Hajj is a special pilgrimage every Muslim should make in their lifetime.
Mecca is a holy place in Saudi Arabia where Muslims travel to during the month of Hajj — Dhul Hijjah — the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
During Hajj, pilgrims perform acts of worship and they renew their sense of purpose in the world.
For Muslims, it is the fifth and final pillar of Islam.
A man who has completed the Hajj is called a Hajji, a woman who has completed it is called a Hajjah.
What is Hajj?
Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia — it is a pilgrimage every Muslim should make at least once in their lifetime.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam — the others are shahadah (declaration of faith), salat (daily prayer), zakat (giving of alms) and sawn (fasting in Ramadan).
Hajj begins on Sunday, August 19 and continues until Friday, August 24, although the dates are contingent on the sighting of the moon.
There are many rituals in the performance of Hajj and these may be completed over the course of the five days.
The pilgrimage begins on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah and ends on the 13th day of the same Islamic month.
Every year, Muslims the world over flock to the holy city for the pilgrimage.
In Arabic, the word ‘Hajj’ means ‘to intend a journey’.
What does the pilgrimage mark in the Muslim calendar?
The pilgrimage to Hajj takes place in the Dhal Hijjah — the month of Hajj — and is the 12th month of the Islamic lunar year.
Hajj starts on the eighth day and the days prior to the pilgrimage are dedicated to preparing for the pilgrimage.
On the ninth day of the month, marks the Day of Arafat and the 10th marks Eid al-Adha.
The pilgrims perform the ritual of animal sacrifice (Qurbani) on Eid al-Adha and continues with other rites to complete their Hajj.
The ritual is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.
During the pilgrimage, Muslims wear simple white clothes called Ihram.