One Thousand Roads to Mecca Hardcover – 31 Dec 1997
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"Wolfe does an exemplary job of detailing the ceremonies performed at Mecca and the reasons behind them. The chosen excerpts give the readers a sense of how the hajj has changed over time as well as how constant the central ceremonies have remained. Highly recommended."
"A tradition of Muslim writing aimed at the insiders and out." "The Boston Globe"
"Wolfe does an exemplary job of detailing the ceremonies performed at Mecca and the reasons behind them. The chosen excerpts give the readers a sense of how the hajj has changed over time as well as how constant the central ceremonies have remained. Highly recommended." "Library Journal" (starred review)
"A first-rate addition to a spiritual library." "Los Angeles Times"
"Serves as an excellent introduction to a religion, people, culture, and philosophy." "Santa Cruz Sentinel"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Michael Wolfe is the author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, and travel. In 1990, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca and subsequently wrote two books on the subject, "The Hadj: An American s Pilgrimage to Mecca" and "One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing about the Muslim Pilgrimage." For 15 years he was the publisher of Tombouctou Books. He is currently Co-Executive Producer and President of Unity Productions Foundation, a nonprofit media company that produces documentary films for television." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
It offers up some surprisies - like the city in which teh ruler has derceed that there is no need for the Muslims in his kingdom to pray, or the town where the young men shave their eyebrows (to this day apparently) after a famous local saint used this ploy to defend his honour.
It also recounts stories of interaction with westerners, from simple story of a freed English slave, to the British commanders involved in the attacks by the Saudi hordes against holy cities, insights into the crumbling Ottoman empire and of course perhaps the most famous account of Hajj busy Haji Malik Al-Shabaz aka Malcolm X. These hordes feature prominantly throughout the book as they present the constant threat of being robbed and left to die to those travelling to teh Hajj.
Whilst no doubt these apsects of the book have that "wow" factor, it is the simple accounts that shed light onto what is in the hearts of simple Haji's that is most striking - a desire to please their Lord.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is an excellent book. Equally enlighting to Muslims and Non-Muslim. I recommend it.
English-language works on the hajj in recent years. For Muslims about to undertake the hajj, Wolfe's thousand-year history of the great hajj narratives of men like ibn Jubayr and years later Malcolm X will offer the richness of the pilgrimage, which was often as much a picaresque travel adventure as spiritual rite. Non-Muslims will get a great swath of Muslim intellectual history, freed of the sometimes needless formalism and apologia of recent hajj narratives and a wonderful encapsulation of Islamic civilization at its height, and of course the great beauty of the pilgrimage itself. Wolfe's introductions to the many narratives serve, perhaps unintentionally, as an excellent summary of Muslim history to the present.