Hajji  - the honorific title given to a devout Muslim who has completed the once-in-a-life-time pilgramage to Mecca - carries the kudos of the knighthood in the Commonwealth world. Like turning 'Sir' one who has completed Hajj is vaunted with the proud pre-fix 'Hajj' before their name, and so joins the ranks of the global faithful and most typically grandparents everywhere. Celebrities with their eye on the glory, more than any other starry eyed members of society, love the chance to be piled with more titles and honors, especially if they have failed to bag an Oscar or Murex D'Or.  Whether they're more famous for their good acting, stellar singing or scandalous private lives, many of the Arab world's darling celebrities are taking a break from the hype to make that spiritual journey to Mecca for Hajj or Umrah. Celebs can be good Muslims too, their public pilgrimages suggest. But is there more to these religious sacrifices than meets the eye?During this holy Hajj week leading up to the Muslim Eid al Adha, (Feast of Sacrifce)  we put the spotlight on some of our fickle Arab celebs who like to flirt with their religion like their fans. Some use it to repair marriages - the ultimate couple counselling - others to earn brownie points with the Almighty and wipe their scandal-ridden slates clean. Most celebs after all will try anything once!A bit like the Catholic faith that allows for habitual cleansing of sins, it seems that certain of the year-round party set, those rich and famous, but also fallen, Muslims latch on to the spiritual journey of Hajj or Umrah (Hajj light)  as a chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of God but also their fanbase. Not so popular a decision with some Saudi Mecca officials who would like to see a ban on the less than holy supplicants, but of course Islam's holiest sites are not privy to a screening policy (though a no-go area for non-Muslims).
Still other naughty Hajji hopefuls will use the whole exercise as an excuse to be away from home and family. Gulf men have been called out on their dishonest pilgramage ruse to go on a boys trip abroad. Some thirty Kuwaiti wives were none too impressed to find their husbands had spent the New Year in Lebanon while supposed to be on a Umrah in Mecca, and struck back with divorce suits.
As for our favorite entertainers, some of them should be permitted to be in touch with their religious, spiritual side, and others well, they can hood-wink us into believing they need to serve their Islamicduties while enjoying all that Hajj-vegas (increasingly commercial Mecca and Medina)  has to offer. What do you think of these celebrity Arab on Hajj? Should they keep their religious journeys more private?