Why Do Muslims Go To Hajj in Mecca?

Every year, millions of Muslims go to Hajj in Mecca, fulfilling one of the Five Pillars of Islam, namely to make the Hajj in Mecca, the holy city, at least once in a lifetime if able to do so.

Yet in addition to fulfilling one of the Five Pillars of Islam, what are the spiritual reasons for performing the Hajj in Mecca?

Although the reasons for going to Hajj in Mecca may be innumerable, this article sheds light on some of the deeper spiritual aspects of the holy pilgrimage.

Why Do Muslims Go to Hajj in Mecca — Kaba

Why Do Muslims Go to Hajj in Mecca? Unity.

One of the fundamental principles of Islamic Spirituality is the Principle of Unity, derived from tawheed — oneness. Islam teaches that not only is the Creative Power, God, Allah Almighty, One, but so is all of creation and thus all of humanity.

Perhaps in no other spiritual or religious event is this more evident than in the Hajj in Mecca, during which millions of Muslims set aside all differences of race, caste, economic status, nationality, and even sect as they unite in the holy pilgrimage, each donning the simple two-piece white garb of the non-attached traveler, allowing nearly no apparent difference whatsoever between men as they stand together in the Divine Presence of their Creator.

“All men are equal before God as are the teeth of a comb.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws)

Hajj in Mecca: Malcolm X

Malcolm X Praying Hajj in MeccaAfter initially being indoctrinated in the unconventional belief system of the race-focused Nation of Islam, Malcolm X only began to truly realize the real spirit of Islam after making the Hajj in Mecca, in which he sat, ate and slept shoulder to shoulder with believers of every possible race and ethnicity, all equal before God and united in Divine Love and brotherhood.

Why do Muslims go to Hajj in Mecca?

To overcome the superficial differences the ego uses to identify and separate with. To achieve unity in soul and spirit, unity of heart, and to return to a purified state of oneness, reflecting the holy spirit, nature and presence of God in creation.

Why Do Muslims Go to Hajj in Mecca? Focus.

Our lives, often engrossed and nearly entirely occupied with dunya, the external material world of forms and appearances, leads to heedlessness, unconsciousness and loss of focus, also known as ghaflah. When asking, “Why do Muslims go to Hajj in Mecca?“, one of the most important reasons for the Hajj in Mecca is to assert focus and to regain consciousness.

All created bodies spin in orbits around their centers, axes, and the proper foundation and center for the life of a human being is the Presence of God, a real and authentic holy spiritual connection to the Creator of all-that-is, the One Power from which all things originate.

The Hajj in Mecca emphatically asserts, as throngs of pilgrims circumambulate the Holy Ka’ba in counter-clockwise revolutions, that the center, the focus, the root, source and foundation of man’s life is God-consciousness.

There is no more liberating a choice for a human being than to consciously relinquish attachment to creation and to time, and to restore focus on the Eternal, the Unchanging, the Immaterial, the Absolute.

Just as galaxies spin around massive black holes that ultimately result in their annihilation, so too does the life of man revolve around increasing God-consciousness, ultimately resulting in the annihilation of the self, the ego, and through that ‘death’, awakening to eternal and true life.

“Die before you die.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws)

Why do Muslims Go to Hajj in Mecca? Context.

Islam is not, and has never seen itself, as an isolated religion or phenomenon. To the contrary, Islam has from the beginning asserted that the descent of the Holy Qur’an and the prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) were but the final revelation, completing, clarifying and unifying all of that which had been revealed prior.

Islam, the path of spiritual surrender, did not begin with the Prophet Muhammad (saws), but rather began with the first man and woman, Adam and Eve (as), and continued as the central teaching of all men and messengers of God, including the prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (as).

During the Hajj in Mecca, Muslims honor the Holy Ka’ba originally built by Adam (as) as the first House of God when he awakened upon the earth, rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael (as) centuries later, and finally purified by the Prophet Muhammad (saws) in the seventh century of the idolatry that had desecrated it.

Why do Muslims go to Hajj in Mecca?

