One of the five pillars of Islam is that each believer is called, at least once in their lives, to make the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage that starts and ends in the holy city of Mecca located in today’s Saudi Arabia. The journey recreates Muhammad’s own path as the native son returned to his tribal home as the leader of a vibrant new religion. Unlike other sacred sites, Mecca is closed off to believers of other faiths: only Muslims are permitted on the Hajj.

Hajj is the sacred pilgrimage performed by Muslims at the holy mosque of Masjid al Haram in Mecca.It is one of the five pillars of Islam, which means that every Muslim should complete it at least once in their lifetime – so long as they have the means to do so. Hajj takes place during the same period each year – during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth month in the Islamic calendar. Hajj begins on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah and lasts until the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.This year, Hajj is taking place between 26 June to 1 July 2023.