Hajj is an important pillar of Islam – but how much do you actually know about it?

Well, we’ve put together our top Hajj facts (in no particular order), so you can have to hand everything you need to know about Hajj!

HajjView of the Ka’aba

Hajj Is The Fourth Pillar Of Islam

Undertaking Hajj is an Islamic and spiritual duty – it is the fourth pillar in Islam.

 In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (SWT) commands Muslims to visit Makkah and complete it as part of their faith at least once in their lifetime – in fact, there’s a whole Surah (chapter) in the Qur’an named after it!

In this chapter, Allah (SWT) tells us:

“We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], ‘Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate.

And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass –

That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals… Then let them… fulfil their vows and perform Tawaf around the ancient House.

That [has been commanded], and whoever honours the sacred ordinances of Allah – it is best for him in the sight of his Lord…”

Qur’an | 22:26-30

May we all be able to undertake Hajj, Ameen! Click here to find out everything you need to know about performing Hajj.

Hajj Is More Than 1,500 Years Old

Makkah
The holy city of Makkah

The origins of Hajj actually date much further back than the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The rituals of Hajj in fact go back to 2000 BCE!

If we think of the rites involved in Hajj: running between Safa and Marwa to replicate Hajar’s (the wife of Ibrahim AS) journey in search of water, then it’s actually a lot older…

The Kaaba itself also dates back much earlier than 631CE. The Prophet Ibrahim (AS) built a monument on the site of the Kaaba and worshippers from a variety of faiths used to come and visit the site. Mount Arafah was where Ibrahim (AS) prepared to sacrifice his son.

In 632CE, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) then led the first official Hajj, when he led a group of worshippers to the Kaaba in 632CE and destroyed the idols inside the Kaaba, restoring it to its original purpose in the name of Allah (SWT). 

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the first Muslims retraced Hajar’s journey between the hills of Safa and Marwa. They replicated the stoning of Iblis (Satan), as Prophet Ibrahim (AS) did when Iblis tried to tempt him to defy Allah (SWT) in three separate locations on the journey. Ibrahim (AS) continued in his obedience to Allah (SWT). Mount Arafah was also the location of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon) last sermon.

During his life, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) only performed Hajj once. Since then, the tradition has been continued by Muslims from across the world for over a millennia of years. Subhan’Allah – such history!

Hajj Is Always On The 8th – 13th Dhul Hijjah

Kaaba
Pilgrims praying around the Ka’aba

Hajj takes place during the month of Dhul Hijjah – which translates to ‘the month of the pilgrimage’. 

In line with the Islamic calendar, Hajj takes places during the same period of the lunar calendar each year. The dates therefore appear to shift forward approximately 11-12 days in the Gregorian calendar each year.

This year, Dhul Hijjah will run from 7th July to 11th/12th July 2022.

Dhul Hijjah is a very important month. Not only is it the last month in the Islamic year, but during this period, Muslims make Hajj, offer Qurbani to those in need and celebrate Eid al-Adha before the new year begins.

The sacred Day of ‘Arafah takes place on 9th Dhul Hijjah, and offers Muslims around the world who are not on Hajj the chance to earn immense reward, by fasting and making sincere du’a. Fasting on the Day of Arafah can expiate your sins of two years!

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.”

Hadith | Muslim

Over 2.5 Million Muslims A Year Go On Hajj

Pilgrims
Pilgrims in ihram (clothing for Hajj)

We all know how popular Hajj is, but how many people go each year?

Well, according to the Saudi government figures for 2019a staggering 2.5 million undertook Hajj! Subhan’Allah…

With around three times as many international pilgrims (1.9 million), compared to Saudi-residents (Saudi and non-Saudi) (634K), you may be intrigued to find out that the highest single nationality of non-Saudi pilgrims was in fact Egyptian!

Alhamdulillah, pilgrims come from all over the world with most non-Saudi pilgrims travelling from Asian (non-Arab) countries (59%). However, with a whopping 35,355 pilgrims in 2019, the biggest group of non-Saudi nationals is Egyptians, with almost 36% of non-Saudi pilgrims from Egypt.

Other nationalities with high numbers include Pakistan (12%), Yemen (10%), India (9.8%), Sudan (5.8%) and Bangladesh (4.3%).

We’re definitely a global Ummah, alhamdulillah!

Once you’ve performed Hajj, you’re known as a Hajji (Hajjah for women). However, did you know that this name is also given as a sign of respect for elders in the Arabic-speaking world? 

Almost 351,000 Staff Manage Hajj

Makkah
Pilgrims on the way to Makkah

With so many people travelling to Makkah to perform Hajj, there’s obviously a lot of staff and services needed to accommodate people.

In 2019, over 350,000 staff and volunteers were responsible for providing Hajj-related services. This included:

  • Health care
  • Communication services
  • Transportation
  • Supervision services

From the moment of booking your Hajj, to passing through immigration control and heading back home, your Hajj requires a whole range of services.

It’s a big trip and requires a lot of help! Subhan’Allah…

Now you have some interesting facts about Hajj to share with your family and loved ones, prepare yourself with some key information on how to prepare for Hajj!

Facts About The Prophet Muhammad 

In the Islamic tradition, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the final prophet in a line of messengers sent by Allah (SWT) to preach Tawheed (monotheism). Five times a day in Salah (prayer), Muslims recite the Shahada (declaration of faith): 

Transliteration:

“Ashadu an la ilaha illa illa-ilah, wa ashadu anna muhammadan rasul ullah.”

Translation: 

“There is no God but God (Allah – i.e. there is none worthy of worship but Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

It is the most sacred statement in Islam and must be recited with full understanding and mindfulness of its meaning. While the Prophet Muhammad is the most beloved prophet, Muslims recognise him as a man and messenger that was provided the revelation – he is not associated with God and Muslims are forbidden from worshipping anyone other than the one God, Allah (SWT). 

Here are some more facts about the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):

  1. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was an orphan. Both his parents died as an infant
  2. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was illiterate
  3. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had a solid reputation (al-Amin (trustworthy)) among everyone who knew him or knew of him
  4. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was given prophethood at age 40 
  5. Muslims are obliged to say sallallahu alayhi wa sallam (SAW), which means peace and blessings be upon him, whenever they mention the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Five things every Muslim should know about Hajj

Hajj is one of the most important events in a Muslims life, may we all undertake the Hajj in our lifetime, inshaAllah! It consists of a series of rites and rituals which are important to follow in order for the sacred pilgrimage to be valid. The rites and rituals of Hajj are steeped in divine wisdom and provide a spiritual, emotional, and physical challenge for Muslims who embark on the pilgrimage.

Here are some important facts about Hajj:

  • Every Muslim is required to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime, as long as they are physically, emotionally, and financially eligible to do so
  • Hajj consists of 18 steps
  • Hajj was first performed by Ibrahim (AS) and then later his son, Prophet Ismail (AS)
  • Throughout history, Hajj has had to be banned due to plagues
  • Before the current infrastructure surrounding the Kaaba, Masjid al-Haram was at times flooded, and pilgrims would have to swim around the Kaaba in order to perform Tawwaf

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We ensure our content is reviewed and verified by qualified scholars to provide you with the most accurate information. This webpage was last reviewed by Sheikh Saalim Al-Azhari.

Page last reviewed: 14 July 2022

Next review due: Within 12 months

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