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Up to 25,000 British Muslims travel annually to Makkah and its environs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the great Islamic pilgrimage, the Hajj. As the fifth pillar (arkan) of Islam, the pilgrimage returns Muslims to the birthplace of their faith and is a duty once in their lifetime, so long as they have the health and wealth to do so. But how have the social, cultural, religious, economic and political dimensions of the pilgrimage been transformed in the late modern age?

Mr El Sawy outside his premises near Regent's Park Mosque

The website explores the context of Hajj-going in Britain, how it is organised and the experiences of British Muslims before, during and after their pilgrimages. Rather than an idealised account of the Hajj, it explores its lived realities, both spiritually inspired moments and more mundane and contested everyday experiences.

The reports, explainer, photographs, audio clips and exhibition materials shared on these pages are all drawn from the research of Professor Seán McLoughlin and team between 2011-2020.

Pilgrim who participated in this research, Hajj 2007.