Source: The Oregonian
Before Oregon Muslims begin their pilgrimage to Mecca, Amr Khalifa works to prepare them in two ways: for an intimate encounter with Allah, or God, and a very public one with millions of their fellow believers.
"Every action has an intention behind it," Khalifa tells a group of adults from several Portland mosques who have gathered to get ready for the pilgrimage, or hajj. Some people will travel to Mecca with shopping on their minds, he says, or because they have made a personal vow to visit the holy sites.
"Intention is very difficult to put your finger on," Khalifa says. But the right intention for the hajj is to make the journey "for the sake of Allah."
"We go to hajj for one reason," Khalifa says. "We are Muslims. We go because it is ordered by Allah."