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Pilgrims at the Al-Masjid Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca on Hajj in 2010
Native name الحج
File:Haji pilgrimage mina tent city.jpg
Air-conditioned tents for Hajj pilgrims in Mina, Saudi Arabia, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) away from Mecca


Hajj (/hɑː/;[1] Template:Language with name and transliterationTemplate:Transliteration; sometimes also spelled Hadj, or Haj or Haji in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia,[2] the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and of supporting their family during their absence from home.[3][4][5]

In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to the Kaaba, the "House of Allah," in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah (oath that one believes there is no god but Allah (God))[6], salat (prayer), zakat (almsgiving) and sawm (fasting during Ramadan). The Hajj is an annual practice when Muslim brotherhood is on display and their solidarity with fellow Muslim people and submission to God (Allah) is fulfilled.[7][8] The word Hajj means "pilgrimage made to the Kaaba", a long pious journey taken by Muslims to cleanse their souls of all worldly sins, which connotes both the outward act of a journey after death and the inward act of good intentions.[9] The rites of pilgrimage are performed over five to six days, extending from the 8th to the 12th or 13th[10] of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.[11] Because the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Islamic year is about eleven days shorter than the Gregorian year, the Gregorian date of Hajj changes from year to year. In 2023 AD (1444 AH), Dhu al-Hijjah extends from 19 June to 18 July.

The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century AD, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca stated in Muslim sources stretches back to the time of Abraham. During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of millions of Muslim people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of pre-Islamic rituals (reformed by Muhammad): each person wears a single piece of unstitched white clothing (Ihram), walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba (a cube-shaped building and the direction of prayer for Muslims), kiss the black stone mounted on the corner wall of Kaaba, walks briskly back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah seven times, then drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, spends a night in the plain of Muzdalifa, and performs symbolic Stoning of the Devil by throwing stones at three pillars. After the sacrifice of cattle (which can be accomplished by using a voucher), the pilgrims then are required to either shave or trim their heads (if male) or trim the ends of their hair (if female). A celebration of the four-day global festival of Eid al-Adha proceeds afterwards.[12][13][14] Muslims may also undertake an Umrah (Template:Language with name and transliteration‎), or "lesser pilgrimage" to Mecca at other times of the year. However, the Umrah is not a substitute for the Hajj and Muslims are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.[15]

According to the official published statistics between 2000 and 2019,[16][17][18] the average number of attendees is 2,269,145 per year, of which 1,564,710 come from outside Saudi Arabia and 671,983 are local. The year 2012 marks the highest number of participants with 3,161,573.[19] In June 2020, while not cancelling the Hajj outright, the Saudi Government announced that they would only welcome "very limited numbers" of pilgrims who are residents of Saudi Arabia due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.[20] Similar restrictions applied in 2021, but women were permitted to attend without a male guardian (mahram) provided they went in a trustworthy group.[21] Template:TOC limit

©️Umar Faruk Patwary
  1. "Hajj" December 2014/https://web.archive.org/web/20141230150928/http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hajj Archived December 30, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi (26 March 2016) (in en). The Laws of Islam. San Bernardino: Enlight Press. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-9942409-8-9. http://almodarresi.com/en/books/pdf/TheLawsofIslam.pdf. Retrieved 22 December 2017. 
  3. Long, Matthew (2011). Islamic Beliefs, Practices, and Cultures. Tarrytown, N.Y.: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7614-7926-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=H_m14NlQQMYC&pg=PA86. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  4. Nigosian, S. A. (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-253-21627-3. https://archive.org/details/islamitshistoryt0000nigo. 
  5. Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs - Islam October 2011/https://web.archive.org/web/20111002114437/http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/resources/traditions/islam Archived October 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. See drop-down essay on "Islamic Practices"
  6. "Surah Al-An'am - 19". https://quran.com/6/19. 
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Nigosian111
  8. Hooker, M. B. (2008). Indonesian Syariah: Defining a National School of Islamic Law. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 228. ISBN 978-981-230-802-3. https://books.google.com/books?id=-a1k57q6GmwC&pg=PT252. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  9. Adelowo, E. Dada, ed (2014). Perspectives in Religious Studies: Volume III. Ibadan: HEBN Publishers Plc. p. 395. ISBN 978-978-081-447-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=ma-QBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA395. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  10. 13th of Zil Hajj, heliohost.org, http://www.hajjpracticalities.heliohost.org/sixdayshajj/13th_of_zil_hajj.html, retrieved 29 March 2015 
  11. "Hajj The Holy Pilgrimage". 3 January 2021. https://salamislam.com/articles/practical-principles/hajj-holy-pilgrimage. 
  12. Karen Armstrong (2002). Islam: A Short History. Modern Library Chronicles (Revised Updated ed.). Modern Library. pp. 10–12. ISBN 0-8129-6618-X. 
  13. "Eid ul Adha". BBC. 7 September 2009. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/holydays/eiduladha.shtml. 
  14. Sahih Bukhari-hadith No-732-733
  15. Matt Stefon, ed (2010). Islamic Beliefs and Practices. New York City: Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-61530-060-0. https://archive.org/details/islamicbeliefspr0000stef. 
  16. "Haj Statistics". 2017. https://www.stats.gov.sa/en/28. 
  17. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named RESA1997
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named :5
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named :6
  20. "Saudi Arabia will sharply limit Hajj Pilgrimage" (in en). The New York Times. 22 June 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/22/world/coronavirus-updates.html. 
  21. AFP (2021-07-20). "In Mecca, Women Take Part in Hajj as 'Guardian' Rule Dropped". VOA. https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/mecca-women-take-part-hajj-guardian-rule-dropped.