Muslim Pilgrimage in the Modern World

Edited by Babak Rahimi, Peyman Eshaghi

292 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 8 halftones, 1 map, 5 graphs, 5 tables

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5146-0
    Published: June 2019
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5145-3
    Published: June 2019
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-5147-7
    Published: April 2019
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4938-0
    Published: April 2019

Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks

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Pilgrimage is one of the most significant ritual duties for Muslims, entailing the visitation and veneration of sites associated with the Prophet Muhammad or saintly figures. As demonstrated in this multidisciplinary volume, the lived religion of pilgrimage, defined by embodied devotional practices, is changing in an age characterized by commerce, technology, and new sociocultural and political frameworks. Traveling to and far beyond the Hajj, the most well-known Muslim pilgrimage, the volume’s contributors reveal and analyze emerging contemporary Islamic pilgrimage practices around the world, in minority- and majority-Muslim countries as well as in urban and rural settings. What was once a tiny religious attraction in a remote village, for example, may begin to draw increasing numbers of pilgrims to shrines and tombs as the result of new means of travel, thus triggering significant changes in the traditional rituals, and livelihoods, of the local people. Organized around three key themes—history and politics; embodiment, memory, and material religion; and communications—the book reveals how rituals, practices, and institutions are experienced in the context of an inexorable global capitalism.

The volume contributors are Sophia Rose Arjana, Rose Aslan, Robert R. Bianchi, Omar Kasmani, Azim Malikov, Lewis Mayo, Julian Millie, Reza Masoudi Nejad, Paulo G. Pinto, Babak Rahimi, Emilio Spadola, Edith Szanto, and Brannon Wheeler.

About the Authors

Babak Rahimi is director of the Program for the Study of Religion and associate professor of communication, culture, and religion at the University of California San Diego.
For more information about Babak Rahimi, visit the Author Page.

Peyman Eshaghi is a doctoral student in anthropology and sociology of religion at the University of Chicago.
For more information about Peyman Eshaghi, visit the Author Page.


“This multidisciplinary volume demonstrates how the hajj is impacted in the modern world by commerce, technology, and political concerns. . . . [by] incorporating history, memory, and materiality and a consideration of communication, new media, and space.” --CHOICE

“Fascinating and eclectic. . . . A welcome contribution to the growing theoretical and empirical scholarship on Muslim pilgrimage in English. . . . Rahimi and Eshagi have done a fine job compiling essays that are packed with fresh insights and new ways of thinking about the practices and meanings of Muslim pilgrimages.”--H-Net Reviews

“Featuring an innovative focus on the notion of ‘embodiment,’ this multidisciplinary volume’s attention to non-Hajj pilgrimage and the aesthetic and material cultures of pilgrimage—as well as to race, gender, class, and nationality—meshes well with issues that pervade the contemporary practices of Muslim pilgrimage. With its coverage of Muslims outside of the wide swath of lands that are traditionally the focus of scholarship on Islam, this book provides a nice glimpse into today’s landscapes where pilgrimage is a daily, normal part of life for many citizens.”—Eric Tagliacozzo, Cornell University

“This thematically organized volume on Muslim practices of religiously substantiated travel goes both far beyond mere descriptions—and far beyond the Hajj. A substantial contribution to a number of fields in the study of Islam.”—Jan-Peter Hartung, University of Goettingen