Sunday, January 23, 2005


Hajj Pilgrims Welcome Rain In Saudi Desert.

Deluge means 'God has accepted our prayers,' one says.

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- As rains lashed the Saudi desert, tens of thousands of drenched Muslim pilgrims welcomed the deluge Saturday as an act of God while they circled the cubic Kaaba shrine in this holy city's Grand Mosque, the final rite in the annual hajj pilgrimage.
So, here's my atheist smartass question of the day: if rain during the Hajj is an act of God, what would you call a Hajj stampede?

Not to be too flippant with death, but seriously: how many more Hajj stampedes have to occur before Saudia Arabia hires a few traffic cops?

Thankfully, this year's Hajj wasn't marred by tragedy. But sadly that's more unusual than rain in the desert.

I get the impression that if it didn't rain that would mean God accepted their prayers too.

I wonder if any of the pilgrims suspected that the downpour was really the Almighty giving them a little golden shower? So to speak.
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