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.
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