Among the duties God imposes upon every Muslim capable of doing so is a pilgrimage to the holy places in and around Mecca in Arabia. Not only is it a religious ritual filled with blessings for the millions who make the journey annually, but it is also a social, political, and commercial experience that for centuries has set in motion a flood of travelers across the world's continents. Whatever its outcome--spiritual enrichment, cultural exchange, financial gain or ruin--the road to Mecca has long been an exhilarating human adventure. By collecting the firsthand accounts of these travelers and shaping their experiences into a richly detailed narrative, F. E. Peters here provides an unparalleled 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.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -391 and index.
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