When is Hajj 2022? Beginning Date and End Day

Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, is expected to go ahead this year with no restrictions on attendance numbers for the first time since 2019.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, both 2020 and 2021 saw caps on the number of participants: for 2020 this was 10,000, rising to 60,000 the following year.

Hajj is an Arabic term translating roughly as 'to intend a journey.' Making the journey is one of the pillars of Islam, and every Muslim is expected to undertake the endeavor at least once in their life.

There are five pillars in Islam, Hajj is the fifth pillar. the others are salat (daily prayer), shahadah (statement of faith), sawm (fasting throughout Ramadan), zakat (giving of alms).

When is Hajj 2022?

This year, Hajj will begin on the evening of July 7 and end on the evening of July 12.

Throughout Hajj, men are expected to wear ihram garments, while women should wear white and only have their faces and hands uncovered. As soon as they arrive to Mecca, pilgrims enter a state of ihram, known as a state of purity. While in ihram, they must not fight, cut their nails or hair, or engage in sexual activity.

As described by Ahmed Versi, editor at Muslim News: "No anger is allowed, no killing, not even of a fly, nor may Hajjis scratch, just in case they kill an insect. They are not allowed to have sex; the marriage vows are temporarily broken. Human physical desires are given up for desire for God, for getting closer to Him. Hajjis may not look into a mirror, nor use perfume."

A picture of pilgrims ready for Hajj
A picture of pilgrims outside the Jannat al-Mualla, known as the "Cemetery of Mala", in Mecca on July 4, 2022, preparing for Hajj Getty Images

What is Hajj?

Hajj is a religious pilgrimage, where millions of Muslims converge and perform a series of rituals including:

  • Walking counter-clockwise seven times around the Ka'aba
  • Running seven times between the mountains of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah
  • Going to Mount Arafat
  • Going to Muzdalfah and then to Mina, where a symbolic stoning ritual is performed by throwing pebbles at three walls
  • Qurbani, otherwise known as sacrificing an animal

The charity Islamic Help said on its website: "It is mandatory for Muslim adults to go on Hajj at least once in their lifetime. They must be of sound mind and physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey. Those who complete the pilgrimage can add the title Hajji to their names."

Islamic Help added that the rituals performed at Hajj, "were established by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) but, based on the Qur'an, they can be traced back to the Prophet Ibrahim, (alaihis salaam), also referred to in English as Abraham."