This week is a holy time, when millions of people from around the world, are gathered in Mecca, Saudi Arabia to make their Pilgrimage to the House of Allah, the Ka’aba. The energy of the Hajj has gotten ahold of me this year, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Up until now, Hajj has been below my consciousness.
The shift in this opening for me at this time, I feel, has been influenced by two things. One, at the beginning of the month I was with our guide, Sidi, when he was teaching in Portland. I had a very profound experience and felt that Sidi moved me in deep ways. Also, I have a friend and sister who is making hajj this year, carrying with her my prayers which she will say at the Ka’aba. I am deeply surprised by how much I’ve been affected by her praying for me in this holy place.
I think that up until now, I’ve stayed unconscious of hajj because what little bit I knew about it scared me. Now I have been moved to the “bud” of possibility that this is something that could open and blossom for me.
This new “bud” that has formed in my heart is calling me to be attentive. In the spirit of hajj, it is asking me to let go of myself and the world more than I usually do, and increase my diligence in being conscious of Allah, of being soft in my heart, in tune with these holy days.
Some of the hajj rituals include -
- dressing in white seamless garments that symbolizes the annihilation of one’s self to become one with humanity under God.
- The running back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwa, which is what Ibrahim’s wife, Hagar did when looking for water for her infant son, Ismail. This rite represents our turning back and forth between the jalal or Majesty of Allah, and the jamal, the Beauty of Allah. It is experiencing the letting go of both struggle and expansion to see only Allah in everything.
- Standing on the plains of Arafat in a place of annihilation into the Unity of Allah, and throwing stones at the shaytan, gathering in the strength that comes from standing only for Allah.
- Circumambulating the Ka’aba seven times and reflecting on the seven Attributes of power, will, knowledge, life, hearing, speech and sight.
My appetite has been whetted to know that there is a banquet here, in these rituals. There are blessings and holiness that I can’t begin to imagine, not having experienced them. I’m only beginning to be aware of the fragrance of what might someday be possible.
I read a beautiful passage about how one cannot put on the white garments of the pilgrimage until the time is permitted to him. I have a feeling that Allah has given me this whiff of the delicious aroma of the banquet so that my hunger might grow into the time that will be ripe for me to walk to this banquet table.
In the meantime, even this whiff of the beautiful fragrance fills my heart with the joy of God breathing within me. I am grateful that the seeds that have been planted along the way have germinated, sprouted, leafed out, and that now I can carry this beautiful bud of possibility that hajj holds for me.
In these last few days of this holy week, I ask you to consider where in your life you want to “let go and let God.” I invite you to use this holy time to pray for God to help you open your heart and receive the abundant blessings that are yours. All you have to do is ask for and receive them.
Please add your comments about how you are experiencing God in your life during this holy week.
If you could use some help in your yearning to “let go and let God,” you are invited to join our new “Walking In The Sufi Way” Teleclass. Registration ends at 5pm on Thursday October 25th. (Session 2 of the telecass registration opens Nov 15th).