrat al Aqabah. Jamrat al Aqabah and threw seven consecutive stones to signify stoneing the devil.

The 3 4th 3rd, 4 the and the 4 5 day was used to stay in their tent in Mina and they also travelled to Jamarat to throw stones at Satan in Jamarat with stones that were collected at Muzdalifah. The stoning of Satan is carried out due to these reasons At Jamarat are three pillars of stone that symbolize Satan. 

They are pelted with stones, in a mandatory ceremony of Hajj in imitation of the Prophet Ibrahim who was sprayed by Satan with stones as Satan tried to stop Satan from obeying the commandments by Almighty God in order to kill his child.

Also Read: Embark on a Spiritual Journey: Discover 50 Must Do Activities During Hajj

Imran was then able to explain how his head was completely shaved. hairs on his head cut to show his religious respect and awe. After that, they travelled to Makkah and completed their closing Tawaf in the vicinity of Kaabah and then completed Sai the rite of going around seven times, between the mountains of Safa along with Marwah. 

The rituals released them from the condition of Ihram and allowed them to resume their normal lives and to wear normal clothing. Later, they flew to Jeddah to Dubai the next day, and later, they took another flight before returning in Los Angeles.

In the course of his talk, Imran switched his computer to live Tawaf coverage in the vicinity of Kaaba at Kaaba in the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) around 11:00 p.m. Saudi Arabia time and showed hundreds of people who perform Tawaf in their Umrah or the lesser journey. Imran declared, “The Tawaf is performed every day by people who visit from all over the globe.” His colleagues were astonished and surprised as they had never ever seen anything like this before.

Tasneem designed and crafted the presentation, with information geared towards her audience, which was 7 7th 7th graders. She began the presentation by declaring, “This was not a like any trip I’ve taken previously; I’ve have been in New York and other places however this was the one I will never forget. 

Which place planned to go to which I’m discussing this moment? It’s Kaabah situated in the heart of the Grand Mosque. As we entered Jeddah I thought to me, 

‘Are we really in Jeddah in Jeddah?’ I mentally prepared myself for the event and the uncertainty I’d experience as a pilgrim on happenings for the coming 3 weeks.” Then, she led the students along together for the sacred journey.

Also Read: 600 CE Chronicles: Unveiling Mecca’s Transformative Era at The Birth of Islam

She said that the landscape during the journeys on buses between Jeddah to Makkah was like a trip back to the past. She was able to make the presentation accessible for students through the exercises and Hajj rituals that were performed every day.

She explained it was the Pilgrimage Umrah is composed of a set of rituals. Ritual #1 – Tawaf – Circling the Kaaba seven times; Ritual #2 – Sa’i – Walking between two mountains, Safa as well as Marwah; Ritual #3: drinking”Zam Zam” Water “Zam Zam” Water; Ritual #4 shaving or cutting hairs. 

The eighth day was when they traveled through Madinah and stayed at the Madinah Movenpick Hotel; prayed in Madinah at the Prophet’s Mosque. They also visited historic sites and went back home to Makkah in the morning of the 12 13th day to begin the Hajj and stay in an apartment building. 

They spent the 1 1st Day Hajj within a tent at Mina (Day 15,) and 2nd day of Hajj in Arafat Valley (Day 16) Later, they traveled to Muzdalifah 3 3rd 4 4 and 5 the days of Hajj Stoning the Pillars of Mina (Days 17 18-19) and the Ending Tawafs of Kaaba, Sa’i & Zam Zam drinking water (Day 20) and then traveling to Dubai and back to Los Angeles (Day 21-23).”

Categories: PRAYER (Salat), ALMS (Zakat), SAWN (Fasting) HAJJ (Pilgrimage) & DUA (Supplications), Hadith and Tafseer, The Holy Quran, Quran Jaz 1- 114

Topics:  Ushr and Zakat, Hijab, Arabic Corner, Faith, Islamic History, Biography, Sirat ul Nabi PBUH,  Islamic Studies, Halal & Haram


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