Every Muslim who is able, must make the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the city of Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. This pilgrimage occurs every year during Dhul Hijjah the 11th and 12th months of the Islamic lunar calendar. Those who make the pilgrimage are following the footsteps of Prophet Abraham, who is known as “the father of the prophets.”

Four thousand years ago, Prophet Abraham along with his wife, Hagar, and his son, Ishmael set out on a long journey wandering through Babylon, Syria, and Arabia. They crossed vast hills, rivers, and deserts until they arrived in the land of Mecca where Prophet Abraham received a revelation from God, as the Quran states,

“And remember when we showed Abraham the site of the House saying … Do not associate with Me anything, and purify My house for those who circle around it and stand to pray and bow and prostrate themselves. And proclaim among the people the pilgrimage. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel from every remote path that they may witness the benefits for them and mention the name of Allah during the appointed days over what He has given them.” (22:26-28)

Prophets Abraham and Ishmael were instructed by God to raise the cubic structure called the Kabah. According to the Quran, it is the

“First house (of worship) made for mankind.” (3:95)

Its original foundation was built at the dawn of creation by Prophet Adam. Prophet Abraham was then ordered to proclaim the pilgrimage to mankind. Perplexed as to who would hear his voice in the desert land of Mecca, Abraham climbed to the top of a nearby mountain and proclaimed to humanity the Divine message of the Hajj. This call has passed through the distance of time, and it still reverberates to the millions of Muslims around the globe who answer God’s call to make the pilgrimage every year.

Discovering Islam by Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini

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