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Hajj

The Hajj or Haj is the Pilgrimage to Mecca and is the fifth of the "Five Pillars of Islam". Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so is obligated to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. The government of Saudi Arabia issues special visas to foreigners for the purpose of the pilgrimage, which takes place during the Islamic month of Ramadan. However, entrance to the city itself is forbidden to non-Muslims, as the entire city is considered a site holy to Islam.

Upon arrival in Mecca, the pilgrim (Hajji) performs a series of ritual acts symbolic of the life of the prophet Muhammad, and of solidarity with Muslims worldwide. These include circling the Ka'bah[?] seven times, spending a night in the city of Medina, and casting a stone at a particular rock formation to symbolize refutation of the devil.

After performing the Hajj, some cultures allow a Muslim to prefix "Hajji" to his or her name as an honorific.

See also: list of Islamic terms in Arabic



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