About 82,000 people packed into Met-Life Stadium last February for the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl in 2013 had about 71,000 people in attendance, and that’s without counting the electricians who arrived at halftime to get the power back up. The World Cup had about 53,592 fans at each match, and President Barack Obama’s inauguration had a staggering 1.1 million people in attendance.
That’s a lot of people all in one place at one time for one event. And just about a month ago, a larger gathering of more than 2 million people from around the world packed into Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for one of the world’s largest annual gatherings — the Hajj. To put things into perspective, that’s about 20 Dallas Cowboy stadiums packed with pilgrims.
What’s the Hajj all about? It is a sacred pilgrimage, a spiritual journey, and one of the five pillars of Islam. Every healthy Muslim who can afford the trip performs Hajj at least once in a lifetime. It is an opportunity to spiritually cleanse ourselves — a spiritual detox of sorts.
This sacred pilgrimage is performed out of love, devotion and respect for the sacrifice of our Father Abraham. It is actually a reenactment of the sacrifices Abraham made. The Hajj is a spiritual reminder of the sacrifices we also have to undertake to attain eternal bliss and joy.
The [ed., so-called] Prophet Muhammad once said, “A person who performs the Hajj for Allah’s sake without causing difficulty to others, nor being vulgar in any way, will return home like a newborn baby.” What’s meant by “newborn baby” is being forgiven of all previous sins…
So packing yourself into a crowd like an ant’s nest proves that everything is A-OK, no jihad, polygamy, child brides, rejection of music, kooky ideas about dogs and so on. Only the most naive will be taken in.