CAIRO - Joining millions of Muslims from around the world, Muslims from Metro Detroit area have embarked on hajj pilgrimage to Makkah, as others prepared for `Eid Al-Adha with gifts and charitable giving.
It's a time of refocusing and renewing, Yusuf Hai, the managing director from Canton Township, told Detroit News.
My wife and I have contemplated â¦ how to recommit ourselves to what we believe the world is truly about, which is focusing on God, Haj, who was planning to join pilgrims with his wife, added.
Haj was not the only American Muslim from Detroit planning hajj this year.
On Sunday, other Metro Detroiters abroad for the pilgrimage will start hajj rituals in Makkah, the most sacred city for Muslims in the world.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.
From tearfully praying for forgiveness of sins to stoning a large pillar representing the devil, the spiritual experience is unmatched, said Imam Steve Mustapha Elturk of the Islamic Organization of North America in Warren, who will be there with a group next week.
Suehaila Amen, a Muslim from Dearborn Heights, has also accompanied relatives for her first pilgrimage.
For her, the journey was a unique chance to reflect and strengthen her spirituality.
This is just my opportunity to go and give the ultimate thanks for all of the things I have been given in my life, Amen, a university recruitment events coordinator, said.
Sheikh Ali S. Ali, an imam at the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton Township, who left last week to guide a group on the pilgrimage, said the aim is simple: We glorify the almighty God.
Staying at home, other Detroit Muslims were planning for `Eid Al-Adha, the major holiday many Muslims begin celebrating Tuesday with prayers, gifts and charitable giving.
We are able to fulfill our duty and at the same time we fulfill another duty, which is helping our brothers, Imam Shuajb Gerguri said.
The imam added that members of Harper Woods' Albanian Islamic Center will send money to a humanitarian group that will arrange meat distribution in the Balkans.
By doing this, people thank God we have enough ourselves that we are able to help, imam Gerguri said.
Udhiyah or animal sacrifice, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.
A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during the four-day `Eid Al-Adha.
The Udhiyah meat should be divided in three equal parts, one each for one's own family, friends and the poor.
It is permissible that someone in another country could perform the sacrifice on one's behalf.
Parwin Anwar, a bilingual tutor from Sterling Heights, expects to prepare a rice dish for loved ones.
It's just a time of happiness and also remembering God and a lot of prayer, she said.
`Eid Al-Adha, or "Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.
After special prayers to mark the day, Muslims offer unhiyah, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God
Festivities and merriment then start with visits to the homes of friends and relatives.
Traditionally, everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, and the children look forward to gifts and the traditional `ediya (cash).
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net