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October 14th, 2013
01:58 AM ET

Inside the hajj: The world's largest annual pilgrimage

By Sarah Brown, CNN

(CNN) - Millions of Muslims began the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, which represents one of the largest annual human gatherings on the planet.

The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a journey every Muslim is expected to take in his or her lifetime if the person is physically and financially able.

This year, the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca is hosting more than 2 million Muslims, about 1 million fewer than last year, according to the Associated Press.

Our iReport team has asked pilgrims who have performed the Hajj about how the experience changed them - and for their advice to those undertaking the pilgrimage for the first time.

The result is a mix of spiritual and practical life lessons that transcend Islam.

1. Patience

iReporter Amir Abdul Latip from Brunei said the Hajj taught him a patience that’s carried over to his life after the pilgrimage.

“I'm still not perfect, but the Hajj has changed my perspective on the temporal nature life, the universe, and everything else,” he says.

“Just be patient and always try to help others,” Latip says, adding that the Hajj helped “widen my views to see a bigger picture of our existence.”

Read more about Latip’s Hajj experience

Patience is an order during the Tawaf, a Hajj ritual in which throngs of pilgrims circle seven times around the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building considered the most sacred site in Islam.

The whole five-day event, which attracts around 3 million people, is slow going and sometimes chaotic.

CNN Explains: What's the Hajj?

“Several times things are not in control of the organizers – they try their best for pilgrims but they cannot do all due to some unforeseen circumstances,” said iReporter Muhammad Zafar from Simi Valley, California, who performed Hajj in 2011 with his family.

2. Down to earth

Ameer Hassoun, an Iraqi-born doctor who lives in New Jersey, said a key part of the Hajj is learning from other pilgrims.

“It taught me how to be very down to earth, to treat everything with humility, that there is no difference between us - no matter where we are," he said.

See images of Hassoun’s visit to Mecca in 2011

“People around the world share their own experiences from their home countries and so it’s a very fertile land for learning.”

For Hira Hasnain, a student in North Carolina who spent three weeks undertaking the Hajj, one of the most rewarding experiences was uncovering new aspects of her faith by meeting new people.

“It brings you closer, it provides a sense of unity.,” she says. “You realize that everyone around the world is striving to … achieve closeness to God and everyone has different ways of doing it.”

“Try to understand where everyone is coming from and your enjoyment of Hajj will be that much more meaningful,” Hasnain says.

Listen to more of Hasnain’s advice and see images of her hajj journey

3. Everywhere was white

iReporter Rafiu Olasunkanmi Yusuf, a Nigerian who works in Malaysia, said his 2003 pilgrimage revealed a “need to move closer to God.”

“Everywhere was white, that symbol of purity,” he said. “There was no distinction on the basis of race, country or color of the skin. One can feel the presence of the Almighty God as we perform the religious rites.”

Since then Yusuf, has tried to “devote more time to spiritual uplift and less time to worldly pursuits."

Haq, meanwhile, says his pilgrimage taught him to acknowledge God in “everything I do.”

“I pay close attention to my obligations as a Muslim,” he says. “My prayers, obedience to parents, fasting, zakat [gifts to charity - another of the five pillars of Islam] - I repent more often, and make more dhikr [prayers reciting the names of God].

“I also try to educate my Muslim and non-Muslim friends, co-workers and peers on Islam,” he says.

4. The hajj is hard

iReporter Amaan Haq from Woodbridge, Virginia, undertook his first Hajj in 2011 with his wife and said preparation was essential.

Read about Haq’s preparations for his Hajj

“Read and understand before embarking what acts are required from you,” he said. “The Hajj is hard even if you're young.”

The Hajj can be a physical and mental endurance test, with pilgrims sometimes walking miles each day. Haq advises pilgrims to take drinks or electrolyte salts to stay hydrated in the 90-degree Arabian sun.

Other iReporters recommended that first time pilgrims obtain a guide if possible, saying the complex sequence of rituals to be performed and the sheer size of the gathering can be overwhelming.

5. Just do it

Latip from Brunei said his final advice for those wishing to undertake the journey was to get going.

“Just do it,” he said.

“Don’t wait until you’re too old and frail,” he says. “And with costs rising year after year, it’s better to do it sooner if you can.”

