Hajj Tours Booming New Industry in US

January 20, 2005

Source: Beliefnet.com/The Chicago Tribune


On January 20, 2005 The Chicago Tribune reported, "Zubair and Aisha Khan wanted to make the spiritual pilgrimage to Mecca, to circle the black stone shrine in the glistening Saudi desert and become 'hajjis,' a title bestowed on Muslims who make the sacred journey to Islam's holiest city. So the Chicago couple slapped down roughly $7,000 last year to Barakah Hajj & Umrah, an Oak Brook-based company that plans every detail of the annual religious rite, from the airfare to the air-conditioned tents that house pilgrims during one leg of the journey. For that lump sum, the Khans got airline seats, stays in four-star hotels and tents, three meals a day, bus rides, religious seminars and help in obtaining Hajj visas from the Saudi government... But as more and more American Muslims seek the experience [of the hajj], they are quietly helping to transform the sojourn into a multimillion-dollar industry, fueled by a desire to commune with God without giving up modern amenities. As Islam and the wealth of the Muslim community in America grows, so does demand for Hajj tour services."