Thursday, May 22, 2008

Depending on Allah


Making hajj increases one's faith in Allah and decreases the incidence of depending on anything other than Allah.
There is a new study out on Muslims. This one focuses on Muslims and the hajj. David Clingingsmith, Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Michael Kremer are authors of "Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering."
While most of the news articles referring to this study have focused on the data that supports the premise that hajj makes Muslims more tolerant of others, this article includes data about the hajjis religious practices after returning home.
Pilgrims are more observant of orthodox religious practice even five to eight months after returning from the hajj. They are 16 percent more likely to pray, 26 percent more likely to do so regularly in the mosque, and double their likelihood of non-obligatory fasting. Interestingly, however, pilgrims are less likely to believe and participate in localized religious practices, such as using amulets.
In other words, many Muslims increase their level of religious practice after returning home and at the same time give up reliance on things that cannot benefit them as adjuncts or aids (such as amulets) to depending on and trusting in Allah