Today in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, two to three million Muslims from around the world will have gathered on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy as they stand or sit near the Arafat plains to ask for Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. Many will cry out in anguish hoping that Allah will hear them and forgive their past sins. Muslims believe that at the completion of this day and its rituals they will be cleansed of their sins.
Sadly, Allah can’t forgive sins. But Jesus can.
The Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the five pillars, or core ritual practices, of Islam, that all Muslims must perform at least once in their lifetime.
Upon arriving in Mecca, Muslim pilgrims will stop at the Grand Mosque, home of the Kaaba, Islam’s most important shrine, to pray. In Islam, Muslims pray five times a day facing towards Mecca and the Kaaba. They believe that Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba and that Hagar and Ishmael are buried there.
Then they’ll visit the village of Mina, again to pray and to read from the Quran. Next, they will spend a day at Mount Arafat, where Muhammad gave his final sermon, to ask for forgiveness.
As they begin to make their way back to the Grand Mosque, the pilgrims will stop at a plain known as Muzdalifah to pick up stones, which they’ll bring to Mina to throw at three pillars that are believed to represent Satan and his temptations. Finally, upon returning to the Kaaba, they’ll circle it seven times, bringing the Hajj to a close.
For the millions who have come to Mecca in the hopes that their past sins will be forgiven many will leave never knowing that only through Jesus Christ can they can experience true forgiveness for their sins. Despite being surrounded by the sacred sights of the Islamic faith and thousands of other pilgrims most do not know the ultimate price that Jesus paid on their behalf.
Let’s stand in the gap for them (Ezekiel 22:30) at this critical hour when they are seriously seeking for truth and affirmation that God is listening to them. Be sure to read the inspiring story on our webpage of how Jesus revealed himself to a pilgrim at Mecca.
Over the next hours and days we can pray that God would reveal Jesus to them in supernatural ways that will be unique to each individual. Your prayers can reach around the world invading the city of Mecca… a city where only Muslims are allowed. Our prayers can penetrate the invisible wall of Islam that stops so many from knowing Christ!
Yours for Asia’s Harvest,
(Rev.) Dale R. Hiscock
PS: Be sure to read how to Pray for Muslims who are on Hajj in Mecca right now!