Dear Children, Assalam Alaikum
This year the beginning of the Islamic month of Dul Hajj will fall around the 23rd of August. This is a very exciting month for Muslims, especially for those who are preparing for the pilgrimage known as the Hajj. Millions of Muslims will make their way to the city of Makkah from all corners of the world.
This particular pilgrimage is very special because in Islam Muslims are expected to perform it at least once in their life. Nowadays, is much easier to do, but there was a time when people had to travel for months to get to Makkah.
The Holy Ka‘ba, a cube-shaped building, built many centuries ago in remembrance of God, was rebuilt by the Prophet Ibrahim(a). The building is also known as the ‘House of God’, not because God lives there, but because pilgrims who go there will think only of God.
The pilgrims will go around the Ka’ba seven times (Tawaf), reciting supplications and the Holy Qur’an. They also repeat the run of Hagar- Ibrahim’s wife – when she desperately ran between the two hills of Safa and Marwa in the hot desert to find water for her thirsty boy Ismael.
Another ritual of the Hajj is the throwing of stones at three walls symbolising the devil. It is said that when Prophet Ibrahim(a) was in the desert, he had been tempted by Satan to disobey God but he stoned the Satan three times, forcing him away. Pilgrims will do the same to indicate their nearness to Ibrahim and distance themselves from Satan.
Finally, on 10th Dul Hajj, the pilgrims finish their rites. Now that they have completed the Hajj, they make an offering, a sacrifice in the way of God. The sacrifice or Qurbani is usually a lamb or a camel, and the meat is distributed among the poor.
Then comes Eid ul-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice). Muslims all over the world celebrate the day with a special prayer known as the Eid prayer.
This month, Ghazaleh Kamrani our illustrator, has shown one of the rituals, the Tawaf. She has left five differences between images 1 and 2 for you to find.
Afterwards, you can look at image 3 to check if you have identified all of them.