Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage, takes place on the 8th to 12th days of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and last month of the Islamic year. Islam requires physically and financially able adults to make this pilgrimage once in their lifetime. Accordingly, millions of Muslims undertake the pilgrimage every year, traveling to Mecca, a city in western Arabia, where the Prophet Muhammad was born. Once there, they perform several religious rituals from the lives of Ibrahim (Abraham), Hajar (Hagar) and Ismail (Ishmael), including seven circumambulations around the Kaaba, the Holy House at the center of the Masjid al-Haram (the Great Mosque); drinking from the well of Zamzam; hastening between Safa and Marwa, the two hills that are now part of the Masjid al-Haram; and throwing pebbles at three pillars to symbolically repudiate the temptation of the devil.

To Name this Day:


A Season in Mecca by Abdellah Hammoudi is a fascinating account by a Muslim professor of anthropology of his pilgrimage to Mecca.

Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam by A. Helwa includes a sturdy chapter on Hajj as a poignant way in which Muslims affirm to the world the Oneness of God.

Spiritual Practices

The First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah provides advice on taking righteous actions on the first ten days of this holy month.

Imam al-Haddad’s Counsels on Hajj and Umrah includes advice on traveling, the rites of hajj, and turning to the Messenger of Allah, as well as hajj stories of the pious.

In Advice for Those Not on Hajj, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz encourages focusing on the objectives of hajj.

In The Gifts of Hajj, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz reflects on the meaning of hajj and lists actions that carry the reward of performing the pilgrimage.

Selected Salawat: Salat of Dhu’l-Hijjah offers prayers to make during the blessed days of hajj.


Imam Omar Suleiman explores the story of Prophet Ibrahim through Hajar and what we can learn about having certainty in times of deep uncertainty.