In the footsteps of the prophet

The Quran states that Hajj, the pilgrimage to Kaaba, the house of Allah – the debt of every Muslim, if his health and finance allow it to do. But today, when to mask the road to Kaabe help "Boeing" and buses, hajj remains not easy. Start with the fact that the Government of Saudi Arabia, in the territory of which the main Islamic shrines are located, have to establish quotas that limit the number of pilgrims. Of course, try no one to offend anyone.The prescription about Hajj made the current Saudi Arabian center of attraction for anyone who confesses Islam. In 1986, the late King of this country Fahd refused to title "His Majesty" – He preferred title "Keeper of two noble shrines". And indeed: "Majesty" in the world enough, but "Keeper of two shrines" can be only one.

For another half a century ago, no more than 10 thousand pilgrims arrived in Mecca. Some of the long-range edges of the Muslim world have traveled here for months. Nowadays, 2 million people come to Saudi Arabia to fulfill their religious debt. Therefore, the position of the keeper of two shrines, except for prestige, guarantees a fair headache.

Two sacred cities of Muslims share 450 km – a sowing trifles compared to the deserted expanses of the Arabian Peninsula.

One city – Mecca. There was born the founder of Islam Prophet Muhammed, there were the first revelations of over. Another city – Medina, where the Prophet had to run from the persecution of pagan countrymen, dissatisfied with his preaching about one God. In Medina, the exile became a political leader and built the first mosque, the prophet is buried.

But still the main shrine islam is in Mecca. This is Kaaba ("Cubic") – folded from stone blocks building without windows and with one door. Its height is 12.5 m, the area of ​​the internal space is 13 m per 9 m. Width of walls – 1 m, floor inside 2.2 m is higher than the area on which Kaab is standing.

To this house Allah, the projection of his heavenly throne on Earth, flows annually millions of pilgrims. Kaaba is a cibral – a place to which Muslim turns his face during prayer.

Islam along with Judaism and Christianity – one of the three so-called Arabia religions in which they read "Fraw Mans" Abraham (in the Arabic tradition of Ibrahim).

The Bible says that childless Abraham with the light hand of his wife Sarah took her servant Agar (Hajar), and she gave him the son of Ismail. After Abraham and Sarah appeared the legal heir to Isaac, Agar with Ismail was expelled from the house of Abrahamov and wandered in the desert. Although his firstborn father – in this the Bible and the Quran converge – did not leave.

Muslim tradition adds to this story that in the Divine Order of Ismail, together with his father, built the Kaaba building in Mecca in Mecca. However, unreasonable residents staged a pagan capital in holy place and monatorsi around idols. It is reliably known that Kaaba for a long time was the pagan center for a significant part of Arabia. That is why Mohammed’s sternly impaired idolatry had to flee to Medina.

But where at the time was Kibla Muslims? Where Muhammed’s faces and his few initial supporters were turned to the same pagan mecca? No, towards the sacred for Avraamic religions of Jerusalem.

When the residents of Mecca felt that Islam eventually defeated, they recognized a new faith. But I put the condition: Mecca, as before, should remain the center. This time – Islam. Kaaba was cleared of former worship items, except for one – meteoric-stone. Tradition says that this is an angel petrified and blackened from human sins, and he will remain so right up to the vessel.

Muslims make a hajj just like their prophet during their farewell pilgrimage in 632. This is a multi-day and multi-day ritual, and not a pleasant walk. Numerous modern problems are added to a strict schedule compiled by the sovereign words: you need to get into the already mentioned quota, get a visa, decide with the deadlines of departure or departure to Mecca.

On the land of Saudi Arabia, pilgrims arrive in advance, in the end of Zulcada – the eleventh month of the lunar calendar. First of all, you need to bring ourselves to the state of ritual purity (Igor): cut the nails and mustache, shave the hair in groin and armpits, get into the appropriate clothes. Male robe should not have seams, it is desirable that it is white. Palcel Clothes consists of two parts: Izar – a piece of fabric wrapped around the hips (instead of Izar you can wear a sharovary) and Reed (piece of fabric, thrown on the shoulders). On the legs – Nali, something like sandals.

Women in this sense easier, they allowed any apparel that completely closes the body (except palms and face). Only clothes painted by saffron is prohibited, but where in our days you will take? However, obviously, once it was.

Come ones arriving from different sides should enter the state of Ihrama already on the approaches to Mecca. Specially allocated for this place are called Mikat. For those who are riding from Syria and Jordan, Al-Jukhph – the village, located about 250 km south-west of Medina, was ancient times.

But how to be pilgrims (for example, Russian) who fly by plane? That at the bottom of Mikat and it was time to enter the state of Ihrama, passengers declare on the onboard radio 15 minutes before landing in Mecca. It is unlikely that you can have to have proper feelings to fit into the appropriate myrama. So making hajj do it before departure.

Finding a shelter in a hotel or one of the huge tent cursories, the pilgrim performs his first duty – goes to the Forbidden Mosque (forbidden, of course, for the wrong and celebrating visits). Despite the name, her huge courtyard is familiar to the world in photographs and television proprietary. In the middle of it rises black cube&# 8194; High Caaba. Entering the mosque (with the right leg), the pilgrim seats seven times by kaaba counterclockwise – this ritual is called Tavaf.

