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The Hajj: Your e-mails

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I feel very fortunate to have undertaken this journey with my family. It would be next to impossible to verbalize the experience in few words. All I would like to say is, that Hajj brought a new perspective to life and made me realize how utterly futile it is to wage wars (both at the micro and macro level) either in the name of religion, personal or group conflicts or in the name of "democracy." Regardless of our nationality, race, religion and status we are all mortals. The greatest jihad (struggle) that every human undertakes is the jihad to be human.
Rukhsaana Yoosufani, Texas, U.S.

Hajj is important to every Muslim. I really wonder, how people from a world that really does not experience this judge about the safety of this moment? I believe, when you gather for a big concert or something similar you also have a lot of loss? But these are not the ones we got to mark out. No, its always this terror religion that must be picked out and critized? I guess, as long as you are not a Muslim you should not talk about Islam because you will never understand the means of peace untill you start to live it.
Mostafa Samir, Duesseldorf, Germany

The Hajj is a wonderful human phenomenon, unlike any other seen in humanity. It surely gives hope for all of us for world peace and coexistence. It hard to believe that the Hajj has been going on for more than 1,400 years!
Ahmad Srour, Houston, U.S.

Actually I was able to perform Hajj last year. (I cannot imagine how I could have found the time to write to you then, so I write now). What is really impressive is that here we find a crowd of nearly 3 million Muslims all just simply seeking the blessings of Allah. All have the same prayers on their lips, even if some may have an American accent and others a Chinese one. Inspite of the large crowds all individuals try to accommodate each other with good will. Obtaining Allah's blessings takes many shapes: One Saudi pilgrim for instance just added my lunch to his own bill. Another distributed cool water bottles during the traffic jam. What did I not see? Not a single person lost any thought on terror. Everyone just simply thought peace.
Rafiq Tschannen, Amman, Jordan

I was reading your article on covering the Hajj. Very interesting. I just wanted to suggest that the women use an underscarf so that they don't have any "bad scarf days."
Nancy Chaudhry, Frankfurt, Germany

It is a spectacular journey when thousands of people from all walks of life come together during this time to worship one god similtaniously all as equals.
Hesham Gaafar, Cairo, Egypt

I did Hajj 2004-05 and it was just two months after I have got married, at that time I was just 26 years old and my lovely wife was 23 years old. And I called it my honeymoon. It was a trip of 40 days to Holy Makkah and Holy Madina and all other parts that link to these beautiful holy cities. One thing I will want to share of Hajj is that DO IT WHILE YOUR ARE YOUNG AND ENERGYFUL, as it is a tough task. Second thing is that do every thing with passion and with ease then you will be able to do every thing easily.
Umer Noorani, Faisalabad, Pakistan

First of all I would like to extend the best wishes to all the Pilgrims intending to perform Hajj this year. May Allah bless them and protect the pilgrims from any unforeseen events such as the stampede. Having perfomed the Hajj last year, one thing I would like to share with intending pilgrims is the "patience" that is required during this blessed jouney. One needs to remain calm and focussed withount any hurry in performing the rituals. All hats off to the Saudi Government for arranging and coordinating this massive influx of people. One advise, is to follow the "fatwa" that is mentioned in every language in the tents in Mina for ritual of Rumy "stoning Jamarat." In addition, it is a very good initiative of coverage by CNN. I have been following it for at least three years and it rejuvenates oneself.
Adeel Rafi, Karachi, Pakistan

Well I am greatly honored to share my comments with some of my Christian American brothers as well as my Muslim brothers. Hajj is one of the essential duties that every individual Muslim has to perform once in their lifetimes, I myself have had a chance to perform this special journey in my life. I am intending to look forward to perform another one either next year or in the near future. Ever since I've been to United States the land of freedom, I've not had a chance to actually go down there and perform Hajj. I personally believe that once a person goes through this ritual he/she absolutely and completely becomes sin free ... that is why I would like to perform another one in the near future. Thanx for allowing me to post my comment, until next time goodbye.
Samir Choudry, Maryland, U.S.

It's very heartening to see the coverage on CNN re. the Hajj. I have been a keen follower of this since its inception a few years back. Thank you for providing us with such extensive and excellent coverage.
Luqman Rehman, Karachi, Pakistan

Thanks for bringing up one of the five pillars of Islam which is to be performed by every Muslim in a lifetime (if one can afford to perform it.) It is really amazing that more than two million perform the Hajj every year and with the blessings and mercies of Allah the almighty all the rituals are performed in the allotted time and the people return like a new-born baby. I request all the brethren of the holy books to read and understand the significance of this journey which leads to the paradise. It is the belief of every Muslim with faith and sincerity. It is a religion of peace and love for everybody for all humanity. The holy quran and the hadith (teachings) of the last holy prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) must be read and explained. May Allah the Omnipotent show us the right path to lead our lives in this world and the world hereafter and bestow his mercies and blessings on all the prophets of all holy books -- Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus, Prophet Abrahim, Prophet David, Prophet Jacob and all.
Ishrat Junaid Abdulrahman, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Hajj is the greatest attestation of one God, whereby everyone is equal under one God. Yes, there are classes, different socio-economic groups with varying facilities, some eat on street and some savour at five star hotels, but everyone has to bear the same rigors of a demanding ritual to testify that there is no God, but Allah, and Prophet Mohammed is his Messenger.
Ahmed Mustafa, Texas, U.S.


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More than 2 million pilgrims are expected in Mecca.

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