Every year, millions of Muslims from around the world converge on the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj: the pilgrimage that should be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim that can afford to do so.
The Hajj is a journey which involves all of the above pillars and therefore is the ultimate journey of a lifetime. It is seen as a calling from God, only for those who have been invited by Him to visit His sanctuary. It involves physical worship such as going round the Kaaba in imitation of the old tradition of Abraham. It also involves giving charity to the poor. The Hajj represents Muslim unity where all people are donned in the same white clothes doing the same rituals. The white clothing which looks like a shroud also reminds Muslims of their own frailty and mortality.
© Cardiff University
Islam UK Centre Public Lecture: Holy Places, Contested Spaces: British-Muslim Experiences of the Hajj – Dr Sean McLoughlin