On Dec. 19, Muslims celebrated the occasion of the end of the blessed season of hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca.
Hajj, a duty to be performed once in a lifetime if one is financially and physically able, is of the five pillars of Islam, along with belief in one God, five daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan and almsgiving to the poor.
Performed this year by nearly 2.5 million devotees, hajj consists of several rituals that symbolize the belief and devotion to one God through commemorating the trials of the prophet Abraham and his family. The pilgrimage also enables Muslims from all around the world — of different colors, languages, races and ethnicities — to come together in a spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood to worship God. This display of human equality in what is considered the world’s largest religious ceremony is what moved Malcolm X to abandon the racist beliefs of the Nation of Islam and adopt mainstream Islam instead.