|haj. A pilgrimage by the faithful of Islam to the holy sites of the Hejaz, reenacting the journey made by Muhammad himself in 632. Completing the haj at least once in a lifetime is one of the five requirements of the faith, expected of all Muslims who are not prevented from doing so by some physical handicap or other hardship. Once in Mecca, prescribed rituals and prayers center on visiting the Kaaba, which houses the famous Black Stone kissed by pilgrims in a symbolic act of allegiance to Allah, which pilgrims circumambulate in unison. Other rituals include a symbolic “stoning of evil” and sol-|
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Publication information: Book title: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations. Volume: 2. Contributors: Cathal J. Nolan - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 687.
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