April 2002: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2


Cont’d from page 1

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 before God without hesitation or objection (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 relationships (2:256).

Unfortunately, the symbolic meaning 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 forgetting 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 literal

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 our souls.

The best provision for the pilgrimage to Mecca is not money, clothing, food, or accommodations but your righteousness (2:197). This preparation is a sign that the experience 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 destination. Even as you make an offering, it is your righteousness that reaches God, not the offering itself (22:37).

Mecca is an inner journey that moves through your soul as you perform your rites, experience the power of praising a common Creator in unison, witness the enduring system of God, and live the indescribable 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 awareness of God after my time in Mecca. This feeling started very slowly and developed towards the end,

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 gratefulness 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 Compassion and Presence move through me, I was overwhelmed with humility and pleasure. I felt a sublime 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 conditions. 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.

Amir K