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Chapter 6: The World of Islam, 600–1500
"The Hajj"

The hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is not one ritual, but a defined set of rituals that are observed at a set time each year in and around Makkah. Each able-bodied Muslim is expected to participate in the hajj at least once in his or her life. In this activity you will explore the hajj in detail and can gain a greater appreciation for how the hajj reinforces values and stories that are central to Islam.

Destination Title: Hajj Intro for People of Other Faith

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Start at the Hajj Intro for People of Other Faith Web site.

  • Read the introductory paragraphs, followed by the sections titled "Abraham," "The Hajj," and "Eid ul-Adha." Take notes as you go.
  • Feel free to use the vocabulary list further down on the page to increase your knowledge of the hajj.

After you have read the material, answer the following questions.

1.  According to Islam, what are the origins of the city of Makkah?

2.  What does the hajj commemorate?

3.  What is a tawaf?

4.  Why do participants in the hajj dress in white?

5.  Imagine that you are a Muslim during the time of Harun al-Rashid. Based on your reading online and in the textbook, compose a one- to two-page diary entry on a separate pice of paper that you might have written during a pilgrimage to Makkah for the hajj. Describe in some detail the rituals in which you took part and your reaction to them. Use Arabic terms as appropriate.

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