Hajji

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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 is the term Hadži, used by Orthodox Christians in some Balkan countries. It denotes people who have gone on pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Etymology[edit]

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]

Use[edit]

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 by Arabic dialect) 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 (particularly before commercial air travel), and in many Muslim societies to a respected man as an honorific title. The title is prefixed to 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]

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[edit]

The term was borrowed in Balkan Christian countries formerly under Ottoman rule (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Romania), and are used for Christians who have travelled to Jerusalem and the Holy Lands.[2] In some areas the title has been fossilised as a family name, for example in the Bosniak surname Hadžiosmanović ("son of Hajji Osman").[citation needed]

In Cyprus, the title is so prevalent that it has also been permanently integrated into some Greek Christian surnames, such as Hajiioannou. This is due to Cyprus' long history of Christian and Muslim influence.[citation needed]

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

Racial slur[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

  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.