Hajj and pilgrimage vocabulary

The Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim who is able is required to undertake at least once in their lives, begins this weekend, and I have written a length piece about it over there. I won’t repeat all the details about the Hajj here, just some of the vocabulary, which is largely unchanged from the Arabic.

  • Hajj: حَج (ḥajj)
  • Pilgrimage (Persian): زِیارَت (ziyārat, from the Arabic for “visit”)
  • Mecca: مکه
  • Medina: مدینه
  • Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken any time of the year): عُمره (ʿumrah)
  • Ihram, the state of ritual purity required of all pilgrims: اِحرام (iḥrām)
  • The Mosque of the Holy Place, or Masjid-i Haram, the mosque in Mecca: مَسجِدِ حَرام (masjid-i ḥarām)
  • The Kaaba, the black cube-shaped structure at the heart of the Masjid-i Haram: کَعبه (kaʿbah)
  • Tawaf, the ritual circumnabulation of the Kaaba that begins and ends the pilgrimage: طَواف (ṭawāf)
  • Mount Arafat, where Muhammad gave his final sermon and the central location of the pilgrimage: کوهِ عَرَفات (kūh-i ʿarafāt) or the Arabic, جَبَل عَرَفات (jabal ʿarafāt)
  • Hajji, one who has completed the Hajj: حاجی (ḥājjī)
  • Hajj Mubarak (“Congratulations on the Hajj”), the greeting to offer a Hajji: حَج مُبارَك