Islam is the most widely practiced religion in the world today.

Islam is a direct faith, stressing the need to obey the will of Allah. This meant following a basic ethical code consisting of the "five pillars" of Islam: (1) SHAHADA - belief in Allah and in Muhammad as his prophet; (2) SALAH - standard prayer five times a day and public prayer on Fridays at midday to worship Allah; (3) SAWM - observation of the holy month of Ramadan (the ninth month in the Muslim calendar); (4)HAJJ - making a pilgrimage to Mecca in one's lifetime and (5) ZAKAH - giving alms to the poor and unfortunate. The faithfull who follow these laws are gauranteed a place in an eternal paradise.

This lesson will introduce you to the 4th pillar of Islam - the pilgrimage to Mecca - or Hajj. Muslims from all over the world, including the United States, travel to Mecca in modern- day Saudi Arabia for this very sacred event.

  1. Study the pilgrimage to Mecca and learn about the connections between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
  2. View and analyze photos of Mecca.
  3. Plan a modern day journey to this holy city.
  4. Write a reflecitve essay on the meaning of "pilgrimage".

Please copy and paste the following document into your "U" drive on "Sweetness".

You will complete this document during this activity.

Step A: Use the following link, to provide definitions for the following words.










Step B:
Read: Introduction to Islam
Take notes about Islam.
Answer the following:
  1. What is the difference between a Muslim and an Arab?
  2. Who was Muhammad?
  3. What is the Qura'n?
  4. What is the Hadith?
  5. What are the five pillars of Islam?
  6. Who are "people of the book"?
Step C:

Read: The Hajj - Pilgrimage Chapter

Take notes about the pilgrimage to Mecca. Answer the following:
  1. What does "Hajj" mean?
  2. According to this document, how many people make the pilgrimage to Mecca each year?
  3. The Hajj commemorates the actions of a historic individual who is also important to both Judaism and Christianity. Who is this, and what is his relationship to the Muslim idea of Pilgrimage?
Step D:
Visit Steps of the Hajj
The Hajj is very structured - look at this site to learn about the different steps a pilgrim must take to complete this sacred ritual. Answer the following:
  1. During the second day, pilgrims go to the "Mount of Mercy"at 'Arafat. What event happened here? Why is it a stop on the Hajj?
  2. During the Wuquf, and the entire hajj, pilgrims wear Ihram. What is the Ihram? What does this symbolize? Why would it be important to wear certain clothing during this event?
  3. Why do the pilgrims throw pebbles?
  4. What is the Tawaf? How does one perform this rite?
  5. What does the s'ay commemorate?
  6. How many days does Hajj last?
  7. Why is making the Hajj important for Muslims?
The Ka'bah
Step E:
Visit: Saudi Arabia - Consular Information Sheet
Visit this site to find out more about Saudi Arabian culture.

Answer the following:

  1. What days compose the work week in Saudi Arabia? Why isn't Sunday an important day?
  2. Do you need a visa to complete Hajj?
  3. Read the SAUDI CUSTOMS section of the Counsular Information Sheet, answer the following:
  • Can a non-Muslim travel to Makkah?
  • What are some of the rules that the Mutawwa enforce? List three examples.
Step F:
Now make travel arrangements for a trip to Mecca. Go to the following Web pages to find the answers to the questions.

Answer the following:

  1. Estimate how much you will spend on your hotel room and food in Mecca for 4 days.
  2. What immunizations will you need?
  3. What is the main health threat while on Hajj?
  4. What other restrictions will you face?


Step G:

Write a half page typed answer to the following question:

  Answer the following:

Making the Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Using information that you have found during this activity, please explain why making a pilgrimage to Mecca is an obligation for all Muslims?

Step H: Answer this survey:
  Answer the following:

Project end questions