Muslims in the U.S. Begin Hajj to Saudi Arabia

March 5, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 5, 2000, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca through the eyes of a Garden Grove, California family who are about to embark on the journey. The Sufi-Ismail family, consisting of Muzni and Shamilla, their three daughters, and Shamilla's mother, will leave shortly on the Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith that every devout Muslim must fulfill at least once in one's lifetime, health and finances permitting. Shamilla Sufi-Ismail stated: "Every Muslim wants to do this, to go to the house of Allah as his guest...It's very emotional. We're doing this for the love of Allah." The journey is costly, arduous, and involves camping out in tents with millions of other Muslims. Muzni and Shamilla have been saving money - about $2000 per person going on the trip - for a decade in order to do this. Last year, approximately 6,000 American Muslims took part in the pilgrimage. This year, approximately 2 million Muslims from around the world are expected to perform the Hajj.