Pilgrimage (Hadj)

Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hadj) is one of the obligations set by Islam upon all Muslims at least once in a lifetime if debt or family needs do not prevent it.

There are two types of pilgrimage, minor and major. The former may be during any period of the year but the latter must be during the beginning of the last month of the Muslim year, zul-hijja.

The number of visitors flocking to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage has risen considerably over recent years, with 1974 reaching a record 950,000. Pilgrimage is the second source of income in the country falling well below the oil revenue levels. Pilgrimage has undeniable political significance as it draws together Muslims from all corners of the Earth and thus creates a feeling of solidarity and unity in Islam reaching far beyond the boundaries of the Arab World.