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The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca
     

The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca

by Eric Tagliacozzo
 

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The pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, has been a yearly phenomenon of great importance in Muslim lands for well over one thousand years. Each year, millions of pilgrims from throughout the Dar al-Islam, or Islamic world, stretching from Morocco east to Indonesia, make the trip to Mecca as one of the five pillars of their faith. By the end of the nineteenth century, and

Overview

The pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, has been a yearly phenomenon of great importance in Muslim lands for well over one thousand years. Each year, millions of pilgrims from throughout the Dar al-Islam, or Islamic world, stretching from Morocco east to Indonesia, make the trip to Mecca as one of the five pillars of their faith. By the end of the nineteenth century, and the beginning of the twentieth, fully half of all pilgrims making the journey in any given year could come from Southeast Asia. The Longest Journey, spanning eleven modern nation-states and seven centuries, is the first book to offer a history of the Hajj from one of Islam's largest and most important regions.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Starting with the first 13th-century mention to the present, this transnational history engages with scholarship of an impressive chronological and geographical scope. The book would be as appropriate in a course on contemporary Islam as it would on Southeast Asian history...A concise, erudite monograph."—CHOICE

"The book's aims are all resoundingly realised, and it performs a successful role in its contribution to the history of the Hajj, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, as well as its contribution in analysing the complexity of humanity's experience that is bound up within these parameters. Taken together, these make a large contribution to even broader canvases—the history of Muslim societies across the world, the history of pilgrimage, and histories where we see the intersection and collision between trade, commerce, travel, ritual, devotion, polities, empires, elites, ordinary men and women, states, and memories .This is a triumph of scholarship .The Longest Journey is essential reading for people who want to see how state-of-the-art world history is crafted and executed."—John Slight, Reviews in History

"In this brilliant and evocative study, Eric Tagliacozzo brings to life what is perhaps one of the most significant long-distance circulations of people for a common purpose in history: the Indian Ocean pilgrimage to Mecca. Drawing upon research of breath-taking geographical range and depth, Tagliacozzo charts how the hajj embedded itself in the rhythms of diverse Indian Ocean societies and spurred the movement of texts and ideas, trade and wealth, politics and law, across many centuries and vast distances. He charts the dangers, opportunities and spiritual elation of these voyages through the written and oral testimonies of pilgrims themselves, alongside the fear and fascination that the hajj has exerted on non-Muslims from colonial times. The Longest Journey is a work unflagging insight; a major contribution to the practice of world history, it captures the experience of the 'transnational' in a most vital and compelling way."—Tim Harper, University of Cambridge

"Over five centuries, millions of Southeast Asian Muslims have undertaken the 'longest journey' to Mecca, in fulfillment of the fifth pillar of their faith. Drawing on a range of rich and diverse sources-including precolonial Malay histories, colonial reports, personal memoirs, and popular memories—Eric Tagliacozzo has woven an epic story of these journeys and their political, economic, spiritual, medical, and institutional underpinnings. As necessary as it is ambitious, The Longest Journey is an eminently readable account of continuities and transformations of the Hajj in Southeast Asia during the colonial and postcolonial eras."—Mary Margaret Steedly, author of Rifle Reports: A Story of Indonesian Independence

"The Longest Journey is also the most enjoyable. In this wondrously documented, lyrically mellifluous text, one grasps the Hajj, or annual Muslim pilgrimage, as a multi-faceted social institution. While its religious motivations are evident, no less critical are its commercial as well as political relevance to the multiple Muslim communities of Southeast Asia."—Bruce Lawrence, author of The Qur'an: A Biography

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195308280
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/12/2013
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Eric Tagliacozzo is Professor of History and Asian Studies at Cornell University, where he directs the Comparative Muslim Societies Program and the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project and edits the journal Indonesia. He is the author of Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915, which won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association of Asian Studies.

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