That advice can apply to journeys other than Hajj, too.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Saudi Arabia

soundoff (779 Responses)
  1. Lessons continue

    It is a religion of peace shared by frustrated and violent people.

    October 14, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Alias

      Just like christianity.

      October 14, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  2. conseguir mas fans

    We're a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to paintings on. You've performed an impressive process and our entire group will be grateful to you.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  3. Ahmed

    why we didn't see any photos for Muslims celebrations in Europe? why CNN ignoring more then 10,000,000 European Muslim!

    October 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  4. Nikolas

    omg what a bunch of morons live here in the US. No wonder this country is going down the drain, its just a matter of time till we hit rock bottom. ..sad. Muslims should know that there are more good people here in the US than these morons on these threads. Its sad and embarrassing to read all these comments. Its sad that there are so many uneducated individuals here in the US, some people have never left the borders of this country, haven't learned about any other country but US and even their own history they have forgotten.

    October 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  5. josh

    I wonder how many holy pilgrimages the men went on before shooting a little school girl?

    October 29, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Deja R

      hello josh... people who attacked a girl is not representing Islam... Muslim can do bad... Islam never tell them to do that...if they do they only do with their frustration.... they have the wrong knowledge of Islam... Islam is beautiful religion... one can not judge Islam with the action of people who even don't know what they are doing... If you want to know the real Islam... Just read The Holy Qur'an in your own language like you read other books... you will find the truth automatically and will be shocked that how many Muslims have wrong knowledge and understanding of of Islam... People who killed innocent are hijacked by some so called Muslim who even don't know what Islam is... they have interpreted Islam how they want not try to understand what Allah has teaching them.. they do this only to getting benefits for themselves... people should not rely on those people to understand Islam and Qur'an ... In Qur'an Allah says..."I made the Qur'an very easy to understand, has someone there who understand it?" If you have any bad impression about Islam from the bad action of few very few people you can read Qumran by yourself and can find a truth.These people do these type of action due to their ignorance..

      October 29, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Moo Humid

      I'd like to see the so called "good" muslims stand up for what is right and take back control of their countries without killing thousands of innocents. They should stop worrying about other countries and clean up their own. The I can respect this cultish religion.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Colon Cleanser Powell

      Jewish school children, christian nuns, pakistani girls ... its all sacrifcial blood to their moolahs! They love killing while the rest of them say "oh my. not my fault, we're all good but scared to do something.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Josh

      Hello Deja R,
      Thank you for your response. I respect your opinion. I visited a beautiful mosque in Kuwait City, the third largest mosque in the world I was told. I was able to see a copy of the Qur'an on display. I was informed it was about 1500 yrs. old (the text, not mosque). It was a beautiful display. I realize anyone is capable of doing evil however I do not believe I shall pick up the Qur'an anytime soon. Thanks for your insight.

      October 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  6. solowd

    Why do they all start the Hajj at the same time? Seems silly - if I was a Muslim, I'd go in the off season

    October 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Deja R

      hello solowd... i read and just laughed.... Why all the Christian celebrate Christmas at only one day? Why don't they do whenever they want... why they do so one particular day.... Every religion has some special occasions which it wants to celebrate all together... Christian celebrates Christmas at one day and Muslims do Hajj one time...:)

      October 29, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  7. Mike blow

    What has Islam done to benifit mankind and bring peace to this world ? I don't believe in religion but if I had to pick I would pick the jesus people they have calmed down since the crusades.

    October 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • American Muslim

      @ mike Blow: Islam cannot and should not be judged by the actions of a few misguided folks. All of what they do is condemned by the religion, but they do it anyway, which shows poor judgement and ignorance on their part. Before criticizing our religion, look into its tenets with an open mind – not through the lenses of a biased media, but through the authentic sources – the Qur'an and the Hadith of Muhammad (may peace be upon him). Then perhaps you'll be able to answer your own question.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • saggyroy

      "Islam cannot and should not be judged by the actions of a few misguided folks." <- Wrong. Islam drives them to it. There is only one god remember?

