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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Kaaba Environment Peopled with Muslims

The last two weeks of December brings the annual pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims to trace the steps of the prophet Muhammad and Abraham. The destination for hundreds of thousands of people in Mecca is the Kaaba, the black stone cube that is Islam's holiest site. Tens of thousands of Muslims circle the cube that sits in the middle of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The event itself is called the Hajj. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so is obligated to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. The pilgrim, locally known as a Hajji, performs a series of ritual acts symbolic of the lives of Abraham (Ibrahim) and Hagar and of solidarity with Muslims worldwide. The Hajj is similar to a Christian traveling to Bethlehem or Jerusalem to recognize Jesus during the Christmas season. Hopefully, such a spiritual environment will spread peace throughout the Middle East.

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