So far we had performed the first Umrah in Mecca and we had couple of more days before we would leave the comfort of our hotel rooms and head out to the desert tent cities around Mecca for remainder of the rituals- to be performed in Arafat, Muztalifah and Mina. This gave me an opportunity of a lifetime- to offer Friday prayer at Ka’aba! I left my hotel room around 9 a.m. for the Friday prayers with the thought that I… Read more

After putting our Ihram, the next step was to perform Umrah. My heart was bubbling with anticipation and excitement- a very quiet type of excitement. This was my 4th overall trip to Mecca but the first time I laid my eyes on Ka’aba on this Hajj, it felt like the very first time I saw Ka’aba. The heart melted instantaneously, the eyes welled and a feeling of calm and peace overcame me. I am including a few short videos of… Read more

Visiting Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in medina and other holy sites was memorable but the Hajj had not even started. The rituals of Hajj pilgrimage start when you begin to approach Mecca. There are several sets of rituals that are required to complete Hajj. The first is to go to a place called Miqat to put your Ihram on. (The unstitched two pieces of white cloth), to make the intention and to recite talbiya. This was the first time when it started… Read more

Most of our 5-day stay in Medina was spent in and around the Masjid Al Nabawi. But we did take trips to the outskirts to visit some historic sites. Our group took a bus trip to visit the other holy sites around Medina. I have included some old pictures of the ancient cemetery of Baqih and Masjid al Quba, and the videos of where the famous battle of Uhad took place. Contrary to the poplar belief, the Masjid al Nabawi… Read more

This is part 2 of reliving my Hajj pilgrimage last year to commemorate the 10 days of Hajj. This post is about the mosque of the Prophet and Baqih- the ancient cemetery in Medina. After long and tiring flights from San Francisco to Abu Dhabi to Jeddah, we took another flight to Medina several days before the actual Hajj was to begin. We arrived in the City of the Prophet around 10:30 PM, some 30 hours after leaving home. The… Read more

Off to Perform Hajj- The Trip of My Life Millions of  Muslims around the world have embarked on the trip of their life to perform Hajj. Last year around this time, I was getting ready to leave home to do the same. And I made an attempt to publish as many posts while I was there. The great memories are still fresh in my mind and are getting a boost from looking at the pictures and videos from Mecca and… Read more

Marijuana use has been steadily increasing in America. In fact Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.[1] Recreational use of Marijuana is now legal in 9 states and medical Marijuana has been legalized in 30 states. But does the legalization means it is safe to use? How do the medical communities in the field of addiction medicine and NIH have to say about its use? And what do the Bible and the Qur’an say about… Read more

Do you see dwindling attendance at your church, mosque, synagogue, temple and other places of worship? If you do, you are not alone. A growing number of Americans are leaving the religion of their parents, according to many studies. How can we prevent this trend? Well we can’t prevent it unless we know why they are leaving. So let’s get down to it. Not only the number of church and mosque goers is dwindling, but as to who is not… Read more

When did we find out that plants have male and female parts, and that they reproduce sexually? The Qur’an has made some startling statements regarding the sexuality of the plant kingdom. As I started the in-depth study of the Qur’an some 20 years ago, I came across a passage about the plant kingdom that really caught my attention. He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads… Read more

You are a hungry observant Muslim looking for a halal food restaurant and you see a sign for Kosher food. Would you eat it?  You are an observant hungry Jew, looking for Kosher food and see a sign for Halal food. Would you eat it? What are the Muslims suppose to do when they can only find kosher items? What are Jews supposed to do when they can only find halal food? Can the Muslims eat kosher food and can… Read more

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