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The most holy structure in
Islam is situated in Saudi Arabia. It is according to Islam the centre of the world. M A K K A H The Kaaba is the qibla, the direction for Muslims perform the salat. The area around the Kaaba is considered sacred, and inside the area the conclusion of peace of God reigns. Man and animals are all safe here, and shall not be forced away. PowerPoint by DOINA Music: Amr Diab & Diana Haddad – Sidi Mansour (Ya Baba)
Men signify the state of
ihram by bathing, and wearing two pieces of unsown white cloth: " one covers the body from waist to ankle and the other is thrown over the shoulder. "
Women usually wear a simple
white dress and " a head covering, but not a veil. " " The white garments are symbolic of human equality and unity before God, since all the pilgrims are dressed similarly. "
The pilgrim will then repeat
the Talbiyah (Talbeeyah) prayer. One English translation is: "Here I am, O God, at Thy Command! Here I am at Thy Command! Thou art without associate; Here I am at Thy Command! Thine are praise and grace and dominion! Thou art without associate ."
For 14 centuries, countless millions
of Muslims, men and women from the four corners of the earth, have made the pilgrimage to Makkah, the birthplace of Islam. In carrying out this obligation, they fulfill one of the five “pillars” of Islam, or central religious duties of the believer.
The Ka'bah, focal point of
Muslims' prayers, highlights the unity of the believers. Symbol of the oneness and centrality of God, the Ka'bah stands in the courtyard of Mecca's Sacred Mosque where at the season of the hajj the faithful gather for rituals that precede and end their pilgrimage.
The city is revered by
Muslims for containing the holiest site of Islam, the Masjid al-Haram (The Sacred Mosque) of Mecca. A pilgrimage to Mecca during the week of the Haij is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a sacred duty.
The pilgrims go back radiant
with hope and joy, for they have fulfilled God's ancient injunction to humankind to undertake the pilgrimage. Above all, they return with a prayer on their lips: May it please God, they pray, to find their hajj acceptable, and may what the Prophet said be true of their own individual journey: "There is no reward for a pious pilgrimage but Paradise." People of other faiths are forbidden from entering the city. ( with all my respect for any religion…)