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 -
is a global project for people around the world to share their innermost hopes - and fears - through prayer. Some photos NSFW.
posted by ColdChef
on Apr 13, 2008 -
Pray For Reason
is a call to Americans of all religions and belief systems who want to see their country's policies at home and abroad based on facts, history, and reasonable thought processes.
My favorite: Dear God (in all your forms),
protect us from those humans among us who wish to direct the destiny of the world for their own gain. Bring them humility, compassion and enlightenment, and allow them to see the interconnection of all beings. (Or bring down upon them a rain of burning rocks, whichever strikes your fancy.)
posted by amberglow
on Jun 11, 2004 -
Have You Prayed Today?*
Today is the National Day of Prayer in the US (I had never heard of it). Oliver North!?! is the honorary chairman
this year. Here are the President's remarks
today. Meanwhile, Larry Flynt is calling for a different sort of prayer today.
*Muslims and Mormons need not apply.
"We're in an election year, and we believe God cares who's in those positions of authority," said Mark Fried, spokesman for the National Day of Prayer Task Force. "But we're not endorsing a candidate, just praying that God's hand will be on the election."
The private task force, which operates from the Colorado headquarters of the Christian organization Focus on the Family ....
... since the mid-1980s the ceremony has been organized by the nonprofit task force headed by two prominent evangelical women: Vonette Bright, widow of Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, and Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
She also made no apologies about the task force's exclusion of Muslims and others outside of the "Judeo-Christian tradition" from ceremonies planned by the task force on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. "They are free to have their own national day of prayer if they want to," she said. "We are a Christian task force."
posted by amberglow
on May 6, 2004 -
Online Prayer Labyrinth This is an online translation of the Cathedral Labyrinth created by London alternative worship groups Grace, LOPE, and Epicentre. It is currently touring UK Cathedrals during 2001 - 2003. Youth For Christ are running/hosting the tour. The original is described as 'an interactive installation for spiritual journeys'. It consists of a pathway mapped out on the floor for visitors to follow. During this journey participants pause and listen to a piece of music and a meditation. They also undertake some symbolic action or ritual.
posted by konolia
on Feb 18, 2004 -
Pray for Paul Wolfowitz Many across America and Americans in other countries are heeding the call to pray for our President. In a short time since the September 11 terrorist attacks, well over a million people have registered their promise to pray daily for the President. That number is increasing by tens of thousands of new team members every day. News of The Presidential Prayer Team is spreading rapidly throughout America as people march to the tempo of an almost forgotten tune, "God Bless America."
The independent, nonprofit organization behind The Presidential Prayer Team, has a singular purpose: to encourage specific nationwide prayer for the President. The goal is to enlist at least 2.8 million participants, or 1% of the American population, to make this prayer commitment.
posted by Slimemonster
on Aug 22, 2003 -
Fast for George W. Bush.
"If you are willing to fast at least one day a month primarily for George W. Bush's holiness (and other areas, such as bipartisan work among the Democrats and Republicans, Wisdom in his work, wisdom for his cabinet, healing for our nation, etc. ... but primarily holiness) then we encourage you to sign up and join us [...] Our goal is to have 1,000 people fasting for the President each day. That will greatly encourage him and keep him accountable when the Evil One seeks to sidetrack him from his commitment to the Lord. "
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Feb 24, 2003 -
Hail Mary, full of....
um.... what was that, again? The only Pope many of us have known, John Paul II, has decided that a millenium is long enough to change a prayer. Odd that two millenia are not enough to revisit female and married priests.
posted by dwivian
on Oct 14, 2002 -
wish to dissent against the using of the Capitol rotunda and other governmental buildings for prayer meetings that focus on Christian or monotheistic ceremonies."
posted by semmi
on Oct 4, 2001 -
Stenberg v. Carhart Interesting points (no pun intended): "consider a law that violates the principle of separation of church and state by mandating that each public school day begin with a sectarian prayer. The primary purpose of that law would be to advance [a] religion. ...In contrast, consider a law with the proper and constitutional purpose of promoting good citizenship, for example, a law requiring students to recite the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of the public school day. Unlike the school prayer law, this law would not be invalid ... However, it would be unconstitutional ... Forcing those students to recite the pledge would violate their First Amendment rights because the right to speak includes the right not to speak."
posted by greyscale
on Apr 27, 2000 -