Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments that strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.
The rites of the hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include going around the Ka'bah seven times, and going seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar (Hajir, Abraham's wife) during her search for water.
The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to faith.
The five pillars are the shahadah (witnessing the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad ), regular observance of the five prescribed daily prayers (salat), paying zakah (almsgiving), fasting (sawm; siyyam) during the month of Ramadan, and performance of the hajj (pilgrimage during the prescribed month) at least once in a lifetime.
The pilgrims later stand together on the wide plains of 'Arafat (a large expanse of desert outside Makkah) and join in prayer for God's forgiveness, in what is often thought as a preview of the Day of Judgment.
The close of the hajj is marked by a festival, the 'Id al Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.
Worshipers then utter other Quranic verses while completing the ritual bowing, which is followed by prostration, performed on the knees with both hands on the ground and the forehead touching between them.
Worshipers repeat their glorification of God and prostration three times.
These five prescribed prayers contain verses from the Qur'an, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation. An individual may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa-h, and does so preferably in secret.
Personal supplications, however, can be offered in one's own language and at any time. Although this word can be translated as "voluntary charity" it has a wider meaning.