The Kaaba is a special place. We commemorate Abraham and
his son's faith and surrender. We also celebrate Mother Hagar's love. Mother's
love is the highest form of selfless human love. Hagar typified this love so
well. She combined this love with her unshakable trust in God. Abraham was
instructed to bring her and her infant son Ishmael near the mound that was once
the Kaaba. In this desolate place with nary a single soul and nary a water
source, he left them with a leather bag containing some dates, and a small
water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael's mother
followed him saying, "O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this
valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there
anything (to enjoy)?"
She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look
back at her. Then she asked him, "Has Allah ordered you to do so?"
He said, "Yes."
She said, "Then He will not neglect us."
What an exemplary Trust in their Beloved God! They knew
that the Causer of all Causes will provide. He is Eminently Resourceful.
Ishmael's mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she
had). When all water ran out, she became thirsty and her child also became
thirsty. She started looking at Ishmael tossing in agony; she left him, for she
could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the
valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody.
Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her
robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she
crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started
looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated
that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times. God loved this selfless
display of motherly love so much that every pilgrim to His Holy House must proceed
7 times between the Twin Peaks of Safa and Marwa.
When she reached Marwa (for the last time) she heard a
voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the
voice again and said, “O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your
voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at
the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel till water flowed from
that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her
hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands,
and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it. This wonderful
gift of God hasn't stopped yet. Hundreds of Millions come every year and take
gallons and gallons of the Holy Water with them and still the small well never
goes dry. Mecca is a special place.
In celebration of the two momentous events in Abraham's
family, we are reminded that Allah's Will always work for our highest good. In
the end, it all worked out for Abraham's family and in the end if we trust Him
everything will work out for us too. From Him have we come and to Him shall we
Kaaba is a special place. It is overwhelming to be in
company of 3 million brothers and sisters in faith, all enshrouded in humble
whites. The highest kings to the humblest of laborers are dressed alike. They
stand shoulder to shoulder, they run side by side and they greet each other the
greeting of peace. People of all races intermingle as co-equals. Black, white,
yellow and brown all come together in harmony before their Beloved. In this
searing passion for the Loved One, there is no distraction. He Alone Matters!
It is wonderful to lift one's face and see one's Qiblah face-to-face. All their
lives 5 times a day they turned their faces to their Qiblah, the Holy Kaaba,
and now they see it right in front of them in all its majesty and glory. They
savor the sweetness of coming Home all the while exclaiming Labbaik Allahuma
labbaik, la sharika laka labbaik, Labbaik Allahuma labbaik: I have come, my
Lord, I have come. No one participates in Your Divinity (so I have nowhere to
come but You). I have come." I have come, my Beloved. I have come.
We circulate around the Holy Kaaba proclaiming all the
while our Arrival. Circling around the earthly shadow of the Pole, we are
reminded to keep our Beloved at the Center of our lives. We are reminded to
keep Him in front of our lives and in center of our existence.
Accept the Hajj of all our blessed Muslim brothers and
sisters who are given the grace of your Presence in Your Exalted House. Give us
the Grace to one day be able to come visit You. O Allah, there is no one worthy
of Love, Worship and Surrender but You. Allow us to love you, worship You and
submit to Your Presence and to Your Wish and Will. Amen!