Hajj recalls the life events of Abraham and Mohammed (peace be upon them). The pilgrimage takes place in Mecca and the neighboring regions.
And complete the Hajj or 'umra in the service of Allah. But if ye are prevented (From completing it), send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his scalp, (Necessitating shaving), (He should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the 'umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment. (Quran 2:196)
Hajj or Umra represent also a very strong cohesion for Umma. Hajj means the regular annual pilgrimage which is performed in the month of Dzhu al-Hijja. Umra is the pilgrimage out of Dzhu alHijja month. For Muslims it represents also a pillar of Islam where they perform rites remembering Abraham, Ismael and the miracle of Zamzam. They recall the days when Mohammed (peace upon be him) purified this place from idols and drove religion back to the “Hanif” way. They meet Ka’ba which is their Qibla no matter they came from where. This all unites Muslims together with prayers and rites what they perform together. The annual congregation of 2-3 million believer opens opportunity to exchange concepts, opinions. Whoever make Fitna in these days and tries to undermine the unity commits big sin.
Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth. (Quran 2:158)
The mount of Safa and Marwa exists inside the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca which are the Symbols of Allah. Hagar, the mother of Ismael run between them seven times in order to ask help from Allah (SWT). Gabriel appeared once on the top of Safa than on the top of Marwa. Finally, the spring water of Zanzam came to surface and they both rescued. Pilgrims run seven time too, between the two mounts reminding their story than they can enjoy the water of Zamzam in the basement of the Mosque. After running men can shave their heads or may leave a lock of hair at the site.
Circulation seven times (Tawaf) around the Kaaba recall first the ancient ages as the original rites were prescribed on the other hand it reminds the return of Mohammed (peace be upon him) from Medina to Mecca after the peace-treaty of Hudaybiyya. Unarmed Muslims crossed the desert with the Prophet in order to enter the Holy Place where they were banned since they fled to Medina. At first, they established four quick circulations than three slow ones around thee Kaaba. Citizens of Mecca were shocked to see the strength what Muslims still had after crossing the desert.
In front of Kaaba is the place where Abraham established worship. After Abraham built the Holy Place with his son Ismael, Allah (SWT) sent down a closing stone which symbolizes Him. This stone is built in the corner of the Sanctuary. The stone is not idol as it is amorphous. It is a Symbol. When Mohammed destroyed the idols what were followed by the Pogans, he left uniquely the Kaaba in order to restore the original function of the Sanctuary:
The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: (Quran 3:96)
In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures. (Quran 3:97)
Women pilgrims can perform Hajj only with the presence of their Muhrims, like their husbands, fathers, elder brothers, etc.
Mecca is the place of security; wars have to avoid this site. Pilgrims could not enter with arms to this place even in the time of idolatry and not today.
Stations out of Mecca:
Pilgrims first take their way towards Mina than to Mount of Arafat. Due to the big masses who are present some mix-up can occur between the sequence of visited places.
Believers gather together at Mount of Arafat where after prayer they spend the night than go to Muzdalifa. At prayer-times they establish their worship at the actual site where they are. Between Mina and Muzdalifa exist the valley of Al-Mughammas and Muhassir where pilgrims throw stones to the pillars (jumurat) what symbolize the Satan. These are all Symbols (Sha’air Allah).
This is the site where Satan entered to life of Abraham in order to prevent him his mission for calling mankind for Monotheism. Further events took place here in the life of Mohammed (peace be upon him) as well, when Abraha, the commander of Abyssinian army wanted to ruin the Kaaba in the year when Prophet was born. He needed a guide in the desert. In Yemen he met with Bani Thaqif who felt that they would not be able to resist such a big force and feeling the danger lest he should destroy the temple of their deity Lat, too; their chief, Mas'ud came out to Abrahah with his men, and he told him that their temple was not the temple he had come to destroy. The temple He sought was in Makkah, and they would send with him a man to guide him there. Abrahah accepted the offer, and Bani Thaqif sent Abu Righal as guide with him.
When they reached al-Mughammas (or al- Mughammis), a place about 3 miles short of Makkah, Abu Righal died, and the Arabs stoned his grave and the practice survives to this day. They cursed the Bani Thaqif too, for in order to save the temple of Lat they had cooperated with the invaders of the House of Allah.
As we al aware Allah (SWT) didn’t allow to Abraha to destroy the Kaaba. He sent against them birds what threw on them stones of baked clay (sijjil).
This event took place at Muhassir by the Muhassab valley, between Muzdalifah and Mina. According to the Sahih of Muslim and Abu Da'ud, in the description of the Holy Prophet's farewell pilgrimage when the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) proceeded from Muzdalifah to Mina, he increased his speed in the valley of Muhassir. Imam Nawawi has explained it saying that the incident of the people of the elephant had occurred there; therefore, the pilgrims have been enjoined to pass by quickly, for Muhassir is a tormented place. Imam Malik in Mu'atta has related that the Holy Prophet said that the whole of Muzdalifah is a fit place for staying but one should not stay in the valley of Muhassir.