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An extensive manual describing the Hajj—a journey that enlightens the significance of human existence and submission—this guidebook offers advice for those undertaking the holy voyage and gives the meanings behind its rituals. With special attention to the people who make the journey—approximately three million Muslims a year—this reference illuminates the importance of one of the fundamental forms of Islamic worship as a social and cosmic transformation.
Muslim pilgrims travel to a wide variety of places, not only the holy cities of Mecca and Karbala. Around the world there are countless sacred sites, including the graves of important historical and religious individuals, the tombs of saints, and natural sites such as mountaintops and springs. All of these places are located within an Islamic universe that is present with the spirit of Allah and holds the promise of barakat – the blessings that pilgrims often seek. Challenging the simplistic presentations of Islamic pilgrimage existent in much of the scholarship, Dr. Sophia Rose Arjana explores the diverse traditions practiced by the 1.7 billion Muslims across the world. Issues such as time, space, tourism, virtual pilgrimages, and the use of computers and smartphone apps all come under consideration in this wide-ranging study. Lucidly written, informative and accessible, Islamic Pilgrimages is perfectly suited to students, scholars and the general reader seeking a comprehensive survey of this critical element of Islam.
Islam has become an increasingly attractive option for many African-Americans. This book offers an ethnographic study of this phenomenon & asks what attraction the Qur'an has for them & how the Islamic lifestyle accommodates mainstream US values.
An extensive manual describing the Hajj "a journey that enlightens the significance of human existence and submission" this guidebook offers advice for those undertaking the holy voyage and gives the meanings behind its rituals. With special attention to the people who make the journey "approximately three million Muslims a year" this reference illuminates the importance of one of the fundamental forms of Islamic worship as a social and cosmic transformation.
"Medieval Jerusalem and Islamic Worship" provides fascinating new information about the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, rituals and pilgrimage to these places during the early Muslim period. It is based primarily on early primary Arabic sources, many of which have not yet been published.
"This publication accompanies the exhibition Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam at the British Museum from 26 January to 15 April 2012."
The contributors explore the transnational and local significance of pilgrimage and migration, showing how these journeys heighten a universal sense of 'being Muslim' while also inspiring the redefinition of the frontiers of sect, language, territory, and nation. In this way, encounters with Muslim 'others' have been as important in shaping community self-definition as encounters with European 'others.' --
The memoir of a gay American Muslim’s pilgrimage to Mecca—“The first book about the Hajj from a gay perspective, written . . . with courage and fierce emotion” (The Guardian). The Hajj is a pilgrimage all Muslims are commanded by God to go on at least once in their lives if they are able. Like millions of contemporary Muslims, Parvez Sharma believes his spiritual salvation lies in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site. Yet taking this journey puts his life at risk. In A Sinner in Mecca, author and filmmaker Parvez chronicles his pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia as an openly gay Muslim, where being true to himself is punishable by death. Accepting the danger that lies ahead, Parvez embarks on a jihad of the self—filming his experience along the way. Already under fire for his documentary A Jihad for Love, which looks at the coexistence of Islam and homosexuality, he would undoubtedly face savage punishment if exposed. Meeting both extremists and spiritual explorers on his journey, Parvez discovers a world that is both frightening and breathtaking. In Mecca, Parvez comes out to a pilgrim, who then asks why he would want to be part of something that wants no part of him. This book is his answer to that question—and many more. Following the New York Times Critics’ Pick documentary of the same title, A Sinner in Mecca unflinchingly showcases parts of the dangerous ideology that governs ISIS and how much it has in common with Saudi Arabia’s sacred, yet treacherous dogma, Wahhabi Islam.
During the early modern period, Muslims in China began to embrace the Chinese characteristics of their heritage. Several scholar-teachers began to incorporate tenets from traditional Chinese education into their promotion of Islamic knowledge. As a result, some Sino-Muslims established aneducational network, the scripture hall educational system (jingtang jiaoyu), which utilized an Islamic curriculum made up of Arabic, Persian, and Chinese works. The corpus of Chinese Islamic texts written in this system is collectively labeled the Han Kitab. Interpreting Islam in China explores the Sino-Islamic intellectual tradition through the works of some its brightest luminaries, in order to identify and explicate pivotal transitions in their engagement with the Islamic tradition. Three prominent Sino-Muslim authors are used to illustratetransformations within this tradition, Wang Daiyu (1590-1658), Liu Zhi (1670-1724), and Ma Dexin (1794-1874).Kristian Petersen puts these scholars in dialogue and demonstrates the continuities and departures within this tradition. Through an analysis of their writings on the subjects of pilgrimage,scripture, and language, he considers several questions: How malleable are religious categories and why are they variously interpreted across time? How do changing historical circumstances affect the interpretation of religious beliefs and practices? How do individuals navigate multiple sources ofauthority? How do practices inform belief? Overall, he shows, these authors presented an increasingly universalistic portrait of Islam through which Sino-Muslims were encouraged to participate within the global community of Muslims in both theological and experiential spaces. The growing emphasis onperforming the pilgrimage to Mecca, comprehensive knowledge of the Qur'an, and personal knowledge of Arabic further stimulated communal engagement. Petersen demonstrates that the integration of Sino-Muslims within a growing global environment, where international travel and communication wasincreasingly possible, was accompanied by the rising self-awareness of a universally engaged Muslim community.
In spite of Islam’s long history in Europe and the growing number of Muslims resident in Europe, little research exists on Muslim pilgrimage in Europe. This collection of eleven chapters is the first systematic attempt to fill this lacuna in an emerging research field. Placing the pilgrims’ practices and experiences centre stage, scholars from history, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, and art history examine historical and contemporary hajj and non-hajj pilgrimage to sites outside and within Europe. Sources include online travelogues, ethnographic data, biographic information, and material and performative culture. The interlocutors are European-born Muslims, converts to Islam, and Muslim migrants to Europe, in addition to people who identify themselves with other faiths. Most interlocutors reside in Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Norway. This book identifies four courses of developments: Muslims resident in Europe continue to travel to Mecca and Medina, and to visit shrine sites located elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Secondly, there is a revival of pilgrimage to old pilgrimage sites in South-eastern Europe. Thirdly, new Muslim pilgrimage sites and practices are being established in Western Europe. Fourthly, Muslims visit long-established Christian pilgrimage sites in Europe. These practices point to processes of continuity, revitalization, and innovation in the practice of Muslim pilgrimage in Europe. Linked to changing sectarian, political, and economic circumstances, pilgrimage sites are dynamic places of intra-religious as well as inter-religious conflict and collaboration, while pilgrimage experiences in multiple ways also transform the individual and affect the home-community.
Western accounts of the Hajj, the ritual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, are rare, since access to Mecca is forbidden to non-Muslims. In the Muslim world, however, pilgrimage literature is a well-established genre, dating back to the earliest centuries of the Islamic era. A Shiʿite Pilgrimage to Mecca is taken from the original nineteenth-century Persian manuscript of the Safarnâmeh of Mirzâ Moḥammad Ḥosayn Farâhâni, a well-educated, keenly observant, Iranian Shiʿite gentleman. This memoir holds a wealth of social and economic information about Czarist Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Northern Iran, and Arabia. The author is a meticulous observer, recording details of distances, currencies, accommodations, modes of travel, and so on. He records the experiences encountered by pilgrims of his day: physical hardships, disease, generosity and compassion, banditry, hospitality, comradeship, and exaltation. And, without prejudice, he discusses the tensions between the Shiʿites and the Sunnites in the holy places—tensions that still exist and have erupted in bloody clashes during recent pilgrimages. A Shiʿite Pilgrimage to Mecca will appeal to a wide audience of general readers, Middle Eastern scholars, anthropologists, and historians.
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of Islamic studies find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. A reader will discover, for instance, the most reliable introductions and overviews to the topic, and the most important publications on various areas of scholarly interest within this topic. In Islamic studies, as in other disciplines, researchers at all levels are drowning in potentially useful scholarly information, and this guide has been created as a tool for cutting through that material to find the exact source you need. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study of the Islamic religion and Muslim cultures. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit
This collection of first hand accounts of travellers on Muslim pilgramages provides a literary history of the central ritual of Islam, from its remote pre-Islamic origins to the end of the Hashimite Kingdom of the Hijaz in 1926.
The hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a religious duty to be performed once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able. The Prophet Muhammad set out the rituals of hajj when he led what became known as the Farewell Hajj in 10 AH / 632AD. This set the seal on Muhammad's career as the founder of a religion and the leader of a political entity based on that religion. The convergence of the Prophet with the politician infuses the hajj with political, as well as religious, significance. For the caliphs who led the Islamic community after Muhammad's death, leadership of the hajj became a position of enormous political relevance as it presented them with an unrivalled opportunity to proclaim their pious credentials and reinforce their political legitimacy. Exhaustively researched, The Meaning of Mecca is the first study to analyse the leadership of the hajj in the formative and medieval periods and to assess the political subtext of Islam's most high-profile religious ritual.
In 1999, the Moroccan scholar Abdellah Hammoudi, trained in Parisand teaching in America, decided to go on the pilgrimage to Mecca.He wanted to observe the hajj as an anthropologist but also toexperience it as an ordinary pilgrim, and to write about it forboth Muslims and non-Muslims. Here is his intimate, intense, anddetailed account of the hajj ? a rare and important documentby a subtle, learned, and sympathetic writer. Hammoudi describes not just the adventure, the human pressures,and the social tumult ? everything from the earlypreparations to the last climactic scenes in the holy shrines ofMedina and Mecca ? but also the intricate politics andamazing complexity of the entire pilgrimage experience. He paysspecial heed to the effects of Saudi bureaucratic control over thehajj, to the ways that faith itself becomes a lucrative source ofcommerce for the Arabian kingdom, and to the Wahhabi inflections ofthe basic Muslim message. Here, too, is a poignant discussion of the inner voyage thatpilgrimage can mean to those who embark on it: the transformedsense of daily life, of worship, and of political engagement.Hammoudi acknowledges that he was spurred to reconsider his ownideas about faith, gesture, community, and nationality inunanticipated ways. This is a remarkable work of literature aboutboth the outer forms and the inner meanings of Islam today.
With this impassioned memoir, an American convert to Islam “lifts the veil on this ancient and sacred duty” of making a pilgrimage to Mecca (Publishers Weekly). The hadj, or sacred journey, is the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are enjoined to make once in their lifetimes. One of the world’s oldest religious rites, the hadj has continued without break for fourteen centuries. It is, like most things Islamic, shrouded in mystery for Westerners. Here, Michael Wolfe, an American-born writer and recent Muslim convert, recounts his experiences on this journey. Wolfe begins his narrative in Marrakech, Morocco. Beginning with the month-long fast of Ramadan, he immerses himself in the traditional Muslim life of Morocco. Then, in Tangier, he visits mystics and the American author Paul Bowles. From there, he journeys to Mecca, the sacred desert city in Saudi Arabia closed to all but Muslims. Though the buildup to the Gulf War hovers in the background, the age-old rites of the hadj are what most preoccupy Wolfe. His experience profoundly strengthens his bond to the faith he has embraced as an outsider, making it personal and alive. At a time when the eyes of the world are on Islam, The Hadj offers a much-needed look at its human face.
Each year, more than two million pilgrims from over 100 countries converge on the holy city of Mecca to reenact the ritual dramas that Muslims have been performing for centuries. Making the hajj is one of the most important duties in the life of a Muslim. The pilgrimage-and its impact on international politics-is enormous and growing every year, yet Westerners know virtually nothing about it. What is the hajj and what does it mean? Who are the hajjis? What do they do and say in Mecca and how do they interpret their experiences? Who runs the hajj and what are their political objectives? How does the hajj encourage international cooperation among Muslims and can it also promote harmony between Islam and the West? In Guests of God, Robert R. Bianchi seeks to answer these and many other questions. While it is first and foremost a religious festival, he shows, the hajj is also very much a political event. The Muslim world's leading multinational organization, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, has established the first international regime explicitly devoted to pilgrimage. Every large Muslim nation has developed a comprehensive hajj policy and a powerful bureaucracy to enforce it. Yet, Bianchi argues, no authority- secular or religious, national or international-can really control the hajj. Pilgrims believe that they are entitled to travel freely to Mecca as "Guests of God"-not as guests of any nation or organization that might wish to restrict or profit from their efforts to fulfill a fundamental religious obligation. Drawing on his personal experience as a pilgrim and a wealth of data gathered over the course of ten years of research, Bianchi has produced a fascinating look at the hajj filled with personal, candid stories from political and religious leaders and hajjis from all walks of life. A wide-ranging study of Islam, politics, and power, Guests of God is the most complete picture of the hajj available anywhere.
“Wolfe does an exemplary job of detailing the ceremonies performed at Mecca and the reasons behind them . . . Highly recommended” (Library Journal, starred review). This updated and expanded edition of One Thousand Roads to Mecca collects significant works by observant travel writers from the East and West over the last ten centuries—including two new contemporary narratives—creating a comprehensive, multifaceted literary portrait of the enduring tradition. Since its inception in the seventh century, the pilgrimage to Mecca has been the central theme in a large body of Islamic travel literature. Beginning with the European Renaissance, it has also been the subject for a handful of adventurous writers from the West who, through conversion or connivance, managed to slip inside the walls of a city forbidden to non-Muslims. These very different literary traditions form distinct impressions of a spirited conversation in which Mecca is the common destination and Islam the common subject of inquiry. Along with an introduction by Reza Aslan, featured writers include Ibn Battuta, J.L. Burckhardt, Sir Richard Burton, the Begum of Bhopal, John Keene, Winifred Stegar, Muhammad Asad, Lady Evelyn Cobbald, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, and Malcolm X. One Thousand Roads to Mecca is a historically, geographically, and ethnically diverse collection of travel writing that adds substantially to the literature of Islam and the West. “Serves as an excellent introduction to a religion, people, culture, and philosophy.” —Santa Cruz Sentinel

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