Haj is mentioned in the Hadith as one of the Pillars of Islam. Haj is an imperative duty (Fardh) for all Muslims who have the resources to carry it out. It is to be performed during the days of Haj, once in a lifetime. However, one may perform it more than once. Haj is an ibadah in which money is spent in Allah's way and strength is sacrificed for the pleasure of Allah. At the same time it is a test of patience. Haj also provides Muslims from all parts of the world the opportunity of meeting at a central venue to strengthen the bonds of Muslim Brotherhood.
India is a pluralistic society which is home to more than 147 million Muslims. Indian Muslims constitute the second largest Muslim community in the world. The Haj is incumbent upon all adult Muslims of sound mind with the necessary physical capacity and financial capability. Successive Indian governments have accepted assistance to Indian nationals for the successful performance of the Haj as a serious responsibility. This is viewed as a concrete manifestation of adherence to the principles of secularism enshrined in the Indian Constitution. These principles engender a deep respect for all the religions practiced by Indian citizens and inculcate a commitment to provide all facilities to enable Indian nationals to fulfill their religious obligations in peace and comfort. It is in the context of this commitment that the Haj Section of the Consulate General of India functions as a nodal agency in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to facilitate the pilgrimage of more than 157,000 Indian citizens annually.