The Independent Pilgrim's progress: Journey to the Heart of Islam

It was not the objects that I saw in and around Mecca that made my pilgrimage such an extraordinary and exhilarating experience.

I went on the hajj in 2006, and then, as now, its meaning did not lie in the physical structures in Mecca themselves – the cube-like Kaaba, or House of God, which is the centre-point of all Islamic worship; the black curtain woven with scripture that is draped across it; the ancient Black Stone encased in glass beside it; the towering pillars of the Grand Mosque that encompass it all.

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The Independent
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