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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Virtual Hajj

With all the frightening stuff going on the Middle East these days, one can look at the news and forget that those people are kind of cool, too.

One of the Five Pillars of Islam involves making a Hajj to the holy city of Mecca. Thanks to an amazing new sim at OnIslam, you can actually make the hajj yourself.

It is very meticulously designed, and they seem to have made an effort to cover all the bases. You are immediately struck by how beautiful the place is. It is also very busy, and there is lots to do... even immediately upon arrival.

Not only does Mecca look authentic, but they have the little things down. There is a tour bus where you land. They have water set up for thirsty travellers (Mecca is in a harsh part of Saudi Arabia). They really made great efforts here, and it shows.

They have plenty of information about the sim and about Islam in general. You can get a virtual Koran, or read the 10 foot one they have on the premises. I actually got a good picture of it, but I used me instead. How often will you see me in an Abaya?

An Abaya is the clothing you wear when making the Pilgrim trip. It actually looks very Plymouth Pilgrim-like. I met some of the people who help out at the sim, and they hooked me up with the Abaya shown in the photo.

By the way... in case you feel you are going to show up there and have someone burn your flag or call you an infidel dog... it han't happened to me yet. Everyone has been nice and helpful, eager to provide information.

Note... while I am not fit to make blanket statements on behalf of Allah or anything like that, I would say that a virtual Hajj to a virtual Mecca doesn't actually count as one of the Five Pillars Of Islam. You still have to go IRL. This is more of an educational experience, and it is a fine one.

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