The holiest ten days of the year are upon us as the sacred month of Dhul Hijjah is ushering in. May we all be gifted with increased acts of worship and acceptance during this and all other times. Amen.
By this time next week the pilgrims will be commencing Hajj.
The rites and rituals that make up the physical motions of this act of worship are meant to remind pilgrims of the spiritual underpinnings of material life, and to serve as a lifetime pulse to check in on how the pilgrim is measuring up to the goals and objectives of the afterlife.
The crescendo of the Pilgrimage is its culminating event which takes place on Mount Arafat, where millions of pilgrims from around the world all stand side-by-side praying for forgiveness and acceptance.
In our fractured world where we witness and, for far too many, unfortunately experience the ugly viruses of tribalism, racism, sexism, colonialism, economic exploitation and so much more, the Pilgrimage should be an inoculation.
Throughout the sacred days and especially on Mount Arafat, pilgrims stand together with people from every corner of the planet without any of the trappings of life – no cars, job titles, degrees, homes, jewelry, etc – all dressed simply in the same white garb as children of Adam, upon him peace.
The pilgrim is reminded of his or her essential fraternity and sorority with their fellow human being, as we are so obviously prone to forgetting and neglecting.
This reminder is a potent catalyst for connecting with God. This connection is the key to all other good. When we transcend ourselves, the end of otherization and beginning of belonging for all people can happen in earnest.
This Dhul Hijjah we pray for healing, peace and stability for the nation of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace, and for God to bring us all into intimacy with Him.