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The Meaning of Mecca: The Politics of Pilgrimage in Early Islam by M. E. McMillan at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Meaning of Mecca: The Politics of Pilgrimage in Early Islam

M. E. McMillan


Saqi Books

Religion & beliefs;
Islamic worship, rites & ceremonies


196 pages

$58.80  $52.90
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The hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a religious duty to be performed once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able. The Prophet Muhammad set out the rituals of hajj when he led what became known as the Farewell Hajj in 10 AH / 632AD. This set the seal on Muhammad's career as the founder of a religion and the leader of a political entity based on that religion. The convergence of the Prophet with the politician infuses the hajj with political, as well as religious, significance. For the caliphs who led the Islamic community after Muhammad's death, leadership of the hajj became a position of enormous political relevance as it presented them with an unrivalled opportunity to proclaim their pious credentials and reinforce their political legitimacy.

By:   M. E. McMillan
Imprint:   Saqi Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 27mm
Weight:   376g
ISBN:   9780863564376
ISBN 10:   0863564372
Pages:   196
Publication Date:   September 2011
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Contents Acknowledgements 13 Introduction: The Politics of Pilgrimage 15 1. The prophet's precedent: the farewell ḥajj of 10/632 The Prophet and The Pilgrimage 19 The Rituals of the Ḥajj 21 The Meaning of Mecca for the Muslim Community 25 2. Following in the prophet's footsteps: the era of the rightly guided caliphs Table 1 29 Abu Bakr: Leadership of the Ḥajj and the Nature of Authority in Islam 32 'Umar and 'Uthman: The Ḥajj as a Channel of Communication 35 'Ali b. Abi Ṭalib: All Roads Do Not Lead to Mecca 39 The Ḥajj as a Platform for Rebellion 41 Conspicuous by Their Absence: Who Did Not Lead the Ḥajj 43 3. Mu'awiyah b. abi sufyan: a new regime and a new ḥajj policy Table 2 45 Mu'awiyah and Leadership of the Ḥajj 47 Political Choreography: The Ḥajj of the Caliph's Successor Son 51 The Ruling Family and Leadership of the Ḥajj 54 Leading the Ḥajj by Proxy: The Governorship of Medina and the Politics of Martyrdom 56 Conspicuous by Their Absence: Who Did Not Lead the Ḥajj 60 4. The caliphate in transition: the ḥajj as a barometer of political change Table 3 63 Yazid and Leadership of the Ḥajj: The Ḥaram as an Ideological Battleground 65 Ibn al-Zubayr: Rebel or Ruler? 70 10 The meaning of mecca Alternative Uses of the Ḥajj: The Ḥaram as the Centre of an Information Network 73 The Ḥajj of 68 AH: A Platform for Rebellion 75 5. The return of the umayyads and the reintroduction of the sufyanid ḥajj policy Table 4 77 A Tale of Two Holy Cities: Mecca, Jerusalem and the Ḥajj 79 The Ḥajj of 72 AH: A Barometer of Political Change 81 Restoring Precedent: The Caliph's Victory Ḥajj of 75 AH 84 The Issue of Succession: The Ḥajj Seasons of 78 AH and 81 AH 86 The Governors of Medina and Leadership of the Ḥajj: The Sufyanid Model Revisited 89 6. A house dividing: the successor sons of 'abd al-malik: al-walid and sulayman Table 5 95 Power and Patronage: The Caliphal Ḥajj of 91 AH 97 Following in His Predecessors' Footsteps: Al-Walid's Succession Policy and Leadership of the Ḥajj 100 Following in His Predecessors' Footsteps II: Al-Walid's Governors of Medina and Leadership of the Ḥajj 102 The Caliphal Pilgrimage of 97 AH: Ḥajj and Jihad in the Same Year 106 The Politics of Protest: Sulayman's Governors of the Holy Cities and Leadership of the Ḥajj 110 7. 'Umar ii and yazid ii: a different approach to the ḥajj Table 6 115 'Umar II: A Ḥajj Policy Based in the Ḥijaz 116 Yazid II: Another Ḥajj Policy Based in the Ḥijaz 119 'Umar II, Yazid II and Leadership of the Ḥajj: Some Unanswered Questions 123 8. The last of a line: hisham b. 'abd al-malik Table 7 127 Restoring Precedent: The Caliphal Ḥajj of 106 AH 130 The Ḥajj of the Heir Apparent in 116 AH 134 contents 11 The Ḥajj of the Would-Be Heir Apparent in 119 AH 136 Keeping it in the Family: Hisham's Governors of the Holy Cities and Leadership of the Ḥajj 139 All Roads Lead to Mecca: The Ḥajj as a Platform for Rebellion 141 9. The third and final generation: al-walid ii to marwan ii Table 8 143 The Ḥajj of 125 AH: The Politics of Reprisal Revisited 145 The Ḥajj of 126 AH: The Search for Umayyad Unity 149 The Ongoing Search for Umayyad Unity: The Ḥajj Seasons of 127 AH and 128 AH 153 The Ḥajj Seasons 129 AH to 131 AH: Power Slips Away 155 10. Summary: the meaning of mecca Power and Patronage at the Pilgrimage 161 Governing Islam's First Cities and Leadership of the Ḥajj 162 The Politics of Protest: Alternative Uses of the Ḥajj 164 The Politics of Pilgrimage 165 Appendix A: The Sources and Their Challenges 167 Appendix B: Further Reading on the Ḥajj and the Umayyads 177 Bibliography 183 Index 191

ME McMillan earned a PhD in Islamic History at the University of St Andrews, and has worked for the UN Security Council as a translator. The author lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Endorsements: 'The history of the pilgrimage to Mecca stands out as the most important understudied topic in Islamic history, particularly for the pre-Ottoman period. M.E. McMillan has written an impressive foundational study covering the Rashidun and Umayyad periods. Hopefully it will inspire further work of an equally high standard.' Richard W. Bulliet, Professor of History, Columbia University The Hajj is central to the Muslim experience and yet the history of this great institution has been very little studied. This book provides a valuable and fascinating insight into the experience of the Hajj in the early Islamic period and how the leadership of the pilgrims came to acquire a major political importance in the Umayyad caliphate. This new approach will be of great interest both to historians of the early Islamic world and those who want to understand the evolution of this great religious event. Hugh Kennedy, professor of Arabic, School of Oriental and African Studies

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