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The Hajj is one of the most important religious events in the Islamic calendar. Millions of Muslims from around the world travel to Makkah each year to participate in the annual pilgrimage. The journey encapsulates profound symbolism and rituals that enable pilgrims to deepen their connection with God.
During the final days of the Hajj, pilgrims bid farewell to the holy city of Makkah, marking the conclusion of their pilgrimage. This moment symbolizes the pilgrims’ readiness to return to their everyday lives, carrying with them the profound lessons and blessings they have gained from this transformative spiritual journey.
Keep reading to know more about the extraordinary rituals and profound impact of the last day of Hajj, illuminating the majestic finale that etches unforgettable memories in the hearts of the pilgrims.
What is the last date of Hajj 2023?
Hajj takes place during Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, spanning from the 8th to the 13th day. This year, it will commence on Monday, 26 June 2023, and conclude on Saturday, 1 July 2023. Typically, the pilgrims arrive a week prior to the start date and extend their stay for an additional week.
What happens on the last days of Hajj?
The concluding phase of Hajj is referred to as the days of Tashreeq, which are the three days following Eid Al-Adha ( 11th, 12th and 13th Dhul-Hijjah). During this time, pilgrims celebrate the spirit of the season and are encouraged to eat the meat from their sacrificial offerings dedicated to Allah.
The culminating rituals performed during the period of Tashreeq carry profound spiritual significance and mark the fulfillment of the Hajj pilgrimage. These rituals serve as a powerful symbol of completion, concluding the sacred journey with a deep sense of spiritual accomplishment.
Spending nights in Mina
Image © Welcome Saudi
After the first day of Eid, it is necessary to spend two or three nights in Mina as part of the Hajj pilgrimage. If pilgrims choose to stay for two nights, they must depart before the Maghrib Prayer on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.
While it is not obligatory to remain in Mina during the daytime for the following three days after Eid, it is recommended to do so as per the Sunnah (the teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad).
Throwing pebbles at the three Jamarat
Image © Arab news
On each day of Dhul-Hajjah 11-13, pilgrims will throw small stones at three specific points called Jamarat. They start with the smallest one (Al-Jamarat As-Sughra), then the middle one (Al-Jamarat Al-Wusta), and finally, the largest one (Al-Jamarat Al-Kubra). The time for throwing stones begins after the morning prayer (Fajr) and lasts until the next day’s prayer.
Making the farewell tawaf
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Now that the pilgrims are about to leave the sacred sites, it is time to say goodbye to the holy mosque and take one last look at the Kaaba before they go. This is done by performing a special ritual called Farewell Tawaf, where they walk around the Kaaba seven times. It is similar to the Tawaf Al-Ifadah they did earlier during Hajj, but without showing their right shoulder or jogging.
The pilgrims can choose to do the Tawaf Al-Ifadah right before leaving Makkah if they prefer. Just remember that their intention should be for Tawaf Al-Ifadah. Once they have finished this Tawaf, there is no need to do another special Tawaf specifically for leaving.
Culmination of Hajj
Performing Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam holds immense significance for Muslims worldwide. It is an obligatory religious duty for adult Muslims who possess the financial means and good health to embark on this sacred journey. The pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca represents the culmination of years of spiritual preparation and planning as believers devote themselves to fulfilling this remarkable act of faith.
Upon the completion of Hajj, pilgrims are granted the esteemed honorific title of Hajji, symbolizing their devotion, dedication, and the profound spiritual transformation they have undergone.