Guests of God: Pilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World / Edition 1

Guests of God: Pilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World / Edition 1

by Robert R. Bianchi
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195171071

ISBN-13: 9780195171075

Pub. Date: 09/09/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195171075
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/09/2004
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

1What is the hajj and how does anyone survive it?7
2What does the hajj mean?23
3Pilgrimage and power37
4The growth of the hajj : global and regional trends49
5Pakistan : "Why would our hajjis vote against us?"77
6Malaysia : the broken piggy bank113
7Turkey : the belated quest for religious tolerance141
8Indonesia : greening the Pancasila state175
9Nigeria : "One nation, under God"211
10The West is not alone : the hajj in world politics and law253

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