The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the z akah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan” (Al-Bukhari). Also, we would like to commend your pursuit of Islamic counselling.

Hajj means traveling for the purpose of visiting the Ka`bah in Makkah, the direction which Muslims turn to in Prayer, in order to perform the rituals that are based on the actions and words reported in tradition of the Prophet’s Hajj, such as Tawaf (walking around the Ka`bah seven times), Sa`i (running between the hills of As-Safa and Marwa seven times), standing at the mountain of `Arafah, and throwing pebbles at the Jamarat in Mina.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: The linguistic meaning of the word Hajj in Arabic is to set out with the intention of devotion or reward to a sacred place. As an Islamic term, it denotes setting out for purpose of pilgrimage to the Sacred House in Makkah in order to perform the specific rites such as Tawaf and Sa`i and standing at the plains of `Arafah, among other rituals. In other words, Hajj in Islam is the fifth pillar of Islam; it involves undertaking the journey to the Sacred House of Worship in Makkah in order to perform the prescribed rites.