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Hajj And Tawhid

“How can man, alienated from himself, bewitched by money, power, the machine, shirk, illusion, class, race, tyranny, the institutions governing life – how can man, turned into a wolf or fox, a mouse or a sheep, alienated from this world and the next, man who has ceased being man in every respect, who has become a stranger to himself – how can he rediscover himself, how can he return to his primordial and essential being, and become himself once again?

My answer is simple: by means of tawhid. But Tawhid understood as a concept of infinite scope, heavily laden with meanings and wonders, a word as weighty, rich and substantial as the entirety of existence. Mere words are, in fact, incapable of sustaining the weight of Tawhid, and the tongue is too lowly to express it without rendering it deficient, superficial and poor.

It may be precisely for this reason that the tongue of revelation, being obliged to use human vocabulary, has preferred to express Tawhid by means of a series of movements, not by means of words – Tawhid with all of its basic concepts, each one of which has in turn hundreds of different manifestations, Tawhid the rays of which shine on every feeling and sensation. Each of those movements is a symbol, a symbol that has far greater capacity than mere speech for conveying meaning and emotion, and for giving inspiration to man’s senses and perception.

Thus it is that Tawhid becomes objectively manifest, on a single great natural stage, provided by mountains, valleys, and plains, in the most simple and majestic form, by means of orderly, coherent movements that are bound up with time itself. It manifests itself in all four of its dimensions – worldview, history, sociology, anthropology – as ideological superstructure and ultimate goal of existence and purpose of man’s being. In order to understand tawhid, the pupil must experience it with all of his spirit and body, he must feel it in his thoughts and his feelings, his skin and his flesh.

Where does this take place? On the Hajj!”

(From: "The Hajj", by Dr. Ali Shari'ati)


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