To reaffirm their connection to a much larger historical context, and to remember that Islam is not a separate or unique religion, revealed to but a particular people, but rather that Islam is the original message and spiritual path, the Way, surrender and divine harmony, as it has been revealed from the earliest of times to the earliest of human beings as the road to peace and prosperity.

The Hajj in Mecca is thus intended to lead to greater humility and brotherhood with all of humanity in the context of the realization that all prophets and messengers of God taught the same essential truth.

The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined upon Noah, that which We have sent by inspiration to thee and that which We enjoined upon Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein.
To they who worship other than Allah, hard is that to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn towards Him.
— Surah ash-Shura (Holy Quran, 42:13)

Why Do Muslims Go to Hajj in Mecca? Transcendence.

During the Hajj in Mecca, millions of human beings stand together under the hot sun with nothing but the ihram, a few pieces of white cloth covering their bodies. All the trappings of life have fallen away, all worldly attachments non-existent and left behind. The atmosphere is remarkably reminiscent of the accounts of the Day of Judgement, when humanity will be resurrected and held to face what they sent ahead in deeds and actions.

On that Day, it will not matter what type of car a person drove nor will the square footage of the size of their home be of significance. It will be irrelevant what temporal occupation they had. What will matter is what positive difference one made in the lives of other human beings.

What will matter on that Day is the degree of responsibility with which we lived our lives. On that Day, we will not be measured by our bank accounts as we are now, but by the level of spiritual and human development we embraced and cultivated.

During the Hajj in Mecca, one cannot but be reminded of the life beyond, the life eternal, when the world and all it contains has fallen away, and all that matters is the eternal destiny of the human soul.

Why do Muslims go to Hajj in Mecca?

To transcend to whatever degree they are prepared the world of forms and appearances, to experience life and dignity beyond the limitations of materialism, and to irrevocably grow in spiritual consciousness and awareness.

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why Do Muslims Go to Hajj In Mecca? God.

The holy pilgrimage of the Hajj in Mecca is not a once in a lifetime event to be experienced and forgotten, but rather is a uniquely powerful spiritual experience designed to forevermore change a human being and his or her focus.

For the believer, the Muslim, the center and focus of life is God-consciousness, awareness and clarity. The five daily prayers are meant to continually reinforce this truth, this Way, and the full realization of the Islamic spiritual path is obtained through a deeper realization of the significance of the Hajj.

That realization is that God is not in the Ka’ba, but rather that the Divine Presence is to be found within the human heart, the soul.

It was when the great Muslim mystic poet Jalaluddin Rumi realized this divine truth that he began to circumambulate around the center and axis of his very own being, his own soul, and thus was born the spiritual practice and experience of “sufi whirling”.

God has said, “Neither the heavens nor the earth can contain Me, save the heart of a believer.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws)

Often, we must make the external journey to realize that we carry within us that which we seek.

Hajj in Mecca — Sufi Whirling

Experience the Hajj — Now

By incorporating the intentions outlined in this article, you can get the most out of Hajj. In fact, you can share in these spiritual benefits even if you are not physically performing the Hajj in Mecca.

Keep these principles in mind and make them part of your intention in your daily practice.

1. Seek Unity

Realize and remember that separation is the ego’s method of maintaining a separate and independent existence from God. Love all of humanity, regardless of the superficial differences of culture and creed. In our souls, in our hearts, we are all the same, we are all One.

2. Maintain Focus

Continually maintain focus on Eternity, on the Divine Presence of God, rather than allowing yourself to become overtaken by dunya, the world of form and appearances that continually seeks to distract us and lead us into heedlessness, unconsciousness and loss of purpose. Use the Five Daily Prayers as an opportunity to continually reaffirm your focus and direction in life. Tune in to the power of the present moment.

3. Preserve Context

Remember that Islam is a universal path of peace and brotherhood, and that it’s goal is to move beyond war, conflict, violence and enemies. The goal of Islam, as taught by the Holy Prophet (saws) and revealed in the Holy Qur’an, is for humanity to seek and live in peace, differences allowed and human rights protected. The Muslim is the exemplar of human excellence, and this requires a divine degree of love, tolerance and compassion. This requires the transcendence of the self and ego.

