If Arafat is on a Friday, then many describe it as Hajj Akbar (Big Hajj). There is no big or small Hajj. There is only one Hajj. Every year is Hajj Akbar. The 10th day of Dhul Hijja is described in The Qur’an as Yaum-ul-Hajjil-Akbar.
Performance of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is required of every adult Muslim, male or female, if physically and financially possible. Many Muslims spend their entire lives saving and planning for this journey; others make the pilgrimage more than once if they are able.
The requirements for performing the pilgrimage are as follows:
- Maturity and sound mind, in order to understand the significance of the pilgrimage experience;
- Physical capability to travel and perform the pilgrimage rites;
- Financial stability, free of debt, so that one is able to bear the pilgrimage expenses as well as provide for dependents during travel.
For one who meets these criteria, performing the pilgrimage is obligatory.