Who Gets Hurt by a Hajj on Hold?

Please see the special note below from a Muslim Connect reader. 

Major League Baseball starts tonight (July 23rd) in the U.S. and to be honest I’m a little excited about it. My anticipation is tempered though by empathy for the many who have lost their income as baseball hasn’t been played and will continue to lose it to fan-less stadiums.

A similar dynamic is unfolding with Saudi Arabia’s announcement that this year’s Hajj (the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) will be limited to 1000 people. For comparison’s sake, 2.5 million showed up last year.

My heart goes out to travel operators around the Muslim world whose businesses have collapsed, to the barbers in Mecca who won’t get paid to help pilgrims with the required head shave, and to the dads and husbands who planned to get ahead just a little bit this summer but now are in debt to boxes full of souvenirs, trinkets and gum nobody’s going to buy.

The gut-punch is not just financial, but spiritual as well. If your religion asks you to do something just once in your life, something which promises to result in all your sins forgiven, you do your best to make it happen. It takes savings, planning, banking vacation days, likely a little bit of conniving and cashing in favors. You’re all prepped and pumped up when the whole thing goes up in smoke. Devastating.

I believe this about God: He doesn’t want bad news, loss and pain for Muslims.

I know this about God: He has stunning capacity to bring good out of bad, beauty out of loss.

With that in mind, please pray with me for God’s redemption, in every good way, of the loss so many Muslims are experiencing right now. Email me for a brief, insightful guide to praying through the Hajj (July 29-31).

 

Tom L, a loyal reader from Indiana shares his thoughts about donating to help Muslim Connect to impact more people with hope and practical tools to engage Muslims:

Hey Muslim Connect readers. I’m one of you. I look forward to seeing Shane’s name in my email box every week. His words always encourage, often humor and regularly challenge me to love Muslims like Jesus does. Because I value Muslim Connect, I gave to support it. Maybe you could give as well.  –Tom

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