4. Pursue Enlightenment

The one veil that separates a human being from the direct experience of the Divine Presence of God is the self, the ego, the nafs. The Islamic spiritual path is designed to ultimately liberate a human being from this limited, finite and selfish personality, and this is only possible through Jihad an-Nafs, the holy struggle against the lower self.

5. Discover the Divine Presence

Continually turn inward, take advantage of silence and stillness, and learn to dissolve in the perfection of the present moment, the doorway into the Divine Presence of God. Let go of past and future, forgive, and awaken to fearlessness and life, here, now.

Why do Muslims go to Hajj in Mecca?

Ultimately, we go to Hajj in Mecca to realize our true divine destiny and purpose, to become what God Almighty created humanity for — awakened and enlightened spiritual deputies of the One, perfected servants in creation, open, clear, transparent, purified of selfishness, living exemplars of goodness, beauty, light, compassion and love.

Comment Below

  • Have you been on the Hajj yet?
  • What were some of the most profound and beautiful experiences of the journey?
  • What advice would you give someone who is planning to go to Hajj to get the most out of the experience?

Hajj in Mecca Space Tawwaf — Return to Your Source


Rediscover Islamic Spirituality

The Islamic path to the Divine Presence necessitates Tazkiyyat an-Nafs, “purification of the self”, and Islamic Spirituality is designed to facilitate and accelerate this process, and to gently guide a human being to enlightenment and peace.

When the Divine Presence is re-established as the axis and center of our lives, peace and prosperity naturally flow from the ocean of Divine Providence. Our lives become healed and whole. And we rediscover balance and divine purpose.

Rediscover Your True Self



Comments 59

  1. Thank you for answering the question I always had in my mind, but did not to dare ask. I am a convert and there are things that I still need to learn. I learn something new everyday that passes by.

  2. The way you write this entry is magnificently beautiful, as beautiful as how Islam is. SubhanaAllah, thank you for sending this link to my email or else, I wouldn’t have read it. Do keep sharing more useful knowledge. :)

  3. JazakAllah Khair Brother Ihsan for this concise explaination of Hajj.
    This Dhul Hijjah has been most fruitful, as i have been able to, for the first time, understand the full meaning of Hajj and what we, who are not able to go, can do. Ibadah, as it relates to Hajj, to have a share in Allah’s (swt) many blessings. Fasting, dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah), kindling family ties, doing good deeds, and giving in charity; also sacrificing an animal to give to the poor and needy.

  4. ‘Find God. Continually turn inward, take advantage of silence and stillness, and learn to dissolve in the perfection of the present moment, the doorway into the Divine Presence of God. Let go of past and future, forgive, and awaken to fearlessness and life, here, now.’

    I love this. I need to remember this in every moment. Intend to copy this somewhere, so InshaAllah, i can look at it every day and every moment.
    Thank you Ihsan.Beautifully written. Alhamdulillah… wa Shukrulillah…

  5. Wa Aleykum Salaam Ihsan

    shukran so much, May the Almighty Allah inspire you more. Have a wonderful Eid with your loved ones. and may Allah ta Allah grant all our hujaaj a gadj makbool and mabroor and to reach their homes safe


  6. Alhumdulillah, I have never had the purpose of Hajj explained like that. So clear and practical. As opposed to just saying we go to hajj because it is one of the five pillars. Thank you brother for outlining the spiritual implications behind tawaf, can you give explanation for the other Hajj rites, like running between Safa and Mawra, cutting of hair etc? I really enjoy and can apply the information that is given about the rebirthing the spiritual aspects of Islam.

  7. Post

    Ameen, may Allah Almighty accept the Hajj of all pilgrims and the sacred intentions of the entire Ummah, and may we all return to the light, grace and beauty of Islam.

  8. Aslmu Alkm i have found this article because a revert to islam asked me to get him an answer on the question ,Algamdulila shukran to you brother for a clear and informative explanation and may guide and protect you always Amien


  9. Does God really lives in this house or it is a symbole…? if symbole then why it is the fundamental of your faith.. to visite an empty home which is non then brick and wall with black cloth on top to hide it?

