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Selasa, 16 November 2010

Where East Meets West in Unity

by Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens)
Monday, November 15, 2010 at 11:41pm

It all began with Abraham.

At present, almost two million human beings have gathered from all corners of the earth to perform Pilgrimage (*Hajj*) in the sacred precincts of Makkah and surrounding regions. Their main goal: to glorify the One Creator of all. From East and West, North and South, they converged to follow the footsteps of the great Prophet Abraham.

Abraham in the Qur’an is known as the Father of the Prophets. He is the same Old Testament Abraham familiar to Judaism and Christianity. In Islam he is venerated as a zealous advocate of monotheism, as a relentless foe of idolatry and as builder of the Ka’bah, “the House of God,” focal point for Muslim worship of the One God. With respect to the Hajj specifically, Abraham, his son Ishmael and his wife Hagar are central to some of its holiest rites.

*Hajj* began with Abraham; it was affirmed by Muhammad, the descendent of the Abraham and last of the Prophets. During his prophethood, the Pilgrimage had degenerated into a soulless idolatrous ritual. It was Prophet Muhammad’s main mission to reinstate the true Religion and creed of his forefather, Abraham.

This continuous monotheistic strand holding together from the time of Abraham through the era of Muhammad, is a symbol of the unity of God which permeates a Muslim’s religious thought. Thus the yearning to behold, at least once in their lifetime, the pivotal Ka’bah, the center of the cosmos and direction (*Qiblah*) or focus of all prayer, symbolizes to a Muslim humanity’s movement toward unity in the quest for God.

I’d like to wish all the pilgrims a happy Eid and to all fellow believers in Faith and humanity. May God bless us all with the insight to His majesty and grant us safety from error and spiritual harm, in the name of His Oneness.

Yusuf Islam

Source: Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens)'s Notes

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