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IMAM JOHARI ABDUL-MALIK (Director of Outreach, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center): The journey to this house once in your lifetime is, in the Islamic tradition, a requirement. And so people will leave their familiar and they will come to this house established by Abraham. But six million people cannot fit inside this house and so people will pray around the house.

Seven circuits around the Ka’ba is the tradition. And in the corner of the Ka'ba, there is the Black Stone, which, it is believed by Muslims, to have fallen from heaven.

When Hagar was left in Mecca, by Abraham, with her baby, she was looking for water. And the tradition says that where she had placed her child, Ishmael, the angel came and at his feet sprung a well which is called, from Hagar's words, Zamzam. And it is a kind of holy water. Then they will run between the hills of Safa and Marwah in the way that Hagar did.

Mina is a tent city. And they will live in this tent and perform five daily prayers. The prophet Muhammad, when he made his pilgrimage, he came to the top of this hill. He gave his final sermon. It is the belief that after one completes this day on Arafah, that all of your sins are forgiven.

The prophet instructed his companions to collect some pebbles. And the next morning, after Arafah, come and throw, symbolically, their pebble, like Abraham threw at the devil when he was tempted. While we are in Mina, throwing our stones, people in Mecca are celebrating Eid. It’s like Thanksgiving on steroids. We sacrifice a sheep, and we give that food to the needy around our planet.

My hajj is not valid unless I make the sacrifice.

Children’s Hajj

At Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, Muslim children sit in tents, pray, throw stones, and make seven circuits around a replica of the Ka’ba as part of a mock Hajj, the traditional pilgrimage to Mecca.

  • Atiq

    Hajj is not comparable to thanksgiving etc, it is purely Islamic practice .

  • Channah

    This was very enjoyable. It is such a good way to teach the children about their faith and its beliefs.

  • Humanist

    I hope our Muslim friends think deeply about killing millions of innocent animals in order to “celebrate” a fictitious God up in the sky. Why not save millions of animals in order to celebrate this fictitious God? Probably this comment will not be posted, which will be very sad.

  • Ellory Channing

    Humanist stop being a fundamentalist Atheist calling someone’s God made up is not how you create dialoge

  • Heart Demure

    He said the animals that are killed are given to the poor so they will have something to eat. How much better is this, feeding the hungry and poor, than killing animals to sell the meat in the grocery store? Allah is not fictitious. Allah is the Arabic word for God. God is a Middle English/Old English and cognate with Dutch god, German Gott, Old Norse goth, Gothic guth. Study before you bash.

  • Shoshanna

    Too bad this was posted. You must be a very unhappy and discontented person. I pity you.

  • Channah

    Too bad people do not understand this. Because of bigotry and uneducated people, so many say Allah is the ”moon god”, or such and is made fun of. They do not realize Allah is the Arabic word for God and He is even called Allah in the Christian Bible written in Arabic. Then, these same ignorant people also do not think there is any difference between a terrorist and a Muslim who truly lives his faith. Islam is a beautiful faith, when lived as it is suppose to be lived…..and, I am not a Muslim.