KUALA LUMPUR – Learning about hajj at home, thousands of Malaysian children took part last Monday in a practice run for the Muslim Pilgrimage, walking round a model of the holy Kaa`ba in Makkah.
“The aim of this simulation is to educate young Muslims of the importance of the haj and remove any fear or anxiety when they perform the actual rites around the crowded Kaa’ba,” Khairizah Kamaruddin, spokeswoman for the organizers, told Agence France Presse (AFP).
“The children were so excited, they are now looking forward to conducting the actual Haj pilgrimage.”
The “Little Hajj” event was attended by about 4,000 six year olds, dressed in white robes and carrying green bags.
The children also threw pebbles at a wall during a practice version of the “stoning of the devil”, another of the haj rituals.
Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, sends some 27,000 pilgrims to perform Haj every year.
Muslims from around the world pour to 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.