The Journey to Mecca
Professor Joel Goldstein
August 21, 2013
The most sacred place in Islam is the Ka'ba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Ka'ba is a mosque built by Abraham according to Muslim tradition, and is built around a black stone. The Prophet Muhammad designated Mecca as the holy city of Islam and the direction in which all Muslims should offer their prayers.
The Ka'ba is believed to be the first place that was created on earth and the place at which heavenly bliss and power touches the earth directly. Mecca is located in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. The city lies inland seventy-three kilometers ...view middle of the document...
Upon arrival at the boundary of Mecca, each pilgrim must enter the state of ihram, which is about six miles from the Ka’bah; this is classified as a state of purity, in which they will remain throughout the hajj. Males entering this purity state donning the ihram garments, which consist of two white seamless sheets wrapped around the body and sandals. This aspect of the rite not only signifies the state of holiness the pilgrims have entered, but it serves to contribute to a sense of equality and unity by removing visual indicators of class, wealth and culture (Ali, M., 1994). Requirements for women are less stringent, but they usually dress in white with only faces and hands uncovered.
While in the state of ihram, pilgrims must not cut their nails or hair, engage in sexual relations, argue, fight or hunt.
Muhammad’s key themes in his messages in Mecca were the oneness of God and the rejection of polytheism, generosity towards the poor and the needy, kind treatment and emancipation of slaves, and the equality between men and women before God.
Upon reading articles about individual’s journey to Mecca, and their experience of this religious event, I could not help but to wonder, what if every religion has this type of ritual? Would it be a requirement that each of us must experience in our lifetime? This type of dedication to one’s religion and faith, showed their acknowledgment of God and his...