The farthest journey I have made yet was when I performed pilgrimage to the sacred city of Makkah. Our plane landed in Jeddah that is one hour drive from Makkah. Traveling between the mountains surrounding the way to Makkah helped clear my mind after the long journey. After settling down in the hotel, I immediately went down to visit the sacred mosque in the valley of Bacca which is visited by millions annually. There I learned that the whole city is sacred because it’s a huge mosque dedicated for worship only. At the time of prayers, you can see people praying every where, in the sacred mosque of the Ka’bah, in its nave, in the outside yard of the mosque and in the streets of the city. People from every where, standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder, praying for their Creator and Sustainer, remembering the previous nations and their strive, reciting the heroic stories of the prophets and their followers, invoking Allah to grant them mercy and gather them all in heaven.
In each prayer, I got to know new people. I have met people from India, Indonesia, England, Germany, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, Japan, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Lebanon, Syria, America, Australia, etc.. I met engineers, doctors, professors, army officers, janitors, bus drivers, accountants, students, even a Saudi Arabian prince, etc., males and females, old and young, and I have come to understand how much all people from the east and the west are connected even though they might not realize it. They may have different colors, languages, habits, clothes, understandings etc., but they all share the same feeling; that they belong to a higher deity who is the Creator of all that exists, He is there watching what they are doing, knowing each and every jot of what they reveal and what they conceal, and to Him they shall return. No need to mention that I was staying among millions of people who all believe in God.
Amazing how those millions at the time of prayers, would all stand in circles surrounding the sacred mosque which they believe to be the first place built by Adam and his progeny for worshipping The Creator. They all practice the same rituals, and recite the same verses at the same moment. All wearing similar clothes, nothing fancy, just very simple white clothes. They eat their meals in groups, every group sharing one plate. Sometimes its dates and glasses of milk, sometimes a plate of fruits and juice bottles, other times its rice and vegetables or occasionally roasted meat. Through the day they may have some rest inside the air conditioned spaces of the mosque or get back to their hotels as the temperature there from forenoon till sunset is always above 110o F. I enjoyed staying in the mosque as this gave me the opportunity to meet more people.
I have walked on the same grounds above which prophets walked. I prostrated with my face to the ground where they prostrated. I worshiped my Creator like they worshiped, but above all, I renewed my faith in the devotion of my kind, the human kind, and that there is still some hope left for a better world free from selfishness, free from tribal or racial fanaticism, a world of cultural interaction rather than cultural subjection.
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