Journey To The Holy Land
- Author: Amir Ahmad Alawi, Hasan Mushirul, Rakhshanda Jalil
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- ISBN: 9780198063469
One of the five pillars of Islam, Hajj (literally 'effort') is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world stretching back to the time of the Prophet (seventh century ad) and even earlier. Before the age of organized travel, the journey spread across sea, deserts and mountains was perilous to say the least. Nonetheless, the hajjis (pilgrims) trivialized the dangers in the knowledge that they would soon enter the House of God. Muslim journey. Presented in the form of a roznamcha or daily diary, the work is much more than a personal narrative of lamentation and triumph. Alawi watched, listened and recorded with an air of confident authority. His catholic vision captures the comingling of cultures and peoples, and he candidly comments on the social, economic and political conditions of the places he passed through. The comprehensive Introduction, while locating the place of hajj in Islam and describing some of its well-known customs, rituals and practices, provides a broad understanding of hajj in colonial India.