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Hajjis in Hajj 2010

Hajji (Arabic : الحجّي; sometimes spelled Hadji, Haji, Alhaji, Al-Hadj, Al-Haj or El-Hajj) is an honorific title which is given to a Muslim person who has successfully completed the Hajj to Mecca.


Stemming from the same origin, the term Hadži is used in Orthodox Christianity in the Balkan countries for people who go on pilgrimage to the grave of Christ in Jerusalem.


Hajji is derived from the Arabic ḥājj, which is the active participle of the verb ḥajja ("to make the pilgrimage"). The alternative form ḥajjī is derived from the name of the Hajj with the adjectival suffix -ī, and this was the form adopted by non-Arabic languages.[ citation needed ]


Hajji and its variant spellings are used as honorific titles for Muslims who have successfully completed the Hajj to Mecca. [1]

In Arab countries, ḥājj and ḥājjah (pronunciation varies according to the form of Arabic spoken) is a commonly used manner of addressing any older person respectfully, regardless of whether or not the person in question has actually performed the pilgrimage. It is often used to refer to an elder, since it can take years to accumulate the wealth to fund the travel (and did particularly before the advent of mass air travel), and in many Muslim societies to a respected man as an honorific title. The title is placed before a person's name; for example, Saif Gani becomes "Hajji Saif Gani".[ citation needed ]

In Malay-speaking countries, Haji and Hajah are titles given to Muslim males and females respectively who have performed the pilgrimage. These are abbreviated as Hj. and Hjh.[ citation needed ]

The term is also used in the Balkan Christian countries that were once under caliphate rule (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Romania) for a Christian who had traveled to Jerusalem and the Holy Lands. [2]

In Cyprus the title is so prevalent that it has been permanently integrated into some Greek Christian family names, such as Hajiioannou. This happened due to Cyprus' legacy as a place where Christians and Muslims have intermixed for centuries.[ citation needed ]

In Iran the honorific title Haj (حاج) is sometimes used for IRGC commanders, instead of the title Sardar ("General"), such as for Qasem Soleimani.[ citation needed ]

Other religions

The related term hadži is used in Orthodox Christianity in the Balkan countries for people who go on pilgrimage to the grave of Christ in Jerusalem. In some areas the title has become a family name, for example in the Bosniak surname Hadžiosmanović ("son of Hajji Osman").[ citation needed ]

The title has also been used in Jewish communities to honor those who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem or other holy sites in Israel. [3] [ failed verification ]

Racial slur

In the 21st century, American soldiers began using the term Haji as slang for Iraqis, Afghans, or Arab people in general. It is used in the way "gook" or "Charlie" was used by U.S military personnel during the Vietnam War. [4] [5] [6] [7]

See also

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  1. Malise Ruthven (1997). Islam: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 147. ISBN   978-0-19-285389-9.
  2. "Jerusalem and Ancient Temples (in Greek)". apologitis.com. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  3. "ISRAEL ii. JEWISH PERSIAN COMMUNITY – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org.
  4. "Put 'Haji' to Rest | Marine Corps Gazette". Archived from the original on 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  5. Learning to 'embrace the suck' in Iraq Los Angeles Times, 28 January 2007
  6. Slang from Operation Iraqi Freedom globalsecurity.org
  7. Herbert, Bob (May 2, 2005). "From 'Gook' to 'Raghead'". The New York Times.