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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Muslims and the Hajj

This week as many as 3 million Muslims are participating in the religious poligrimage to Mecca, the hajj. This is one of the most remarkable religious gatherings of any faith. It is a religious obligation for all muslims to participate in the hajj at least once in their lifetime to seek forgiveness.

Mecca during the hajj. The black draped building at the center is the Kaaba.

The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam shared by all muslims. The Shia muslims expand this to eight pillars and the Ishmali Shia muslims include only seven. In simples terms the five pillars are: regularly affirming the creed " There is one God, Allah, and Mohammud is his messenger"; praying five times a day; giving alms; fasting ,as required, and going on the hajj. Islam is on one level a very simple faith of a lifetime, and lifestyle, of devotion. Christianity in its simplist form is not all that dissimilar. In practice, Islam, like Christianity, can be very complex.

For a good explanation of the significance of the hajj visit this award winning blog

If you are interested in reading muslim blogs a good place to start it here.

Of course, I wish everyone would read Sunshine's blog. She is a young teenager who writes about herself, her a schooling and her family and friends, trying to live a normal life in a war zone.
I am a great believer in our responsibility to know something about other faiths so that we may understand them at their highest standard. At a time, when so much is spoken of about Islam, which puts it in a negative light, it is even more important to learn something of this great monotheistic faith with so much in common with Judaism and Christianity


At 11:32 a.m., Blogger possum said...

Another excellent site for anyone interested in learning more about Islam - this site will teach you the history and the practices. Excellent educational site - even with an 800 number and live person to talk to.
ANd I, too, suggest reading Sunshine's blog for an up to the moment day by day account of life in Mosul by a very articulate teenager.
Having lived in the Middle East myself, let me tell you - what most Americans know or think they knbow about Islam is so far from the mark -
Thanks for this great post, Philip.
ps - didja ever notice my cat Hadji's name???? He was an SPCA kitty - found wandering the highway. When he came here, he sought out the Qu'ran when he wanted to nap - usually up on the coffee table. So I decided he was a pilgrim...
Now he naps in my meditation chair next to a picture of the Dalai Lama. Guess he is a Unitarian at heart!

At 9:30 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

I agree totally that knowing as much as we can about other religions is very important.
So many wars and atrocities have been carried out in the name of God.

At 9:38 p.m., Blogger Mary said...


I believe it is our duty to have tolerance and respect for everyone and also to learn about their customs, traditions and religion in order to be truthfully informed. Thank you for posting this. I am going to visit Sunshine's blog.



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