The Arabian Peninsula Partnership

The Gospel for every person and a church for every people in the Arabian Peninsula amongst indigenous peoples

17 November, 2010

Hajj Day 4

Sa'y - Running Between Sacred, Act #4

Lastly, the pilgrims go to the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Inside, the pilgrims walk around the Kaaba seven times and point to the stone or kiss it. Then they pray in the "Place of Abraham," the spot within the Grand Mosque where Muslims believe the patriarch prayed*. After this prayer time, pilgrims reenact the running between the hills of Safa and Marwa, and drink from the well of Zamzam**. This reenactment is the Islamic version of Hagar's (Abraham's second wife) desperate search for water for her son, Ishmael. They say she repeatedly ran between the hills of Safa and Marwah, climbing them to get a better view of the landscape, attempting to find someone who had water. Upon her return to her son after one of her runs, she discovered that a spring had miraculously sprouted near the infant. Muslims believe the Zamzam Well is this source of water and millions of Muslims still drink from it. Muslims claim their commitment to God on this day.

For the pilgrim, there is a heart's deep longing for living water to cleanse, revive and bring life. People literally run around the hot desert, searching for water. They buy liters of Zamzam water to carry home with them, giving it to eager relatives. How desperate is the need! The Living Water is right there, willing to give them all of Himself. He gives Water to cleanse them of sins, Water to revive the thirsty soul and Water which brings abundant life. Pray that pilgrims will "bathe and soak" in these promises.

Key Scripture

But God shows his great love for us in this way, Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. Isaiah 55:2-3

Going before the Father

As Muslims circle the Kaaba and run through the hills, ask that they will see the futility of these acts. They can have peace with God and a commitment to Him, but it is through what Christ did for them. Pray that they will hear this good news and believe.

In John 4, Jesus is interacting with the woman at the well. He says to her that He will give her this living water if she asks. Pray that Muslims across the world desire the living water that only Jesus can give.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). As the pilgrims leave after all these spiritual experiences and the exercises they have done, may they still feel extreme emptiness and a lack of peace until they know the Redeemer of their souls, Jesus.

Pray that they may learn the meaning of 'drinking for free' and that they can meet God wherever they live, without having to save up money in order to make the pilgrimage.

"God is opposed to the proud and gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). As Muslims head home, some take great pride in being referred to by the title "Haj/Haji." Pray that they will learn that God opposes the proud. Pray that they will see that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

What does the Bible say?

* There is no reference in the Bible that Abraham was ever in Mecca.

** The story of Hagar and Ishmael is found in Genesis 21:8-20, but it does not talk about this "running between" and talks about this being in the desert of Beersheba, probably in the Negev desert of today.