    1. According to Islamic belief, God does not live in the Kaba or any other “house”, but is ever-present. Of course, even this explanation is a simplification of the truth, which would take far more to point to. As to why do Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca and perform the Hajj, I suggest you read the article above ;-)

  10. What a wonderful, informative and concise explaination. I specially love the way and the words you used to explain Hajj.
    Well done, and may Allah rewards you for this.

  11. What I still cannot understand is the fact that; as Quran revealed that all human-being are equal and we go to Mecca to attest to that right? Okay why are black Muslims treated badly in must of the Arab countries? the pilgrimage have being performed for centuries yet people’s attitudes stays the same in regards to equality. Is there something bad being black that we the black community should know? Why is slavery still existed in Arab countries I had visited recently and accepted by their respective governments? Why is it that black Muslims have more freedom in Christian countries than Muslim countries? Thanks in advance.

    1. Greetings and peace! If the Muslim world were truly following the spirit of Islam, our entire world would be a blessed and happy place. Alas, unfortunately, we have lost the way. However, it is now time for change, and for a spiritual revolution within the Muslim community. A revolution of personal evolution, one that will light the way forward for humanity. May Allah guide us all towards His divine will, towards love, tolerance, compassion, sincerity and freedom from the ego-self which is the source of selfishness, arrogance, pride, enmity and separation. Be blessed!

      1. Thanks Ihsan and blessing to the al-mighty Allah for your response. I was really a believer to Islam whole heartedly to motivate me to travel and see the brothers in Islam in the Middle east last year from the 01.03.2012-17.5.2012. I was really dismayed and disappointed when I saw the condition meted on my black brothers. Then I said to myself is Islam then for black people because what I red in Quran is very different from what I am now witnessing. Yes one can say it has nothing to do with Islam but then again Islam is originated from Arab countries and the Quran was assembled by them too, therefore all Muslims are looking the perfection of Islam through the behaviours of Arabs.

        I am still praying 5 times a day with a very weak conviction. Must of the black Muslims I met throughout my journey have their own stories to make me cry like a baby I had even taking some photos and videos on the condition even thus they have been living in these countries for generations still they cannot get their liberty but stay forever as slaves with the acceptance of their individual governments Morocco,Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi just to name few I had visited. I am now assisting Muhammed and his family from Iraq and as well as Billal from Morocco respectively. Thanks again for your response God bless you.

    2. I know that so many things are being done wrong in the Arab countries which has nothing to do with Islam. It is the people who get corrupted not the religion. Sometimes, I have seen Moslims abusing the Islamic teachings to gain whatever they want, mostly money and power. May God help us all to find our own flaws and work on our own limitations and also May He help us finding good leaders in all our Islamic countries. Ameen.

  12. It would have helped had she given a brief background on “Hajj” which is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islamic faith…Furthermore, a chronological sequential description would have made a lot of sense…

  13. The Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the five duties that every Muslim must follow in order to be a true follower of this religion. It is the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is the holiest city for all Muslims in the world. Every able-bodied Muslim is supposed to manage at least one trip to Mecca in his lifetime. However, if he can’t do it himself, he can also make someone else go on his behalf.

  14. Alsalamu alikoum

    Thanks dear Ihsan for sharing with us this beautifully question/answer article re Hajj to Mecca .
    I was so happy to find it in my email an hour ago !

    The fact that I am now getting through a reflection journey myself and I am staying with a Canadian friend for some peace and other purposes , your article and the supportive words within are truly valuable to be part of my present days schedule .

    On the other side , I am not speaking or writing good English as English is my second Language .I am Arabic …….so the clarification as well as the style in question and answer will be helpful to me and my conversation around Islam in general and Haj in particular with my friend

    .I have already begun sharing with her and her family some of the practices as a Muslim during the 10th days of Thulhejjah….they are all now familiar with my fasting and then to celebrate Eid Al Aduha

    .She helped me to visit the mosque here where I stay and I met with the Immam to ask him something about Salat Al Eid on Saturday inshaalah .

    I went through the readers comments I loved them but wondering about why my brother who has generalized about treating the black ? It is frankly not the way as he said at least in my country .

    Thank you for providing me the opportunity to share and promise to do awesome things because of your article …Allah ybarek feek .