      October 29, 2012 at 6:34 am |
    • Deja R

      Hello Mike in Qur'an Allah says..."I made the Qur'an very easy to understand, has someone there who understand it?" If you have any bad impression about Islam from the bad action of few very few people who called them Muslim but they even don't know what Islam is you can read Qur'an by yourself and can find a truth.... I hope you have read many books in your life... I will be happy if you give me favor... read Qur'an in your language like a book keeping in mind you want to know the truth about Islam.. and then let me know what you will find..... 🙂

      October 29, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Wanda Strykes

      Where are all these so called wonderful peace loving Islam people? If they distance themselves so much form these "handful of radicals," why dont they take back control and take responsibility. You can't claim to be peaceful AND support violence. This is YOUR problem and YOUR fault. Stop supporting terrorists if you are all so peace loving!

      October 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  8. American Muslim

    As someone who came to America, became an American citizen, then discovered Islam and became a Muslim, these comments are of great concern and show a level of hatred and misunderstanding that I find frightening. So let me offer some advice: to my non-Mislim friends – if you have no Muslim friends, perhaps its time to find some – beleive me, it'll add perspective to your world. To my Muslim friends: be patient – remember that if you insult other religions, that gives them the right to insult Islam. When we as Muslims follow the Qur'an and Sunnah and live it correctly, the non-Muslims will be able to see what Islam is really like and you won't have to argue with them. We all know that our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, did not in any way retaliate when hatred was thrown his way. He could have, but he knew better. And so do you. Lead by example and the others will follow, if that is what Allah wills.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Whozene Broke O'Bamah

      You should go home if its so bad here. Although here you get a house and back there you live in a tent near the camel latrine. Stop complaining.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  9. American

    We should just nuke that place!

    October 28, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  10. Sane Person

    So it seems "Eid" (a celebration of abraham's willingness to kill his own baby) was interrupted by a suicide bomber. A celebration of baby-killing was interrupted by a suicide bomber..... and people say Islam is violent in nature, where do they get this from?

    October 26, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • nino

      Stop watching fox news.

      October 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Bill Cinton

      They live just to die. They celebrate their suicide bombers like heroes for killing the innocent. If they can kill Christians and Jews then they are rewarded to go to heaven with the blonde buxom beauties. Thats the basis of their religion. The religous events are for recruiting the next bombers. Funny how they never want to find in heaven any dark skinned virgin girls with mustaches?

      October 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  11. HanValen

    What? 5 lessons from the Haji?

    October 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  12. Alain

    Happy Eid to all Muslims and may God accept your pilgrimage!

    October 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Hussane O'Bamah

      And forgive your violent ways!

      October 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  13. RF

    Someone claiming Mohammed is illiterate....Can someone tell me ...what degree did jesus, Moses achieved in Harvard and stanford???

    October 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Nya Nya Nya

      My invisible superfriend can beat up your invisible superfriend.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • truthordare7

      I don't know about degrees but Jesus is reputed to have studied in the world's first university, Nalanda, in India. That is why his message of peace and compassion is a stark contrast to the barbaric culture of the sand kingdoms. If he had studied for that period and suddenly appeared on the scene in his 30's, he would probably be a Doctorate of buddisht philosophy at the very least.

      October 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • ihab

      honestly , i don't know how jesus got his knowledge but what i know about Moses is that he's one of the best scientists ever , because in this ear Egypt was famous for sciences and that's clear from the buildings and the pyramids they were crafty at History, medicine, theology, mathematics, algebra, geometry and science of war .. and all of these sciences were studied in a University in eygpt , was one of the biggest universities around the world then .. and it's expected that Moses studied in this UNi .. besides he was living in the pharaoh's palace which let him know the best scientists in this ear ... so actually he learnt and he studied at a University 🙂 .. and read more and you will know that

      October 28, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  14. william1956

    The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the "Young Turk" government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916 (with subsidiaries to 1922-23). One and a half million Armenians were killed, out of a total of two and a half million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

    October 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • william1956

      Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed.[5] In particular, over one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men.

      October 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Reality

      3 million Turks were killed during same duration, Armenians helped the Russians, French and British people in killing as many Turkish families as they can.

      October 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Last comments were not made by the original Reality.