If you look at the old engravings, it is clear that the space where Tavaf passes, it looks different. Next to Kaaba stood on Minbar (the department, from which sermons pronounced) and two small buildings. In one of them stored a stone, which Ibrahim got up when, together with his son Ismail, built Kaaba walls. Another building was erected above the source of land. He will also be mentioned in the Bible: When Agar, expelled from the house, they got lost in the wilderness, God pointed them to the saving source. It was a sacred land. Near him, Ismail and Ibrahim elevated Kaaba, and later the settlement arose here, called Mecca.

But over time, the building in the courtyard of the forbidden mosque began to interfere with the human sea, pegs around Kaaba. And in 1964 King Faisal ordered to move land&# 8194; Remove the source to the surface away from the house of Allah. Stone Ibrahim left on the spot, but placed in a windows-kiosk, protected by copper lattice and glass 20&# 8209; Santimeter thickness.

I must say that for the first time the space of Tavaf was expanded back in the VIII century. A series of next large-scale reconstructions began in the mid-1950s: by the beginning of the 1960s, the forbidden mosque and its yard accommodate 400 thousand. Praying. And nowadays – about a million people. Only on the redemption of private lands around the mosque, 11 billion dollars gone.

In the footsteps of the prophet

Coming by a seven-way huge courtyard of the Forbidden Mosque, Men shake right shoulder. Approaching the corner of Kaaba, in which a black stone is owned in a silver salary, the pilgrim must kiss him or at least touch, after which you kiss your hand. In a moving crowd, it succeeds in a little, the rest only stretch the right hand to the desired corner, exclamation "Glory be to Allah!". And squeeze the kitchen – black with golden letters covered Kaaba.

Over time, the fabric kites are calm, and new bedspreads pounced on Kaaba, without removing the previous. Fearing that under their weight, the building will collapse, Khalif al-Mahdi in the VIII century ordered to shoot old covers. From the XVI century, the Honorary Responsibility of the rulers of Egypt was once a year to send a new Pussy to Mecca. And in 1938, in Saudi Arabia, a special factory was opened for sewing this covered. Koranic verses on it by tradition embroidered men. Special detail of the kitty is the bedspread for the door of Kaaba. Noteworthy and the door itself – on the current, made in the late 1970s, 280 kg of pure gold went.

Praying in front of Kaaba and drinking water from the source of land, pilgrims make the ritual Sai – "run". When a desperate Hajar was looking for water for his son Ismail, she ran seven times between the hills of Safa and Marva. In memory of the disposal of the ancestor of all Arabs (and therefore the prophet Mohammed) from death, pilgrims rise to the Safa Hill (it is desirable that Caaba is visible). There they are planted by Allah and turn to him with requests, and then run to the Hill of Marva, which rises. It repeat seven times. (Theoretically one who climbing cannot be ascent can use rigids.)

This ritual is advisable to make up to the ninth day of Zulhidzha, because the Hadju Culmination of Hadju is beginning, standing on Mount Arafat.

Turning to Kaaba, pilgrims appear to Allah, kicked in sins, asking for forgiveness and blessings. And so before sunset. Although many theologian-rules, relying on the statements of the Prophet, believe that it is necessary to stand on the mountain before dawn. It is not forbidden to go to spend the night to another Holy Place – Muzdalif in Vadi Mohasar Valley. Here is a cleansing from sins.

In the morning, in the 10th day of Zulhidzha, all pilgrims, except for weak, pregnant women and children, make another important action – bending the devil stones, which symbolize three pillars-jama-rata. This is a rite in memory of Ibrahim-Abraham, to whom God commanded to sacrifice his son (Genesis, GL. 22; Quran 37: 102). However, Satan appeared on the path of the forefather and began to convince him not to do what God demands. Ibrahim distilled the enemy of human race, throwing stones in him.

Therefore, going to the valley, called Mina, the pilgrim grabs seven pebbles of the magnitude of a little more pea – this is enough to symbolically express their contempt of Shaitan. It is advisable at least once to hit the pillar depicting idol. And then the time of the sacrifice comes – a reminder of the grace of the Most High, allowing Ibrahim at the last moment to replace his son with a lamb. The Prophet Muhammed taught: the victim needs to bring such that the least burdensome (Quran, 2: 196). However, a camel or a cow, but most often – the sheep. (Camel or cow can be sacrificed immediately from seven people.)

This does not mean that on the stones and the sand of the mines flow rivers. Even before standing on Mount Arafat with pilgrims, they collect money for sacrificial animals. They are cut in special places in compliance with the ritual rules, and the pilgrims are distributed by the cooked meat, which the Prophet is prescribed to partially eat.

There are two more days of throwing stones – and hajj comes to an end. Pilgrims will hang out (and better – swear) hair on the head (women shorten them on the length of one phalange of the finger). This means the beginning of the exit from Ihrama.

It remains to make a farewell bypass of Kaaba. To someone who for some reason behind the usual routine is not allowed to perform the ritual Sai and beaten by Shaitan stones for several more days of the month of Zulhidj. Even if someone confused the sequence of rituals, nothing terrible, because the prophet said: "Do how you know". In addition, the theologians in different way interpret the order of the Hadja, so the stories of Russian Muslims about pilgrimage in Mecca may differ from the stories of those who came to the shrines from other countries.

In a magazine article, it is impossible to list all the circumstances, all the subtleties of Hajj, because even a warning of possible errors that the pilgrim may make a whole brochure. However, it is believed that the lack can corrected the sacrifice from the pure heart.

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