    1. Post

      Blessings and peace, sister Aysha, may your travels increase you in strength, understanding and spiritual light, and may Allah Almighty grant you to be a means to the Way for others. To your divine success, both here and hereafter.

  15. Thank you for sharing these amazingly insightful & soul awakening teachings. I love the heart of Islam. Inshallah I will be able to go to Hajj someday

    1. Post
  16. Thank you Brother Ihsan for bringing me this far. I am ever so grateful for bringing all of us back home. Thank you for guidance.
    May Allah shower you with unending knowledge of Islam and All That Is.
    Thank you so much for your love and kindness.

    1. Post

      Thank you, dear Farida, may Allah Almighty continually shower His eternal divine blessings and grace upon you and your loved ones, and grant you the best of both worlds. Happy and blessed Eid, to your divine success.

  17. Salaam Brother Ihsan thank you so very much for your email. MashaAllah what a wonderful and insightful write up about hajj.
    It brought tears to my eye’s as I remembered going to hajj aged 50 the spiritual experience was amazing. The first time as I walked in to the Kaba well I hid my face just couldn’t look . So filled with awe and wonder my body was shaking. When I lowered my hand and looked tears ran down my face as I knew it was my time to be there. We are called at the right time for us Allah in his infinite mercy made it easy for me.
    Lying on the ground in the cold dessert of Australia I had left my sleeping bag behind, it was freezing. I had a long cardigan to keep me warm but saw an elderly Woman shivering with the cold I gave her my cardigan.
    Then I lay down amongst people from every nation on earth. I had lost my companions from Ireland and didn’t know anyone around me. Putting my trust in Allah swta I drifted into sleep freezing cold thinking of the Prophet Muhammad saws who had also lay down in this place.
    During the night someone had shown mercy on me and covered me with their sleeping bag. May they be rewarded for their kindness inshaAllah.
    Truly on hajj I realised we are one ummah praising our Lord together in light and love. This is the path of Islam surrender. As I surrendered on hajj my path was made easy inshaALlah.

    Thank you most sincerely Brother Ihsan for your reminder.
    May you be blessed in light and love

    1. Post

      Masha’llah, what a beautiful and inspiring experience. Thank you for sharing, Bridget!

      May Allah Almighty carry you eternally forward unto His Divine Presence of light and grace, beauty, awe and wonder.

      To the absolute bewilderment and ecstasy of your soul in Eternity Oceans of Light and Mercy.

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  20. I really appriciate for this post above you shared for all of us. But performing Hajj is very costly today. Because Hajj packages and Ummrah packages are costly now a days. But I have seen that Eiman Travels are provided cheapest rate for hajj and ummrah. It will be faithful journey for all of you. I had done my journey of Ummrah recently. Then i will suggest you this travel agency. Please visit this page http://www.eimantravels.co.uk

  21. What if only 25% of the people who go to Hadj decide do do not go to Hadj, but instead give the money to the Syrian kids who are being slaughtered and starving everyday, or to the Sudanese, or the Rohyngyas, …or maybe use the money to build schools, educate people, help all the Muslims people who are struggling..?

    What will be better for Allah? Giving billions or dollars to a corrupt regime who is bombarding the poorest Muslim country in the world ( Yemen) or help people who are in need?

    Really? do you think Allah wants you to go give millions and millions of dollars to the Saudis so they can keep spreading Wahhabism, fanaticism, corruption, ignorance ….while there are million of Syrians starving … ?

    When I read all the comments and what is said here It makes it easy for me to understand why Islam become synonymous of fanaticism, ISIS, Taliban, ignorance, underdevelopment, dictatorships…

    May Allah open your eyes and save Islam from ignorance and Evil

  22. This article has indeed left no stone unturned as regards the question why do Muslims go to hajj in Mecca.We hope that all Muslims will endeavor to read it in full and prepare to embark on the journey if they have not done so yet taking into consideration that they have the means and the health to do so. There is nothing to gain except forgiveness of sins and a heavy reward of Jannah. This world is just a passing shadow and will soon vanish and we must aim at the next world . May Allah grant us Janatul Firdaws when we pass away from this world.

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