Davi Barker, who writes at The Muslim Agorist and for other publications, recently returned from his Hajj pilgrimage. Altmuslim is featuring a few of his reflections this week, as Barker settles back into his post-Hajj life.
By Davi Barker
I just returned home from Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. They say the sign of a successful pilgrimage is that your life changes. Well, I got that in spades, as I’ll explain soon.
There was only one evening that I was able to get near enough to the Ka’ba to actually touch it. The crowd was no great difficulty for me. I’ve been in mosh pits at Nine Inch Nails concerts. It was the police that I found most meddlesome. I was positioned to pray the night prayer in the first row when, for no determinable reason, a police officer grabbed me and shoved me back. By the time I found another spot I was in the third row on the opposite side. I don’t see how anyone can be expected to achieve any kind of spiritual state under the constant harassment of arrogant ill-tempered badge-heavy thugs.
As I sat waiting for the prayer to begin I thought about the movie Thor, in which the hero looses his hammer in the desert and it is discovered by the military. When they find it they don’t know what it is. They don’t know how to use it, or even how to read it. All they know is they cannot move it. By some advanced technology or magic, only Thor can move it. So, no matter how much might the military can muster it will not budge. Though they do not understand it, they know that it is more powerful then them, and for that reason they must control it. They build a military base around the hammer and imagine this means that they possess it, and they begin meddling with it, desperate to decipher it’s power. But fundamentally, it terrifies them.
And in the end, when Thor returns, and the hammer is again in the possession of someone who understands how to wield it, all their military might is for nothing, and their base is left in ruin.
This is how I imagine the relationship between Saudi Regime and the ancient house of God. They stumbled upon it in the desert, unaware of its purpose or it’s power. They build their towers around it and pretend it is their property, but they will always be terrified of the day when someone comes to the Ka’ba with the knowledge to wield it against them.
A version of this article was originally published in The Examiner. Davi Barker writes at The Muslim Agorist and for other publications. He was born in California and during childhood travels, he was struck by the wonders of nature — a lightning storm over a primordial desert in Arabia, or the cherry blossom petals sprinkling down on the floating markets in Thailand. He spent his adolescence as an outsider, but recently is realizing alienation is not uniqueness, but a universal similarity that crosses all cultures and religions, caused by our separation from our true self and our separation from nature.