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Pilgrims to the house of God (2)

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The pilgrimage to God's symbolic house, the holy Ka'ba in Mecca, is not something new. It backs to the dawn of creation with the descent on earth of the Father of the human race,Adam (PBUH).

Perhaps one can say that the most important and most useful philosophy of the Hajj is expression of servitude to God Almighty. This can be seen in all the Hajj rituals like the donning of Ehraam, circumambulation of the Ka'ba, and Sa'y or the trot between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa. By removing his/her ordinary clothes and putting on the simple, white coloured, two piece Ehraam that resembles the shroud, the pilgrim detaches himself from the mundane affairs of the world as he/she prepares to explore the lofty horizons of the world of spirituality. These rituals are meant to purify the human soul and help cleanse the spirit from worldly pollution. Thus the one, who becomes a Haji, is a person reborn. This is a fact acknowledged by a British Muslim lady who on embracing the truth of Islam, now calls herself, Amenah. In her diary, she first thanks God for granting her the chance to perform the Hajj. She writes: After approaching the gates of the Masjid al-Haraam or the Sacred Mosque, our eager eyes fall upon the holy Ka'ba. It looks as if God's House is all-observant of God's guests swarming towards it from all over the globe. I feel that all my body cells have been excited. I have a strange but pleasant feeling.

 

 

I take off my shoes before entering the white marble floor of the Sacred Mosque. Gradually we got close to the Ka'ba and then circumambulated it like butterflies. The atmosphere was of sincerity and solidarity. People of all colours, ages, shapes and sizes, are circumambulating the Ka'ba. The pilgrims chant praises of the Lord Most High. I quickly join them reciting: Allaho Akbar and Lillah al-Hamd (God is Great and Praise be to God). The circumambulation, or making seven rounds around God's House, starts from the specific point between Station of Abraham and the corner of the Ka'ba where the Hajar al-Aswad or the Sacred Black Stone is placed. Pilgrims vie to touch it for praying to God. The Ka'ba is indeed the symbol of monotheism. It is thus the focal point for Muslims all over the world. In this sacred place, all are equal.

Mrs. Amenah says: when I carried out the circumambulation I felt the sense of servitude all through my body. I moved around the Ka'ba enthusiastically and at those moments, I remembered the divine words of God in ayah 75, Surah Zomar, which reads:

"And you shall see the angels going round about the throne glorifying the praise of their Lord"

Adjoining the Ka'ba is a semi circle called Hijr-e Ismael, where Prophet Ishmael and his mother repose in eternal peace, along with some other divine personages, including Prophets. The circumambulation makes us recall the striving of Hajar and Ishmael for the sake of God. During the circumambulation, our left shoulder should be towards the Ka'ba. It is noteworthy that human heart is on the left. So the placing of our heart near the Ka'ba indicates the submission of the heart to the Almighty Creator. In the travel account we read: It is wonderful. I am in the most sacred point of the Islamic world. Allaho Akbar, the House which is the centre gravity for over 1.5 billion world people, has invited me to its hallowed presence. The most important characteristic of this House is that all feel secure.

What a great opportunity for a person to be amongst those who have reached this rendezvous of virtue. At the Ka'ba, we realize that God is Omnipresent and His mercy encompasses all and everything else. He is the Most Merciful and we are basking in His infinite blessings.

 

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