Studies: Hajj sources positive emotions

MECCA, Saudi Arabia, June 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Several international research institutes and centers have developed a growing interest in the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage season, one of the largest annual human gatherings on earth, with some US and British universities publishing research papers proving that Hajj is an abundant source of positive human emotions.

The crowd of pilgrims experience a feeling of comfort as they gather at the holy sites

Some of these papers found that Hajj supports the principles of tolerance and peace among pilgrims, facts that are considered as a testimony by neutral parties for the benefit of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, as well as other Saudi authorities who strive to provide millions of pilgrims with a modern yet spiritual atmosphere.

World-renowned Harvard University stated in a study published in 2008 that surveys conducted among several pilgrims highlighted that they develop a sense of connectedness and unity with their fellow Muslims, while they explained that taking part in Hajj supports their adherence to Islamic practices such as performing prayer and fasting.

The study, titled “Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering”, stressed that performing Hajj raises awareness among Muslims, since they usually refrain from non-Islamic practices after performing pilgrimage, such as seeking blessings from amulets.

The Harvard study also highlighted Hajj as a trip that reinforces the belief in equality and harmony between different ethnic groups and Islamic sects, since strengthening the unity among people of the Muslim world cannot be accompanied by hatred towards non-Muslims, while pilgrims show an increasing sense of belief in peace with followers of other faiths.

Elsewhere, the European Journal of Social Psychology published a research paper in August 2019 titled “The Crowd Psychology of the Hajj” for the University of Sussex, based on surveyed opinions of 1494 pilgrims, which proves that pilgrims experience strong positive human emotions as they gather at the holy sites in large numbers to perform their religious duty.

Analysis of the study data, which included 64.1 percent males and 35.6 percent females from 72 countries, exposed that the crowd density in the holy sites does not impact the pilgrims negatively, who usually feel safe and comfortable.

The paper also revealed that such positive emotions develop as a result of solid infrastructure, technological improvements introduced by the pilgrimage management, and the sheer volume of resources and intellectual energy involved in the occasion to enhance the safety of pilgrims.

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