The Ka’aba is an extraordinary glimpse at an entire culture, a tremendous exhibition of faith. The expression of pilgrimage is truly universal and intriguing. The disparate views illustrate the wide variety of attraction that Islam holds. The Hajj is a fundamental driver for Mecca, it is amazing that only those of the Muslim faith may go to Mecca. The Ka’aba is interesting in that it is said to come from Adam, than Abraham. The black stone is a mysterious and compelling structure.
The complexity of the rituals associated with Hajj is surprising. Especially considering that this is one of the fastest growing international religions. The demonstrations of resistance from her family those around her, illustrates the difficulty involved. The authorization provided by the son was surprising, yet she should have been prepared, this is a pillar of the Muslim culture. The antiquity of the pilgrimage to Mecca is astounding, that it came directly from Abraham, such an influential figure that inspired so many different stories all converge around the submission and the journey. It is not the steps of Muhammad, but the steps of Abraham that are followed to Mecca.
The expense of the Ka’aba, is amazing. That the king ceremoniously washed the holy relic is indicative of the depth of belief. The gold woven cloth is simply amazing in scope and breadth. The difference between the safety of the ancient trek and the current governmental model of efficiency is a tribute to the overall continuous effort. Travellers often share up to ten to a room; this is a inspiring illustration of belief in action. The massive amount of people is staggering, the teaching of patience, respect and courtesy are demanded on every level. Clothes that are associated with the burial shroud make each of the pilgrims equal, this is very illuminating concept.
The willingness of the worshippers to show devotion is astounding as such large groups take part in the moving ritual. The coordination and effort involved is tremendous. The mosque that now encompasses the hills, again illustrates the faith and the amazing things that occur with generations of effort. The poor children of Mecca, so close to the centre is disturbing. I would have expected more of a giving attitude standing in the shadow of such a powerful centre.
80 per cent of Muslims today are non-Arab that is a drastic change from generations past. The fact that two million people can walk peacefully today, with no grooming, arguing or sex; it is a profound accomplishment of faith and devotion to have that mass of followers come together in such a positive manner. The tents provided by the Saudi government are a true demonstration of the support and the positive benefit that can come from that. All are equal before God, but pilgrims can pay for comfort, that seems to be at odds with the base message.
The questions from the other to the Caucasian woman demonstrate a little bit of cultural discrimination. Again, the treatment of the South African is opposite to what I would have thought, with a taste of racial discrimination. And then the next day, the entire group comes back together to celebrate God, shows that there is the capacity to heal and look beyond the physical into the spiritual. Hajj is Arafat, if a pilgrim is not within the boundaries, the entire journey could be for nothing. Ishmael, has it good when compared to the poorer pilgrims, this facet of the pilgrimage disturbs me.
In the end, each of the pilgrims seems to demonstrate the basic tenants of Islam. Despite their situations, each of them is truly impacted by the experience. On a fundamental level this shows how Islam has the ability to reach to every corner of every society.
YouTube (n.d.). Inside Mecca. [online] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFQHgdmJqjo [Accessed: 11 Jul 2013].