The Haj is just one of the great pilgrimages people make to holy lands and other landmarks important to their beliefs. And although it is one that I have never made, I have many friends and family that have made the journey and told me of its significance in their lives. As people, why do we make such journeys, sometimes on foot to far away lands?
The answer is that these journeys are something that both people and religion hold in high regard. The fact that most of these pilgrimages are spiritual shows just how important faith is a part of being human, and how important it is to preserve its history. If you think about it, history is just people upholding and sharing traditions, and without it, that history dies.
Making sense of it all
Each pilgrimage is different for every faith, and even within that, each journey is different for each person involved. Having heard dozens of stories about the Haj, I have found that even though the reason for the journey is the same, each experience is vastly different. How amazing that people can derive different experiences from the same journey!
Faith is something that ties us to humanity, and pilgrimages are something that helps us put that faith into practice. By experiencing faith in our own way and taking what we can from the journey itself, we can begin to understand why faith is so important to humans and why the journey is just as much about the experience as the faith.