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Community Commentary:

Moved by a rare, dutiful pilgrimage

December 29, 2007|By Levent Akbarut

As Khan reflects, “For one of the first times in my life, I was completely surrounded by people who believed the same concepts as I did. These fellow Muslims were in the same place as I was because they believed in the same religion and were there for the same reason that I was. We all shared a common bond that broke through ethnic, cultural or linguistic barriers. That common bond was faith.”

Echoing Malcolm X’s observations about the human family’s equality and common bond for God when he performed Hajj, Khan observes, “This feeling of unity was one like no other. I had never felt so in sync with other people with whom I had no acquaintance with. Everyone was moving in the same direction, at the same pace, and saying the same words of worship that are said while circumambulating the holy edifice known as the Ka’bah. That feeling of unity brought about a sense of utopia. For the duration of the Hajj, I felt as if I was in a world that was perfect. No conflicts or wars were going on. No suffering was occurring in various countries throughout the world. I felt euphoric, as if everything was serene and nothing was wrong; a feeling I thought I would never be able to experience.”

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To recognize and congratulate the local “Hajjis,” the Islamic Congregation of La Cañada Flintridge will hold a potluck dinner on Jan. 11 at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge. The evening will feature keynote speaker Jihad Turk, the interfaith leader and religious director of the Islamic Center of Southern California.

All are welcome to attend. Since seating will be limited, RSVP to info@iclcf.org by Jan. 7.


 LEVENT AKBARUT is a member of the steering committee for the Islamic Congregation of La Cañada Flintridge, www.iclcf.org.

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