      And now some comparative body counts:

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      October 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  15. Sidra

    To all the Muslim bashers posting comments (and to Muslim antagonists in general): Instead of wasting so much energy disrespecting, trashing, and spitting negative thoughts about someone else's religion(s), why not use that time and effort to be introspective in YOUR OWN life. Maybe then you will be a more postive influence upon yourself and those around you, regardless if you ever believe in a religion or not.

    October 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • RF

      Ok...Americans live life as you said....what positive influence was achieved???? Most of the people doesn't know who is their real father, Most of the people doesn't care about their old aged father and mother, Most of the husband doesn't know whom the wife is sleeping with. marriage is only for 2 years after that both will go on date with other person....

      This is the influence i have got on American christians...Even i could say they are exposer....they expose their body to the whole world...in nude bars or in pub or in road...

      October 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Coptic Christian

      We tried introspection, but the fvcking Muslims came after us even faster.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Rose

      RF – What Americans are you talking about here? I'm sorry that you have such a negative view of us, but I can assure you that what you've stated is simply not true.

      I graduated from a small non-religious college just a few years ago. I know of ten to twenty couples (all Christians) who met there who did not sleep with each other (or anyone else) until they were married.

      I care very much about my family, including my parents and grandparents. None of my many friends are cheating on their spouses. True, a lot of people do get divorced, which I think is very sad.

      The Americans I know are kind, generous, and caring. One of my friends intentionally lives in a very poor area to get to know the people who live there and help them. Many people I know volunteer their time and money to help others.

      October 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • McDuck Quackerton

      Logical people have a problem with illogical things such as religion. ramadingdong, "christmas" (really just retailer's wet dream season), easter, etc are all crocks. islam just happens to be the currently most violent crock of them all. If you see someone who keeps dropping something on their foot and says they don't know why their toes keep hurting, you'll think them nuts. Local people will think the same for space ghost worshipers.

      October 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Deja R

      I am agree with ROSE... Bad and good people are the part of every society and ... every society have some positive and negative aspects... I saw many american who are very good and caring their families and parents and grandparents.... actually people get the knowledge from media etc... we only understand a society or culture by living with them... atleast as human we respect each other... In Islam Allah teaches us to respect the people from other religion... but you know many Muslims are lack of understanding of true meaning of Islam...

      October 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Who Insane O'Bamah

      Dont blame us locals but all you "others" who came here to have illegal children, breed drugs and submit to violence. This is YOUR fault. Go home. You will be happy when our foreign born leader buys in another four years to freeload in the white house. He will complete the destruction of this place and make it third world.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  16. Reality

    Saving our sister and brother Muslims from the infamous hajj con:

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi––

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of 5. 5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Analogous steps are available for deprogramming the myths of the other major religions....
    ==========================================================================
    Translations of the above to Arabic and Urdu can be found on p. 1:
    ===========================================================================

    October 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Nomad

      @Reality, I can just sit and laugh at your ignorance. I can see the effort you have put in selling your junk. And I can only feel sorry for you. The hard work you have put in to show yourself as a rational person is mitigated by the hate, deceit and bigotry speaking out loud in your comments.

      Try improving. Start by selling a 50c lemonade on a hot sunny day to customers. That will help you grow in wisdom and salesman skills. But I bet you won't have the skills to even sell one.

      @Rainer: Nice try pal! But your ignorance about the faith being discussed is pretty evident in your comments. Do some research before posting.

      October 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Reality

      On the koranic passages and world domination:
      o
      "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

      Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

      Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

      Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

      Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like

      a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

      In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

      Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

      Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

      A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

      Don Richardson

      October 26, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Reality

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of Islamic terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      o
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  17. RF

    Media projects Bad things done by few muslims and people started believing those media instead of looking the majority of muslims. If that is the case then anyone can consider Hitler, Bush and can claim christianity is a religion of hatred.

    before you comments about islam, understand its pillars then comment. that should be the freedom of speech.

    October 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • L of AU

      I live in Australia and I see bad things done by Muslims.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Deja R

      @LA of AU... If Some Muslim are doing bad does it mean Islam is bad or wrong? Is that logical? Every person in the world is responsible of his or her action.... Muslims who are doing bad they are responsible for their actions... Islam is not bad or wrong... Muslims can be bad or wrong... for example if one christian do bad ... will you take the Christianity is bad or wrong... I just wonder Why people understand the Islam from the behavior of bad Muslims?... Why don't they read Qur'an by themselves to know the reality and truth.. Read The Holy Quran in your language like a book.. i am sure you will find the truth and reality...

