What is the Hajj?

One of the five pillars of Islam is the Hajj, a holy journey that every Muslim must make at least once in their lives. Millions of Muslims from all over the world visit Makkah, in present-day Saudi Arabia, each year to do the Hajj.

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It always occurs at the same time of year, in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah, which is a holy month. Hajj starts on the eighth day of Dhul Hijjah and lasts for five to six days, depending on when the moon is visible. The four-day celebration of Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide when the new crescent moon is sighted.

Every Muslim is obligated to perform the Hajj, but only if they are able to. Muslims are qualified to do the Hajj and excused from conducting it under certain circumstances.

In Islam, What Is Hajj?

The Hajj is a holy trip that consists of a number of ceremonies and rituals, some of which must be performed in a certain order, that provide the pilgrim with mental, emotional, and physical challenges. For instance, a pilgrim should prepare to walk five to fifteen kilometers each day because the Hajj necessitates traveling to various places in and around Makkah. The Kaaba is located in the Masjid al-Haram, the site of a large portion of the pilgrimage.

Islam considers the Hajj to be a foundation of spirituality, and for many people, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is OK to go more than once in your lifetime as long as you are honestly seeking the pleasure of Allah (SWT), which is known as “The Most Glorified, The Most High.”

Hajj: What Takes Place?

Muslims who undertake the holy Hajj trip must follow a set of ceremonies and rituals, each with its own special meaning and wisdom.

The 18 stages of the Hajj are as follows, summarized:

An Overview Of The 18 Steps Of The Hajj:

Ready & Willing

Go to Ihram state.

Tawaf seven times

Marwa and Safa

Shave or clip hair (Umrah ends)

Taking a nap and praying

Go to Ihram state.

Reach Mina.

The Day of Abraham

Under the night sky Muzdalifah

Rami (the devil’s stoning)


Cut Head

Al-Tawaf al-Ifadha

Rami (the devil’s stoning)

Spend the evening in Mina

Rami (the devil’s stoning)

Goodbye, Tawaf al-Wida

To see our comprehensive guide on completing the Hajj, which covers all the details you require to carry out this amazing pilgrimage, click this link. Also available for download is our simple-to-use Hajj handbook.

What Is The Hajj Muslim Population?

Millions of Muslims from all over the world journey to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, for the Hajj every year via land, sea, and air. Every year, two to three million people perform the Hajj.

The number of persons who have performed the Hajj in the past is as follows:

1999: More than 1.8 million

2009: More than 2.3 million

2012: More than 3.1 million

What Are Your Hajj Preparations?

Although the Hajj is primarily a spiritual obligation, Muslims all over the world are strongly encouraged to prepare for it since the pilgrimage is also quite physically taxing.

Muslims are advised to physically prepare for the Hajj weeks in advance, since pilgrims often walk between 5 and 15 kilometers each day. This way, the five-six day trip won’t come as a shock to the system due to the needed transit between destinations. Having the physical preparation helps with the emotionally and spiritually taxing parts of the Hajj.

The Distinctions Between Umrah And Hajj

In Islam, the Hajj and the Umrah are both revered pilgrimages that have many of the same characteristics, customs, and ceremonies. There are some significant distinctions, though. The most significant is that whereas Umrah is an optional trip, Hajj is a mandatory five-pillar Islamic ritual that must be performed by every Muslim in their lifetime.

Here are some further distinctions between Umrah and Hajj:

While Umrah can be done at any time of the year, Hajj can only be done between the eighth and the twelfth or thirteenth of Dhul Hijjah each year.

Depending on whether the crescent moon is visible, Hajj can take five to six days, whereas Umrah can be completed in as little as one day!

While there are far fewer steps in Umrah, there are eighteen in the Hajj.