Religious Pilgrim

Tha man on the left at this hotel desk in Jeddah is a religious pilgrim. All Muslims are required to make a religious pilgrimmage called Hajj during a specific time of the year to Makkah at least once in their lifetime, if they are able to. There are many ritualistic tasks that the pilgrims must perform, such as circling the Kaaba stone and symbolically stoning the devil. Many Muslims also travel to the holy city of Makkah at other times of the year as well and perform the same tasks. This pilgrimmage is called Omra. When men travel to Makkah for the pilgrimmage, they wear two large pieces of seamless white cloth wrapped around their bodies. Women are only required to dress modestly. On most flights into Jeddah, it is not uncommon to see many men pilgrims wearing the white cloths during the flight.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Clothing, Life, Photo, Religion, Saudi Arabia and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Religious Pilgrim

  1. Adira says:

    Thanks for the picture and information.

    I was aware of the clothing men were required to wear while on a pilgrimage in Makkah. However, I always thought it was something they changed into once they got there, before taking part in any of the rituals.

    Didn’t know some male pilgrims wear the white garments even on the plane coming over, or in any city in Saudi Arabia except for Makkah or Medina.

    The symbolism, of everyone being the same before God, is an excellent one.

    As far as the women are concerned, I’ve read they are not to be veiled while performing the rituals in Makkah. Is this true?

    Also, are the women required to wear all white as well?

    • Muslim men wear simple white garments with no adornment at all during Hajj and Omra, making all men equal with no indication of their wealth or status. Nothing is to be worn on a man’s head either. Some women also choose to wear white, but they are allowed to wear any color they want. Their hair must be covered and whatever the woman wears, it must be simple, loose fitting, not showing her limbs, and not attract attention. From what I’ve read, women are not to veil or wear gloves while performing the pilgrimage, however if she wants to hide herself from the gaze of an unrelated male, she can temporarily cover her face. Another interesting thing that I read is that women are allowed to wear jewelry but men are not.

  2. Dina says:

    Even on the plane?!
    I’m glad you got this picture. It is very special.

    • Thanks, Dina – I see the pilgrims all the time walking along the streets here, but it’s always been so difficult for me to get a good photo. We were eating breakfast at this particular hotel when across the lobby I spotted this guy and whipped out my camera. I’m very happy with it.

  3. Chiara says:

    I find this photo esthetically pleasing but the subject somehow offensive. It makes it look as if this religious covering is a beach cover and the man wearing it stopping at the hotel desk on his way between room and pool. Disconcerting! LOL 🙂

    • I think that it’s all considered part of their pilgrimmage – they don’t stop to change once they get there. Whenever my husband goes, he always leaves the house wearing the white sheets. I have also seen some men boarding the airplane in the states wearing it. They don’t do it for show or anything like that – it’s all part of the whole pilgrimmage.

      • Chiara says:

        Thanks for the explanation Susie. I wasn’t meaning to criticize your photo, but I was surprised by the phenomenon. I know that at the start of the hajj once in Mecca this is required but didn’t realize that hajji’s wear the same outside of the actual rituals. Thanks again!

      • Dina says:

        I think such devotion could be called “Walking the talk.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s