      October 29, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    The Creed of Benjamin Franklin:

    "That there is one God, who made all things.

    "That he governs the world by his providence.

    "That he ought to be worshiped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving.

    "But that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man.

    "That the soul is immortal.

    "And that God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice either here or hereafter

    Do this, love your fellow human beings, dear Muslims, and you will live! Forget your 5 pillars, it is in vain!

    Many people in Africa die of starvation. Better the Muslims would donate their money instead of spending it for the meaningless Hajj. Dear Muslim, you let your fellow human being die when you don't donate. Do you think God will let you through at Judgement Day?

    Like all manmade religions Islam doesn't lead to righteousness and eternal glory but to injustice and damnation.

    All what God wants is that we love Him and our neighbour. Get off with your 5 ridiculous Pillars!

    October 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, denial of truth absolute by hindu's laires, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Meaning less for a hindu, ignorant, Hajj is commitment to live by truth absolute in life in house of truth absolute Allah, no better place to be to remember foundation of existence Al The, La, limit H, most high, absolute, but house of Allah the merciful, take your hinduism, denial of truth absolute, Allah and go to hind, hell with your hindu filthy god, Lucifer, self centered with his and your hindu Judaism, secularism, denial of truth absolute, Allah. visit limitisthetruth.com to learn to be truthful in life.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Reality

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud (e.g. Syria and also Iraq) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Reality

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      October 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • shut up mohammadadar

      Nuff said.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    The Creed of Benjamin Franklin:

    "That there is one God, who made all things.

    "That he governs the world by his providence.

    "That he ought to be worshiped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving.

    "But that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man.

    "That the soul is immortal.

    "And that God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice either here or hereafter

    Do this, love your fellow human beings, dear Muslims, and you will live! Forget your 5 pillars, it is in vain!

    Many people in Africa die of starvation. Better the Muslims would donate their money instead of spending it for the meaningless Hajj. Dear Muslim, you led your fellow human being die when you don't donate. Do you think God will let you through at Judgement Day?

    Like all manmade religions Islam doesn't lead to righteousness and eternal glory but to injustice and damnation.

    All what God wants is that we love Him and our neighbour. Get off with your 5 ridiculous Pillars!

    It is not possible to spend an amount of money twice. When I waste my money for the Hajj I cannot donate it any longer for hungry people! Indeed the 5 Pillars are even contradicting themselves because if you do the Hajj, you cannot keep Zakat.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Retro

      Zakat contradicts Hajj? Lol.....! Evangelist Rainer, should I talk about the contradictions in Christianity? How about the foundations – >Trinity 1+1+1=1???? Let me not get started there.....

      October 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Rose

      Retro, the Trinity is not comprised of three separate beings but three aspects of one being.

      C.S. Lewis used an analogy to explain the Trinity: "The three dimensions of space: Length, width and height. All coincide in the same place, yet are distinct."

      Christians state as part of their creed that there is only one God...not three that they're trying to disguise as one.

      October 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  20. Garamasala

    To all the islamic bashers who re simply morrons, the 3rd of the 5 pillars is almsgiving (zakāt).

    October 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, denial of truth absolute by hindu's laires, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      from hindu Judaism, filthy secular ism of a hindu Jew, criminal self centered, spewing his hinduism, absurdities.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • RF

      What do you know about Zakat?

      Evey muslims should give 2.5% of his wealth(not income) to Poor people yearly.

      Does any religion has made donation mandatory to their followers??? You earn, you drink, eat and die....Islam makes its followers to follow it for the poor to live, eat properly.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Tandy

      The problem is that the "Poor people" are the terrorists. Gotta keep that C4 flowing, you know.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tandy

      Here's a list of the Islamic "Poor People" that are currently under sanction from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for being "owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries..."

      http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/SDN-List/Pages/default.aspx

      The Islamic mandate for 'zagat' covertly funds terrorism.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tandy

      zagat? Restaurant critics. Zakat? Terrorist funding. viva le differance.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.