Eyes Open to His Wisdom

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The Hajjis are gathered on the plains of Arafat, the holiest, most wondrous day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage -- standing in prayer until the sun sets. Muslims are taught that God and his angels come down from the heavens and get as near as possible to the pilgrims, and He listens to the fervent, yearning prayers pouring forth from lips and hearts.And those prayers of Hajj pilgrims are surely answered, we are also taught. Because this pilgrimage, which able-body and financially-able Muslims … [Read more...]

The Hardest Hajj Lesson of All

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I sit at the dinner table and watched my kids eat. Lil D, grasping a big body pillow in his left arm (that’s his thing these days – he walks around holding a pillow, sometimes two, so he can plank at will), plowing through his kichiri-keema . Amal, all smiles because Lil D is eating dinner at the same time as her. And Hamza, trying to finagle his father’s phone to play Angry Birds as he finishes his meal. These kids of mine. If I could just pause this moment and live in it forever …The miles … [Read more...]

Hajj Lessons: How to Improve our Ummah

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This is a guest post from Hesham Hassaballa, who will soon be joining the Patheos family as a columnist.October 28 marked the first day of the last month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah, and it marked the beginning of the Hajj season. Now, millions of elated pilgrims are descending upon the valley of Mecca to perform this truly amazing, once-in-a-lifetime event. I was blessed to perform the pilgrimage in 2003, and it was the most powerful spiritual experience of my life.When … [Read more...]

Watch the Hajj Pilgrimage

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Click here to see the Hajj performed live.Six short years. Six long years. Six extraordinary years. Often I feel like my life is lived in two ways - pre-Hajj and post-Hajj. The other way is pre-autism and post-autism. Both have been life changing experiences for me and my family in ways too lengthy, intimate and emotional to lay out in one measley blog post.Every Muslim who has gone for his or her Hajj has a unique story to tell, from how they received the calling (for literally, many … [Read more...]

Miracles Do Happen

Muslims spend a lot of time gearing up for Ramadan and when the month comes, they often focus on amplifying their spirituality, ridding themselves of bad behaviors, and achieving a special God-consciousness. Truly, it’s a very special month that unites Muslims around the world around a very holy endeavor. But I think a lot of Muslims forget that the first ten days of Dhul Hijja, which is the last month on the Muslim hijri calendar and which lead up to the Hajj pilgrimage and the holiday of E … [Read more...]


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