Islam was a vehicle of dissent. The Prophet SAW came and destroyed a system and in its placed provided a society that was just, long lasting and ever so connected. From across the Atlantic pond I want to introduce to you a duo, MUNEERA RASHIDA and SUKINA ABDUL NOOR, who make up Poetic Pilgrimage. You can read more about them here, here and here.
I was working on an op-ed piece to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war. During that process I was stumbling over some ideas- disssent, music, the comparisons between the Iraq and Vietnam war, as well as this grand oppurtunity to be invited to the "House of Allah" in Mecca and to visit the city of the Prophet, Medina- so it was quite fitting that I ran across the song "Definition of a Pilgrim" by Poetic Pilgrimage, on a website touting dissent music for the Iraq war.
In the song, Poetic Pilgrimage begins by reciting "In the name of your Lord, Most Benificial and Most Merciful". They go on to say a verse from the Quran- "And proclaim the pilgrimage among people: they will come to you on foot and mounted on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways. That they may witness the benefits provided for them, and celebrate the name of Allah through the days appointed..." (22: 27-8).
Listen for yourselves, personally the video does not do justice to the song:
This song encompassed the things that I have been working on this past few weeks and it suited as a way to hopefully share with you all my intention to make Hajj this year. The struggle of maintaining the relevency of Islam in my life, and most of all applying its teachings in my dailly life has been a demanding task, yet filled with blessings and insight. To be invited for a once in a life time trip, is an answer to a silent prayer in the making for some time now.
I want to share with any other fellow believers, contemplating the Hajj this year, to make their intentions and begin to make your provisions. Here is an excellent post from muslimmatters.org on Hajj- Part 1, and Part 2. Please keep me in your duah's, so that I am able to accomplish the provision making and complete the journey, but most of all have my Hajj accepted, allowing me to begin a new chapter in my life.