The hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim must make at least once in his life, is a religious festival but it has also become a political event. Pilgrims believe that they are "Guests of God" when they are performing the hajj, entitled to travel freely and not under the control of any nation or organisation, religious or secular. The author made the hajj in 1989. He describes his own experience and the stories of fellow pilgrims from Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia and draws on ten years of research to produce this wide-ranging study of Islam, politics and power. With tables and charts, notes, bibliography and index.
Guests of God: Pilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World
AuthorsBianchi, Robert R.
PublisherOxford University Press