Hajji (Pashto: حاجی, Persian: حاجی, Arabic: الحجّي al-ḥajjī or الحاج al-ḥājj, Bosnian: Hadžija, Kurdish: Hecî, Turkish: Hacı, Hausa: Alhaji, pilgrim; sometimes spelled Hadji or Haji) or El-Hajj, is an honorific title given to a Muslim person who has successfully completed the Hajj to Mecca, and is often used to refer to an elder, since it can take time to accumulate the wealth to fund the travel. The title is placed before a person's name (for instance, Saif Gani becomes Hajji Saif Gani). It is derived from the Arabic al-Ḥājj, which is the active participle of the verb ḥajja 'to make the pilgrimage to Mecca'. 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. In some areas, the title has been handed down the generations, and has become a family name. Such usage can be seen, for example, in the Bosniak surname Hadžiosmanović, which means 'son of Hajji Osman'.
In Arab countries, Ḥājj and Ḥājjah (pronunciation varying based on the form of Arabic spoken) is a common respectful manner of addressing any older person, regardless of whether or not the person in question has actually performed the pilgrimage.
The term is also used in the Balkan Christian countries that were once under Ottoman domination (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia, Cyprus and Romania) for a Christian who had traveled to Jerusalem and the Holy Lands.
In Cyprus, where for centuries Christians and Muslims intermixed freely and Jerusalem is conveniently local, the title became so prevalent as to be permanently integrated into some Greek Christian family names, such as Hajiioannou, regardless of any lack of qualification.
US military in Iraq 
The term was frequently used by US military forces deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom to refer to enemy Iraqi insurgents, or even indigenous Arabic civilians, in a similar manner to "Charlie" or "Victor Charlie" for the Viet Cong enemy faced by US forces in the Vietnam War. Various US media commentators have condemned this usage as racist, noting its dehumanizing connection to previous US wars such as Vietnam, in which the US faced a similarly decentralized, concealed enemy which utilized guerrilla warfare to blend amongst the local noncombatant population.
See also 
- Malise Ruthven (1997). Islam: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-19-285389-9.
- "Guide to going to Mecca". BBC. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
- "Jerusalem and Ancient Temples (in Greek)". apologitis.com. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- Slang from Operation Iraqi Freedom http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq-slang.htm
- Herbert, Bob (May 2, 2005). "From 'Gook' to 'Raghead'". The New York Times.