The Hadj, or sacred journey, is the pilgrimage to the house of God at Mecca that all Muslims are asked to make once in their lifetimes. One of the world’s longest-lived religious rites, having continued without break for fourteen hundred years, it is, like all things Islamic, shrouded in mystery for Westerners. In The Hadj, Michael Wolfe, an American who converted to Islam, recounts his own journey a pilgrim, and in doing so brings readers close to the heart of what the pilgrimage means to a member of the religion that claims one-sixth of the world’s population. Not since Sir Richard Burton’s account of the pilgrimage to Mecca over one hundred years ago has a Western writer described the Hadj in such fascinating detail.
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