Hajj 101: Five facts about the Muslim pilgrimage

More than two million Muslims have flocked to Saudi Arabia this week for the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage that Muslims are obligated to make at least once in their lifetime. Their destination is Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, and the pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of Islam, making it one of the religion’s chief obligations. The number of pilgrims that travel to Saudi Arabia every year have made the Hajj, which typically lasts five days, one of the greatest religious events in the world.

Preparation

  • close
    A Muslim pilgrim prays on the Mountain of Mercy near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. The annual Islamic pilgrimage draws 2,5 million visitors each year, making it the largest yearly gathering of people in the world.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

For many Muslims, making the Hajj involves traveling long distances and incurring huge expenses. In India, the government has actually offered Hajj subsidies to airlines to offer discounted rates to Muslim pilgrims making the trip to Saudi Arabia, according to the Indian newspaper the Hindustan Times.

Once arriving in Saudi Arabia but before entering Mecca, all pilgrims must stop at a station outside the pilgrimage boundaries to cleanse, declare his intention to make the pilgrimage, and, if male, don ritual clothing known as Ihram. A pilgrim’s Hajj does not officially begin until they have completed these steps.

1 of 5

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK