Millions of Muslims have just arrived in Mecca. The crowds are massive, the noise is deafening, the tent city is bulging…at capacity. The faithful are in anticipation to begin the once-in-a-lifetime journey and participate in the annual Hajj. The Hajj, or pilgrimage, is part of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is a duty that all Muslims must make a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at least once, if they can afford it and their health allows it. Those who have traveled to Mecca to participate, and then return back to their homeland, are highly revered in their local communities. Many Muslims see the Hajj as the highlight of their life and believe that it will wash all their sins away.
The most important days this year on which one participates in the Hajj are between Nov 4-7. There are several rituals that must be performed on each day but the most significant is the Eid al Adha – the Feast of Sacrifice. Here Muslims will ritually slaughter a sheep or another animal and distribute the meat to relatives, friends and the poor symbolizing the time that Abraham had to sacrifice his son but instead God sent a ram to be offered, thus sparing his sons’ life.
But, as millions of Muslims are faithfully completing the rituals seeking forgiveness and inspiration, God is at work behind the scenes, softening their hearts…and drawing them to Himself. There are hundreds of testimonies from Muslims who went on Hajj with an upright desire to obey God… and God gave them a vision – telling them that they needed Jesus.
Saudi Arabia is ranked number 4 on the Open Doors World Watch List of the top 50 countries in the world where persecution of Christians is most severe. To the millions of Muslims who are in Saudi Arabia and are blinded and cannot see the truth; we join today in prayer for God to heal their eyes in order for them to recognize Jesus as their Savior.