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At that point, you realize that the best among the people in the
sight of God is the most righteous (49:13). A tremendous feeling
of peace permeates from being united for a brief moment. There is
no protest or sense of superiority as people prostrate in unison
sharing the same space; a representation of the angels falling prostrate
be-fore God without hesitation or ob-jection (2:34). You can sense
the potential we have as human beings if we can continue to put
aside our egos and differences as we move from prayer to our homes
and communities. Each person has the power to create a bond that
never breaks by developing a common appreciation and love for God,
which is the foundation to our re-lationships (2:256).
Unfortunately, the symbolic mean-ing of this journey fades as
people return to their physical shells after prayer, just as Adam
who covered himself with the leaves of Paradise upon becoming aware
of his physical appearance (7:22). We begin to see our differences
and our egos dictate our judgments. This inner journey becomes an
ex-ternal destination as people push their way to stroke or kiss
a stone structure that carries no power other than as a focal point
to unite. We expose our human limitations of needing to touch or
see what is in front of us instead of trusting in our faith to feel
the unseen (2:3).
A similar pattern is repeated in other religions as people rely
on the images of crosses, saints, structures, or prophets, while
for-getting that God is closer to them than their jugular vein (50:16).
How ironic it is to witness the fanatic steps taken to imitate the
life of such great prophets instead
of following the essence of their path. This fear of letting go
of the physical dimensions of faith and trusting completely in God
weaves the veil that blinds us to the unlimited potential of growing
The best provision for the pilgrim-age to Mecca is not money, cloth-ing,
food, or accommodations but your righteousness (2:197). This preparation
is a sign that the ex-perience is a symbolic spiritual journey that
does not end when you reach the destination of the Ka’aba.
You are not “saved” nor do you receive a special status
simply by reaching this destina-tion. Even as you make an offer-ing,
it is your righteousness that reaches God, not the offering itself
Mecca is an inner journey that moves through your soul as you perform
your rites, experience the power of praising a common Crea-tor in
unison, witness the enduring system of God, and live the inde-scribable
feeling of having re-sponded to the call of your Lord. It is a journey
that begins with a simple intention and ends only by the limits
you impose on your own soul.
I feel a broader and deeper aware-ness of God after my time in
Mecca. This feeling started very slowly and developed towards the
which was completely opposite of my
expectation. By the last day, I could feel all my emotions uniting
to break through my ego in an expression of profound grate-fulness
for the flow of blessings that grace my life; blessings that either
I fail to recognize or fully appreciate as I continue with my preoccupations.
As I began to feel God’s Compas-sion and Presence move through
me, I was overwhelmed with hu-mility and pleasure. I felt a sub-lime
God with such greatness and power that has been so close to me,
sharing in every step I have been taking. I could sense an unconditional
friendship and love that God has been extending to me; a relationship
I have often limited by self-imposed condi-tions. I could feel the
peace and potential in my own life form placing all my fears with
God and trusting in the One who controls every breath I take.
Here I am trying to control all the little details and worrying
about outcomes when God is right next to me, so eager to give me
support and strength. The feeling of this relationship was personal
and real; such a hard feeling to sustain once you are back dealing
with the events of life.