Do you know much about the Hajj? If you are Islamic then you probably know a whole lot more than I do about it. On the other hand if you're not Islamic then there's a good chance that you're like me and you don't know much about it. I'd like to explore the Hajj find a little bit more information about it because it seems like a really cool thing.
Hi and welcome to the Les Perras podcast episode number 324. This podcast is excellent for extensive English listening, to help you expand your listening vocabulary. Today's podcast episode is about the Hajj.
The Hajj is a religious pilgrimage. Every adult Muslim has to make the Hajj trip once in their lifetime. For many Muslims, this is a monumental undertaking. You have to travel from wherever you are to Saudi Arabia, and go to Mecca. There's actually quite a bit more to it than that. For instance it's one of the five fundamental Muslim practices. You have to do it once in your lifetime. As another example of the detail involved in the Hajj, they prescribe how you have to walk around the block Rock in Mecca. You have to do some running. You actually have to run seven times between two locations. You're not allowed to cut your hair or your nails until the pilgrimage is over. There's more but I don't want to go into all the details here. This is a really important religious rite for all Muslims. As a side note, one of the cool things I discovered was you can get somebody to perform the Hajj for you, as a sort of proxy.
For a while there there were millions of people going every year. More than 2 million were going every year for quite a long time but when the coronavirus happened the number dropped drastically down to about 58,000. Another cool thing that I found out was that if you're living Malaysia, the Malaysian government will pay for part of your travel expenses to complete the Hajj if it's your first time.
The Hajj is really really special. There's another pilgrimage called the Umrah, which you can do anytime of the year. And in many respects it is similar to the Hajj but the Hajj is special. Because of that you can only do it during a five day period in the year. That's why you won't get hundreds of millions of people going every year. you'll only get 2 million, because there's a sort of a limit to how many people can go to that place at any one time. This brings us to the next topic.
There are indeed limits to how many people can do the Hajj these days. Saudi Arabia hosts the Hajj and they are responsible for whatever happens during that period, so they put limits on it. This year's limit is 1 million people from both inside and outside the kingdom. This is to promote safety and prevent the spread of disease among other things. One big problem is crowd control and if the crowd is limited then it's much easier to control the crowd and keep things safe. If you like listening to English for your extensive English listening
then hit the Subscribe button below so you can get more of my podcasts.I’d love it if you made a comment below, too. Tell me if you have ever been to the Hajj, or to Saudi Arabia.