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.