Hajj: Five-day pilgrimage

The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is a five-day ritual. Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca for millions of Muslims from all over the world.

Each year the dates of the pilgrimage are confirmed by Hajj authorities in Saudi Arabia based on the sighting of the Moon.

hajj

Hajj

On the third day of Hajj each year, Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha, Islam’s holiest festival.

In the Islamic calendar, Hajj begins on the eighth day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and ends on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. The religious rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage, however, can be completed in five days.

For Muslims, the Hajj re-enacts the actions of the Prophet Muhammad in his “farewell pilgrimage” in AD632, and is a central pillar of the Islamic faith meant to cleanse the faithful of sin and bring them closer to God.

The Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)

The Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)

THE HAJJ, or pilgrimage, is the fifth of the five pillars (duties) of Islam. Every able-bodied Muslim should make the pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime, finances permitting.

 

The Hajj takes place annually during the first 10 days of the Dhu al-Hijja, the twelfth month of the Islamic year. The Islamic calendar is based on lunar months, so the actual date moves forward about 11 days each year in relation to the western solar calendar.

 

During the Hajj, pilgrims must be in a state of ihram (consecration). Men wear two pieces of white unstitched cloth – covering the waist and legs, the other around the shoulders covering the upper body. While in ihram, pilgrims must not cut hair or nails, wear perfumes, kill animals or insects, or engage in any kind of sexual relations (including proposals of marriage).