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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

$69.95  $62.95
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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

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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