Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia in order to perform rituals based on those conducted by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his last visit to the city. As the fifth pillar of Islam, Muslims who are in good physical and financial standing have a religious duty to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime.

Hajj occurs in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, called Dhul Hijjah, between the eighth and 13th days of the month. This year, Hajj will be performed from June 14 to June 19, 2024. 

What time of year does Hajj take place?

“There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days” (Bukhari)

-Prophet Muhammadﷺ

The month of Dhul Hijjah is one of the holiest periods of the Islamic year. During this month, Muslims perform Qurbani and Hajj and witness the day of Arafah and Eid ul Adha.

In Dhul Hijjah, between the eighth and 13th days of the month, the annual Hajj pilgrimage is performed. It perfectly falls into the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, which are better than all the other days of the year. They are even better than the days of Ramadan!

When was the first ever Hajj pilgrimage?

The first official pilgrimage of Hajj was performed by Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, who was ordered to lead the pilgrimage to Makkah in the ninth year after Hijrah. This took place after a time where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions migrated to Madinah and succeeded in conquering Makkah.

The following year, 10 AH (632 CE), witnessed the Farewell Hajj where the Prophet (PBUH) performed his only Hajj pilgrimage and delivered his last sermon.

From then onwards, Hajj became an opportunity for Muslims to wipe clean their past sins, revive their faith and live a more righteous life. While performing the rituals of Hajj, Muslims retrace the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), Hajar (RA) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), commemorating their sacrifices and seeking ways to deepen their devotion to Allah SWT.

Who is excluded from Hajj?

Hajj in Islam is an obligation that comes with pre-conditions and prerequisites. Therefore, it is important for Muslims to know all its aspects, in order to ensure that it will be accepted by Allah SWT once performed.

Hajj is obligatory for Muslims upon the following conditions:

  • A Muslim should be over puberty and physically able to make the journey.

  • A Muslim should be able to afford the journey financially.

  • A Muslim woman should be accompanied by a Mahram man (her husband or a male relative, whom she cannot marry, like her brother).

According to these conditions, some people are exempt from Hajj. This includes Muslims who are too old or weak and unable endure the physical hardships of the journey. However, another Muslim, who has already fulfilled their own obligation of Hajj, can perform Hajj on their behalf.

If you are sick or physically incapacitated with risk of your sickness worsening by travelling then you are temporarily exempt from performing Hajj. It once again becomes obligatory when your agility is restored.

Those who don’t have sufficient money to afford the journey are also exempt from Hajj. This includes those who are in debt. A Muslim must be able to provide for the following expenses needed for Hajj in order to embark on the pilgrimage:

  • The fare needed to travel to Saudi Arabia.

  • The money needed for food, lodging, transport and other expenses during the entire Hajj journey.

  • The money needed by the pilgrim’s dependents during their absence.

When does Hajj 2024 begin?

Hajj 2024 begins in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, called Dhul Hijjah, on the eighth day of the month until the 13th day. This year, Hajj will begin on the evening of June 14 and last until the evening of June 19, 2024.

Does Hajj occur on the same dates every year?

Hajj occurs on the same dates in the Islamic or Hijiri calendar every year, from the 8th of the month Dhul Hijjah to the 13th. When it comes to the Gregorian calendar, Hajj does not occur on the same dates but rather varying ones.

In 2024, Hajj will take place from June 14 until June 19. Last year, Hajj took place from June 26 to July 1, 2023. With every new year, the dates of Hajj begin 10-11 days earlier on the Gregorian calendar than the previous year.

How can I apply for Hajj?

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has an electronic portal for Hajj registration and bookings, named Nusuk. The portal allows for electronic Hajj visa applications and offers additional information including an FAQ page and awareness guides.

Pilgrims who desire to perform Hajj can register directly at: https://hajj.nusuk.sa/. Please note that registration does not necessarily mean full approval to perform Hajj. You must register and then wait for confirmation of approval.

When is Hajj 2024 in the Islamic calendar?

Hajj 2024 begins in the last and 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Dhul Hijjah, from the 8th until the 13th day.

Other important Islamic dates and events occurring in June or Dhul Hijjah this year include:

First 10 days of Dhul Hijjah / June 7 to June 16, 2024

The Day of Arafah / June 15, 2024

Eid al-Adha / June 16, 2024

Ayyamul Tashreeq / June 17 to June 19, 2024

It is Sunnah to recite the takbeerat after each prayer from Fajr on the 11th until after Asr on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. Recite the takbeerat: Allahu Akbar (x3) La illaha il Allah, Allahu Akbar (x2) Wa lillahil Hamd.

When do I need to apply for Hajj 2024?

It is advised to apply for a Hajj visa months in advance. Saudi Hajj visas must be applied for through travel agents authorized by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj & Umrah.