I lived in two pieces of simple white cloth,slept in tents and on the ground, visited the most ancient symbols of spiritual oneness.
I prayed and meditated on the plane where humanity will be gathered for the day of atonement.
I slept in the dirt on the plane where the first man and woman descended from heaven and created humanity.
I stoned the Jamrat, the ancient symbols of the devil to commemorate my rejection of my ego, greed, lust, anger, etc.
I visited the home, mosque and grave of our beloved Prophet Muhammad in the illuminated city of Medina, established by the first Muslims.
The Hajj is extremely difficult and grueling. There were funerals at all five of our daily prayers for 3 weeks without exception. There were somewhere between 3 and 5 million pilgrims from every country performing the same rites at the same time. You literally get caught up and carried by the crowd of humanity. Terrifying, humbling and beautiful experience.
Met some of the most beautiful people of my life and some really troubled ones. Imperfect people united by a perfect system.
That’s the most reflective and naked I’ve ever been. Tears of joy, repentance and immense gratitude. To be in place with millions of people with all the commotion and hear it get dead silent for prayer and all you hear is wind and birds.
I got lost in the tent city of Mina with no phone,no cars, no guides and no one speaks english. Didn’t know if I’d ever find my group. I walked for 8 straight hours with no idea where I was going. I have blisters covering the bottoms of both feet. Still performed my rites. While living in our tents, it rained for two days in a row. Scary thing in the desert where it never rains.
I never believed that you could go to place and feel the presence of God until this. It’s tangible in the air. You can taste it. The feeling of true brotherhood is electric in the holy precincts. Even the police are bound by it.
People come from every corner of the world. Many on foot from Africa and Eastern Europe. You see people on canes and crutches. People spend months walking thousands of miles and sleep in the streets. Other pilgrims feed and look after them. Saw a family with kids and the parents were sharing a pair of shoes. Went into a store to buy some things and a stranger picked up my bill.
I’ve had some very low, dark moments in my life but it hit me on this trip that I literally have received everything I’ve ever prayed for. When Undisputed Truth came out someone asked me if there was anything else I could hope for. I said I wanted a daughter and to make Hajj.
I want all of you to know that your support is what made it possible for me to have these experiences. I love you deeply for that.
I was challenged in every imaginable way. This has been the greatest exercise in patience I could imagine. I’m so very grateful. Part of the pilgrimage is shaving your head to symbolize removing your crown, old prejudices etc. I actually let my hair grow a little so I could cut it.
After losing my father, my friend Eyedea and making this pilgrimage all in 3 months, if you don’t believe in God, let love be your god.
Please don’t assume you know Islam because of what you’ve heard. I’ve practiced Islam for 17 years and didn’t truly understand until now. Human beings have built an artificial environment around ourselves that disconnects us from nature, from our humanity and from God.