Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hajj - an Overview

Image taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica: www.britannica.com

The Hajj [Ha-J] is the annual pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca and takes place during the last month of the Islamic year, dhul al-Hijja [d-hul al-hij-jah]. All Muslims are expected to complete at least one Hajj during thier lifetime, health and finances permitting.

During Hajj pilgrims aim to be in a state of ihram [ih-rraa-m] (translation: consecration).

Ka'aba [karr-aa-bah]
The name given to the most sacred site in Islam, the central black cube in Mecca which people circumvent/walk around. It is towards this location in which all Muslims face when they pray. The Ka'aba is covered by a black silk and gold curtain known as a kiswah [kis-waH] and which is replaced each year.


Men will wear two pieces of white unstitched cloth, which looks to all intents and purposes like a large, thin towel. One cloth will cover the waist and legs and the other is worn around the shoulders and covers the upper body.

During Hajj, pilgrims shouldn't cut their hair or nails, wear perfume, kill animals or insects or engage in any kind of sexual relations, including marriage proposals.

Relevant Terms of Endearment
Hajji [haa-ji] a male who has completed the Hajj pilgrimage
Hajjia [haa-jee-a] a female who has completed the Hajj pilgrimage
Mutahajabia [mut-ta-hajj-a-bee-a] a female who wears the Islamic headscarf

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