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October 16, 2011

Before Hajj

The pilgrims begin arriving by air, sea, and land during the weeks prior to the pilgrimage period. They usually arrive into Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the major port city nearest to Mecca (45 miles distance). From there they travel with their Hajj group to Mecca. As they approach Mecca, they stop at one of the designated areas to shower and change clothing, entering into a state of devotion and purity for the pilgrimage.

They then begin reciting an invocation:

Here I am, Oh God, at Your command!

Here I am at Your command!

You are without associate!

Here I am at Your command!

To You are all praise, grace and dominion!

You are without associate!

The sound of this chant (said in Arabic) echoes over the land, as the pilgrims begin arriving in Mecca by the thousands for the sacred rites.

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