It is not only the holy cities of Mecca and Karbala to which Muslim pilgrims travel, but a wide variety of sacred sites around the world. Journeys are undertaken to visit graves of important historical and religious individuals, the tombs of saints, and natural sites such as mountaintops and springs.
Exploring the richness and diversity of traditions practiced by the 1.5 billion Muslims across the world, Sophia Rose Arjana provides a rigorous theoretical discussion of pilgrimage, ritual practice and the nature of sacred space in Islam, both historically and in the present day. This all-encompassing survey covers issues such as time, space, tourism, virtual pilgrimages and the use of computers and smartphone apps. Lucidly written, informative and accessible, it is perfectly suited to students, scholars and the general reader seeking a comprehensive picture of the defining ritual of religious pilgrimage in Islam.
‘Arjana successfully negotiates among history, belief, practice, and the methodological agnosticism of religious studies to provide a fascinating guide to a vibrant and dynamic tradition. A clearlywritten work well worth reading.’
– Library Journal
‘Arjana’s research adds new perspective to even the most prominent example of Muslim pilgrimages… The writing is lucid and engaging, and the research is thorough and sensitive to complexity, such as in outlining the challenge of defining Sufism.’
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
‘By focusing on living traditions, Arjana helps to combat the static and old-fashioned presentations of Islam typically available. Clearly and engagingly written, this work will be of great value to students in courses in comparative religion as well as to students and scholars of Islam.’
– Theodore Vial, Professor of Theology and Modern Western Religious Thought, Iliff School of Theology
‘An important contribution… The scope of this book, which considers Islam from a global perspective, along with its emphasis on theories of ritual and space, makes it an invaluable resource.’
– Cyrus Ali Zargar, Associate Professor of Religion, Augustana College
‘For those expecting another description of hajj rituals or histories, Arjana’s Pilgrimage in Islam delivers a welcome surprise. It is at once theoretically sophisticated and accessible, elegant and thoughtful, appreciative of the wide variety of pilgrimage practices and impressive in its detail. Arjana has stitched us a beautiful quilt of the many ways in which Muslims have and continue to travel and visit, pray and plead, at Muslim pilgrimage sites the world over.’
– Juliane Hammer, Associate Professor and Kenan Rifai Scholar of Islamic Studies, UNC Chapel Hill
‘Supplementing recent scholarship on the annual hajj, Pilgrimage in Islam helps readers think more capaciously about the array of sacred journeys Muslims have made over fourteen centuries. Sophia Arjana attends to material, textual, and technological dimensions of pilgrimage, and broadens restrictive understandings of what it means to study Islam.’
– Kecia Ali, Professor of Religion, Boston University