Hajj Quick Facts - IN

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2024 Date14 June 2024
2025 Date4 June 2025


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Hajj History

The observance of Hajj is a significant event in the religious lives of Muslims across the globe, including India. As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. This holy journey holds immense significance in the Islamic faith as it fulfils various spiritual yearnings of the devotee, such as seeking forgiveness, building a closer connection with Allah, and reliving the prophetic practices. During the Hajj, Muslims come together as one community to perform these religious rites, thereby strengthening their bonds of unity and brotherhood.

Historically, Hajj has roots dating back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim, who built the holy Kaaba after his trials and tribulations. In India, the rituals of Hajj have always been held in high regard, as the country is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. With around 14% of the Indian population practicing Islam, the pilgrimage is considered an integral part of their spiritual lives. Every year, thousands of Muslims from India undertake the sacred journey to Mecca, transcending cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic barriers. The Government of India even provides support and assistance to the Hajj pilgrims for a smooth and safe pilgrimage through the Hajj Committee of India.

During the Hajj pilgrimage, Muslim devotees from India observe various customs that are similar to those followed by believers worldwide. They don the sacred Ihram clothing and perform the rituals such as Tawaf, where they circumambulate the Kaaba seven times; Sa'i, the symbolic act of running between the hills of Safa and Marwah; and the Rami al-Jamarat, where pilgrims stone the three pillars symbolizing the devil. After completing the rituals, they return to their homes with a sense of fulfilment, humility, and spiritual elevation. Hajj is observed on June 26th this year.

Hajj facts

  • According to Sahih Bukhari (one of the six main hadith writings of Sunni Islam), the Prophet Muhammad once said that those who finish the Hajj without committing any obscenity or transgression will have their sins completely wiped away.
  • All male pilgrims wear the ihram, a garment that is made of two pieces of unstitched clothing. They are forbidden from wearing anything that has stitches in it, clothes that cover their ankles, or anything that cover their heads. All female pilgrims are forbidden from wearing anything to cover their faces or hands.
  • According to the Indian census of 2011, there are approximately 172 million Muslims in India, accounting for 14.2% of the nation's population.
  • India has a rich history of Hajj-related literature, with accounts of the pilgrimage dating back as far as the 11th century.

Top things to do in India for Hajj

  • If you are Muslim, go on a Hajj pilgrimage or attend the smaller Umrah.
  • Visit the mountains of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah in Mecca. Pilgrims walk between two hills, Safa and Marwa, seven times during the Hajj because they believe that Hagar, the wife of Abraham, did the same when looking for water for her thirsty baby Ismael. As soon as she finished her seventh run, the Zamzam well sprung out from under baby Ismael's foot. To this day, pilgrims on the Hajj drink the Zamzam's water, and often take it home with them in large canisters.
  • Attend a Hajj depature ceremony. Before the departure of Hajj pilgrims, many cities in India organize special ceremonies and processions to bid farewell to the pilgrims. Families, friends, and neighbors gather to see off their loved ones and offer prayers for their safe journey.
  • Indian Muslims who are completing the pilgrimage often participate in pre-Hajj rituals, such as wearing the Ihram (garment for Hajj) and performing a farewell prayer called the Tawaf Al-Wadaa at their local mosques before leaving for Mecca.

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