Where is Holiness to be found?
Episode one 29th February 2012: The importance of Pilgrimage in the Muslim Tradition.

Mr Nawaz Khan.

The advertised speaker, Mullah Monawar Hussein was unable to come due to ill health. Mr Nawaz Khan is a solicitor working in Oxford and he is preparing to undertake the Hajj pilgrimage next year. He had at short notice prepared to speak to us.

Mr Khan is involved with a mentoring project for young people which is supported by Prince Charles called the Mosaic Project both in Oxford and Nationally.

Mr Khan began by outlining the five pillars of Islam, or activities Muslims are expected to follow which are:

· The muslim creed (shahada)
· To pray five times every day – turned in the direction of Mecca which is a sign of denying the ego.(Salat)

· To give alms to the poor (Zakat)

· To fast from sunrise to sunset every day during the month of Ramadan (Sawm)

· And once during one’s lifetime to make the pilgrimage to Mecca which is called the Hajj. (Hajj)

He showed how these five were designed to suppress the ego and to turn the individual towards the universal brotherhood of mankind (the Ummah).

He went on to describe the ceremonies and rituals of the Hajj in Mecca, illustrated with a number of pictures of the 2011 Hajj.

Mr Khan finished with a moving recital of the introduction to the Quran in which the tradition of serious reflection on this sacred text was plain and the sincerity and commitment of the speaker were demonstrated.

(We apologise that the recording of this talk is not of good enough quality to include on the web site.)