Archive for November, 2008

The journey of forgiveness

The journey of forgiveness by Rabail Altaf and Fahad Altaf

For those on the annual Hajj the journey can be one of great discovery and self-fulfillment.
Two local Muslim kids share their experience of hajj, Rabail Altaf 10 grade student and younger brother Fahad Altaf 7 grade student with their parents join a local group from Orlando, with Caravan of Lights.
it is a journey more than anything else about forgiveness and helping you to focus on your own spiritual well-being.
Any body can change no matter who you are.
For me going on Hajj was very personal thing.  Most people I have spoken to say one thing when they return.  It is indescribable.
I think going on Hajj should help you become a better person.  You can’t judge people’s intentions but one should try to take as much from the Hajj experience as possible.

The sighting of the Kaabah was overwhelming.  I was awestruck by its magnificence, its beauty cannot be described in any other way except by pure experience of its presence.
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Jamarat – Hajj 1427 by Naureen Kamdar

Admins’s Note: Naureen Kamdar, a 23-year-old American Muslim, performed the Hajj with her family in December 2006/1427H. Below is one of her experiences from the five main days of the pilgrimage.

Jamarat

There were several points during the Hajj where I was afraid I was taking my final breaths. This day was one of them.

It was the third day of Hajj and our group of 18 who had traveled together from Atlanta was heading towards the Jamarat Bridge to re-enact Abraham’s ritual of stoning the devil.

The Bridge was built to enable more pilgrims at one time to cast pebbles upon three stone walls (called jamarat) from either underneath or on top of the bridge. The first wall represents the devil tempting Abraham against sacrificing Ishmael. The second represents the devil tempting Abraham’s wife Hagar to stop him from the sacrifice and the third represents the temptation of Ishmael to avoid being sacrificed. Abraham resisted each time by pelting Satan with seven stones, according to the Islamic tradition, so pilgrims re-enact resistance to temptation in the same manner.

In the past the bridge has collapsed, killing thousands, because of the magnitude of pilgrims gathering there at the same time. There have also been fatal incidents where people have fallen down from the pushing and shoving of the crowds and been run over by hordes of pilgrims. Despite the recognition of risk, pilgrims still eagerly go forward every year to complete the rituals related to this part of the Hajj – and last year, we were among those pilgrims.

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Night journey – Hajj 1427 by Naureen Kamdar

Admins’s Note: Naureen Kamdar, a 23-year-old American Muslim, performed the Hajj with her family in December 2006/1427H. Below is one of her experiences from the five main days of the pilgrimage.

Night journey

“Mina, Mina, Mina, Mina, Mina!” the young Arab man shouted as he partially hung out of a small, yellow, school-bus-looking vehicle. It was 11 in the evening and my family and I were frantically running through the streets of Makkah, searching for a ride back to the desert city of Mina, where we were supposed to spend three of the five nights of Hajj worshipping all night long in tents, just like the Prophet Muhammad did during Hajj nearly 1400 years ago.

It was the third day of Hajj, and after performing the traditional morning rituals in Mina, we decided to go to Makkah and spend the rest of the day praying in the holy mosque.

We completely lost track of time, though, and as we stressed about finding a cab at such a late hour, the school-bus caught our attention. We had a few seconds before the school-bus would roll past us and we were faced with a dilemma. It was really dangerous for a woman and her three children, who are from a foreign country and have a cultural and language barrier, to be traveling late at night. However, the risk was unavoidable because we had to make it back to Mina to fulfill our Hajj obligations of spending the night out in the desert worshipping.

Continue reading ‘Night journey – Hajj 1427 by Naureen Kamdar’