Hajj: Meaning, Significance, Facts

Written by Bunmi Abdulraheem


Hajj is a sacred pilgrimage that is required of every Muslim at least once in their lifetime – it is one of the five pillars of Islam. Each year, millions of Muslims from across the world travel to perform Hajj in Makkah

It takes place during the same time each year, in the sacred month of Dhul Hijjah – the twelfth month in the Islamic Calendar.

Muslims are commanded by Allah (SWT) to fulfil the sacred pilgrimage of Hajj as relayed in the Holy Qur’an:

“You will enter the Sacred Masjid, God willing, perfectly secure, and you will cut your hair or shorten it (as you fulfil the pilgrimage rituals) there. You will not have any fear. Since He knew what you did not know, He has coupled this with an immediate victory.”

Qur’an | 48:27

While Hajj is required of every Muslim, it is only required so long as they have the capacity. There are conditions which make Muslims eligible to perform Hajj and exempt from performing Hajj. 

What Is Hajj In Islam?

The sacred pilgrimage of Hajj is comprised of a series of rites and rituals that provide a spiritual, emotional, and physical challenge for the pilgrim. For example, a pilgrim can expect to walk between 5km-15km per day, as Hajj requires some travel between several locations in and around the vicinity of Makkah. Much of the pilgrimage takes place at the Masjid al-Haram, where the Kaaba is located.

Hajj is a spiritual duty and a pillar of Islam, and for many, it is a once in a lifetime event. Going more than once during your lifetime is permitted whilst sincerely seeking Allah’s (SWT) (which means ‘The Most Glorified, The Most High) pleasure.

Why is Hajj important?

Hajj is one of the five Pillars of Islam, which form the basic foundations of a Muslim’s beliefs. Every Muslim is expected to undertake the pilgrimage at least once in their lives if they have physical and financial capacity.

The 18 Steps Of Hajj At A Glance:

  1. Preparation and Intention
  2. Enter state of Ihram
  3. Tawaf x7
  4. Safa and Marwa
  5. Clip/Shave Hair (Umrah ends)
  6. Resting and Praying
  7. Enter state of Ihram
  8. Arrive at Mina
  9. Day of ‘Arafah
  10. Muzdalifah (under the night sky)
  11. Rami (stoning of the devil)
  12. Qurbani
  13. Shave Head
  14. Tawaf al-Ifadha
  15. Rami (stoning of the devil)
  16. Spend night at Mina
  17. Rami (stoning of the devil)
  18. Farewell Tawaf al-Wida

Why Do Muslims Go On Hajj?

Hajj is one of the fifth pillars of Islam, meaning it is obliged of every Muslim.

Here are the Five Pillars Of Islam:

  1. Profession of Faith (Shahada). The belief and declaration that “There is no diety worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad (‎ﷺ) is the final Prophet sent by Allah.”
  2. Prayer (Salah)
  3. Alms (Zakat)
  4. Fasting (Sawm)
  5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)

Unlike prayer, Alms and Fasting, Hajj is required of every Muslim only once during their lifetime, so long as they are physically, emotionally, and financially eligible. However, Muslims are permitted to go more than once if they have the means.

The Hajj pilgrimage is a test of patience and temperament, and can be spiritually, emotionally, and physically challenging. However the sanctity of this occasion provides an experience and opportunity like no other for drawing closer to Allah (SWT), and many Muslims around the world strive their whole lives for the opportunity to perform Hajj.