Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren


  • Natalie Sarah IrwinEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_293


This entry entails the history, rites, and rituals of the fifth pillar in Islam, the Hajj. The Hajj is a pilgrimage thought to be performed even before Muhammad received revelation. There are a number or rites and rituals that belong to this sacred journey, and this excursion should be taken at least once in a Muslim’s life.


Central to any understanding of Islam is the knowledge that there are five pillars, which most Muslims believe to be mandatory. The pillars are shahada (faith), salat (prayer), zakat (almsgiving), sawm (fasting), and hajj(pilgrimage). The Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., states on their website unequivocally, “Undertaking the Hajj at least once is a duty for Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah.” In September 2015, the Hajj made headlines as the site of a massive stampede, the deadliest in Hajj history, which killed at least 2,177 pilgrims. Exploring the history of the Hajj, the demographics of...


Islam Pillar of Islam Pilgrimage Rites Rituals Ka’aba Mecca Saudi Arabia History Abraham Ishmael Muhammad Demographics Quran Malcolm X 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA