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The Hajj
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Book description

Every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world converge on Mecca and its precincts to perform the rituals associated with the Hajj and have been doing so since the seventh century. In this volume, scholars from a range of fields - including history, religion, anthropology, and literature - together tell the story of the Hajj and explain its significance as one of the key events in the Muslim religious calendar. By outlining the parameters of the Hajj from its beginnings to the present day, the contributors have produced a global study that takes in the vast geographies of belief in the world of Islam. This volume pays attention to the diverse aspects of the Hajj, as lived every year by hundreds of millions of Muslims, touching on its rituals, its regional forms, the role of gender, its representation in art, and its organization on a global scale.

Reviews

'The Hajj presents an impressive array of historical, anthropological, artistic, technological, spiritual, and even epidemiological approaches to pilgrimage to Mecca. These diverse essays illustrate the variety, complexity, and endless fascination of the Hajj.'

Kecia Ali - Boston University

'This book ranges wide. It is full of telling little facts like a comparison between the costs of buying a house in eighteenth-century Damascus and making the pilgrimage, or that the proportion of female pilgrims has overtaken that of males in some parts of the world, beginning in the 1960s for Southeast Asia.'

Christopher Melchert - National Humanities Center

'This is undoubtedly the most important book to appear on al-Hajj this decade. It is both an introduction to the phenomenon of al-Hajj and the most engaging in-depth collection of studies written by leading authorities from various fields. It is comprehensive in its coverage and theoretically illuminating, and the articles span the millennium-and-a-half history of this global institution. The book is a must-read for any scholar engaged in the study of the ritual of pilgrimage. It is also the best textbook on al-Hajj available now. A great contribution to Islamic studies.'

Walid Saleh - University of Toronto

'This interdisciplinary collection of scholarly articles examines the hajj as a religious, cultural, economic, and sociopolitical phenomenon … a significant contribution to the theoretical and practical appreciation of the Muslim ritual of religious pilgrimage … Summing up: recommended. All academic levels/libraries.'

A. Rassam Source: Choice

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