Hajj, pilgrimage, is an act of worship. It is obligatory only for those who are in good health and who can afford to perform it. The indigent and the sick or disabled are excused. In order to perform Hajj, the individual leaves his home for Hijaz, Makkah and Madinah. On entering Makkah he goes to the Ka‘bah to perform its circumambulation. Then he does a brisk walk (Sa‘iy) between the two hillocks Safa and Marwah, halts at Arafah, casts stones at the Jimar, then sacrifices an animal. These are the main rites of Hajj performed in the month of Dhul Hijjah. Hajj is a symbolic expression of man’s full surrender before his Lord. Through the acts which make up Hajj the servants of Allah make a covenant of giving themselves entirely up to their Creator. Their lives will revolve around Allah alone. They are prepared to make any kind of sacrifice for the Almighty. During the rites and rituals of Hajj, the pilgrims recall the sacrifices made by the architects of the Ka‘bah – the Prophet Ibrahim [a] and his son Isma‘il [a]. The pilgrims also visit those historical places which relate to the life of the Prophet Muhammad [s]. They spend a few weeks in such surroundings, the scene of early Islamic history. In this way the Hajj becomes a means of linking the pilgrim to Allah and his messengers, and reminds him of the upright lives led by the pious servants of Allah. In effect, it creates the possibilities of live contact with the history of Islam. Over and above this, Hajj unites worshipers the world over. It refreshes the minds of the believers with the reality that although they belong to different races and nations, the belief in one Allah serves as a strong basis for universal unity. However diverse in upbringing they may be, and whatever the country or nation to which they belong, in respect of their being worshipers of Allah, they are all one and will always remain united. Hajj is in essence an act of worship, but in practice it affords many benefits affecting the entire Muslim brotherhood, one of these being national unity.