Wednesday, December 19

Eid Mubarak!

Although midweek Eids are always weird, I'm excited about today. It marks the start of the holiday season and I've no doubt that the next three weeks will fly past. And after that it will just be the long straight home. But more about that in the new year.

A big pat on the back to all those who managed to complete the Hajj rituals today. I pray that God accepts their pilgrimage and that they take as much away from the experience as possible.

For most people Hajj is an eye-opener. The typical effect is for attendees to come back as new people - usually more practising and God-aware. I think Hajj had an equally profound effect on me too, but in what appears to be the opposite way.

The sheer number of different Muslims attending the pilgrimage of 2002 opened my mind to the different the practises of Islam around the world. The rush itself taught me patience (not that I managed to keep mine during that week), and how sometimes spirit and ideas are more important than concrete and definitive practise. If there was ever a single event that put me in my alleged liberal or progressive mindset it was my Hajj.

If you've never been, then I would easily suggest you make a move to. Not just because it's an obligation, but because it's one of those rare experiences of a Muslim that may mould their sense of faith, in whichever way that actually turns out to be.