(Arabic; derived from the root ha-ja-(ja)), meaning ‘to betake oneself to’, also, occurs in other Semitic languages. The word Hajj usually refers to the annual pilgrimage by Muslims to the Ka‘ba in Mecca, also called the Great Pilgrimage, in contrast to ‘Umra, the Lesser Pilgrimage. The Islamic Hajj owes most of its rituals to the pre-Islamic pilgrimage. Currently, it takes place over five days, 8-12 of the twelfth month (Dhu al-Hijja) of the Muslim lunar calendar. On the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijja, pilgrims offer an animal sacrifice to commemorate Abraham’s sacrifice. The day is celebrated by Muslims worldwide as ‘id al-Adha. Muslims from diverse ethnic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds come together to perform the ritual. It was only in the 8th year of the Hijra, 630 CE, when the first Muslim community performed the Hajj. The Prophet’s first pilgrimage as head of the Muslim pilgrims was in 10 AH/ 632 CE; it was also his last, whence the title, hujjat al-wada‘ (‘farewell-pilgrimage’).