WASHINGTON, October 9, 2014 — Hajj is a significant period where representatives from all Muslim and non-Muslim countries gather in Saudi Arabia. In a best case scenario, the gathering is used to share news, regroup, and plan for the upcoming year for the Muslim nations.
Hajj 2014 is even more important because of the current divisions in the Muslim world. All Muslim nations must now deal with a hatred and terror of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) or the Islamic State. This group was born out of support from Muslim nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The Muslim world is currently reeling from conflict. Sunni and Shia remain locked in disagreement; pro-democracy citizens rail against governments and kings; militant groups fight each other and government troops; and the number of terrorist groups who claim adherence to Islam grows daily. Now Western Muslims want to be ‘Jihadi cool.’
With ISIS dominating the news, Muslims could use the Hajj season to find a solution to the issue of ISIS.
However, instead of using Hajj as an international conference, most Muslims use Hajj season to pray.
Muslims use the purifying ritual to send their prayers directly to God. Each group prays for its survival and for the defeat of other groups, so “true Islam” can be practiced in their countries and they can live in peace. Some groups pray for the health and success of ISIS while others pray for its destruction. Some love Bashar al-Assad, and others hate him. Many see the Saudi kingdom as a leader for Muslims, while others believe it is a massive violator of human rights. Some Shia see Iran as protecting the group, while others believe Tehran uses Shia for political aims.
The Muslims sit in the same mosques in Mecca, all wear white, all pray to the same merciful God. And ask for their own health and the destruction of their enemy.
Perhaps if Muslims used Hajj as an opportunity to convene and seek solutions, and to find a way to resolve the problem of ISIS and other terror, God would not face such contrasting prayers. And the Muslim world could move toward peace.
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