Since the advent of Islam, Hajj has been one of the most remarkable religious gatherings in the world. A compulsory act for Muslims, if they are able, the annual observance of Hajj has always had a great impact on the Muslim world, and for centuries pilgrims and rulers alike have held a deep love for the Holy Sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina. Yet until recently this ritual has remained largely unfamiliar to the Western world.
The Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage comprises some 5,000 objects covering all aspects of Hajj, from the eighth to the twenty-first centuries and geographically from China to India and around the globe to Morocco and the United Kingdom. It includes Qur’ans, illustrated manuscripts, rare books, scientific instruments, textiles, coins, paintings and prints, as well as unique archival documents and examples of the work of some of the earliest photographers of the Hajj. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of its kind.
Featuring insightful chapters on the Islamic principles of Hajj, travel, rituals, sacred manuscripts, textiles, souvenirs and Western perspectives, this wonderfully illustrated volume narrates and reveals the broad spiritual, cultural and artistic aspects of the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Told exclusively through the Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage by Qaisra M. Khan, formerly at the British Museum and now a curator for the Khalili Collections, who for more than fifteen years has specialized in the Arts of Pilgrimage, this book will significantly enrich all people’s understanding of this important practice.