Boys Enjoy Instructive Hajj Workshop
Monday, 11 February 2019
Year 6 Junior Boys at Bolton School enjoyed an informative Hajj workshop delivered by Imran Kotwal from Muslim Learner Services.
Firstly, the boys identified the five pillars of Islam – faith, prayer, charity, fasting and the pilgrimage to Mecca, otherwise known as Hajj. They were then taken on a metaphorical journey where they learnt that that all able-bodied Muslims are expected to undertake the pilgrimage once in their life and that 25,000 British Muslims will make the journey each year. Imran told the boys that it now costs approximately £7,000 and pilgrims are expected to make the journey in the last month of the Islamic calendar once they have saved this amount – they are not allowed to borrow it. Back in 2004 when Imran first undertook the visit, it was a lot cheaper and he only paid £2,000!
The fully engaged year group learnt how the pilgrimage lasts five days and how Muslims must visit several holy sites and perform a number of rituals. They were told how the flight from Manchester to Jeddah takes six hours and how many travellers change into their Hajj dress, known as Ihram, just before the flight lands in Saudi Arabia – some airlines even have a prayer room! It is then an hour’s bus ride to Mecca, a city whose population swells by 2 million every year at this time.
The style of the session, with the boys moving between the pilgrimage sites at Mecca to replicate the five days of Hajj, worked well and kept the boys engaged. Imran spoke from personal experience about the different places and gave background information about the reasons for the stages of Hajj, in an anecdotal manner, whilst always retaining factual accuracy and suitable respect for the subject matter. The boys completed a worksheet on their ‘travels’ and some boys were able to wear Ihram to add to the experience.
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