This weekend marks the time of the Hajj
, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity
venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God.
Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites
, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat
and the ritual stoning of Shaitan
to the circling of the sacred Kaaba
cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily
) and kissing the Black Stone
(colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite
While the city has modernized
to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich
, and tent cities the size of Seattle
-- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders
Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise
to write a rare travelogue
, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine
journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt]
, a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey.
Browse the manual
to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream
to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 4, 2011 -
Keep your balls in check: The Saved Sect Website
calls for Muslims to stop supporting The World Cup, as "[...]soccer plants the seeds of nationalism, and is therefore part of a 'colonial crusader scheme' to divide Muslims and cause them to stray from the vision of a unified Islamic identity."
posted by naxosaxur
on Jul 3, 2006 -
great picture was taken in the French Pig-Squealing Championships. This
pic was alleged by Danish imams to be offensive to Muslims, and was included in the recent tour of the Middle East. The Brussels Journal
asks some pointed questions. The Beeb
belatedly explains - and (sorta) apologises.
posted by dash_slot-
on Feb 9, 2006 -
How About Raising Money for Him Instead of The Star Wars Kid?
Perhaps the most faithful of Delhi's unpaid city servants turns 80 on Tuesday, but has no plans to retire.
Mohammed Habib has had the grisly task of collecting the city's unclaimed corpses since he was 12. He says he has disposed of hundreds of bodies - and all for free - in a country where millions live in poverty.
posted by turbanhead
on Jul 29, 2003 -