The Longest Journey

The Longest Journey : Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca

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The pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, has been a yearly phenomenon of great importance in Muslim lands for well over one thousand years. Each year, millions of pilgrims from throughout the Dar al-Islam, or Islamic world, stretching from Morocco east to Indonesia, make the trip to Mecca as one of the five pillars of their faith. Records for this practice show that the majority of pilgrims in Islam's earliest centuries came from surrounding polities, such as Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. Yet by the end of the nineteenth century, and the beginning of the twentieth, fully half of all pilgrims making the journey in any one year could come from Southeast Asia. This is astonishing because of the distances traveled; sailing ships, and later huge steamers as described in Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim, plodded across the length of the Indian Ocean to disgorge pilgrims on Arabian docks. Yet the huge numbers of Southeast Asian pilgrims may be even more phenomenal if one thinks of the spiritual distances traveled. The variants of Islam practiced in Southeast Asia have traditionally been seen as syncretic, making the effort, expense, and meaning of undertaking the Hajj hugely important in local life.
Millions of Southeast Asians, from Southern Thailand into Malaysia and Singapore, from Indonesia up through Brunei and the Southern Philippines, have now made this voyage. More undertake it every year. The movement of Islam in global spaces has become a topic of interest to states, scholars, and the educated reading public for many reasons. The Hajj is still the single largest transmission variant of Muslim ideologies and fraternity in the modern world. This book attempts to write an overarching history of the Hajj from Southeast Asia, encompassing very early times all the way up until the present.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162.56 x 238.76 x 27.94mm | 748.42g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 019530828X
  • 9780195308280

Table of contents

Introduction ; Part I: Charting the Hagg over the Centuries ; 1. Ancient Footsteps: Southeast Asia's Earliest Muslim Pilgrims ; 2. Mecca's Tidal Pull: The Red Sea and Its Worlds ; 3. Financing Devotion: The Economics of the Pre-Moden Hajj ; 4. Sultanate and Crescent: Religion and Politics in the Indian Ocean ; Part II: The Hajj through Four Colonial Windows ; 5. In Conrad's Wake: Lord Jim, the "Patna," and the Hajj ; 6. A Medical Mountain: Health Maintenance and Disease Control on the Hajj ; 7. The Skeptic's Eye: Snouck Hurgronje and the Politics of Pilgrimage ; 8. The Jeddah Consulates: Colonial Espionage in the Hejaz ; Part III Making the Hajj "Modern" ; 9. Regulating the Flood: The Hajj and the Independent Nation-State ; 10. On the Margins of Islam: Hajjis from Ourside Southeast Asia's "Islamic Arc" ; 11. "I was the Guest of Allah": Hajj Memoirs and Writings from Southeast Asia ; 12. Remembering Devotion: Oral History and the Pilgraimage ; Conclusion ; Notes ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

This book offers interesting facts and ideas about the political and economic context of the Hajj, as well as interesting snippets on the situation in contemporary Southeast Asia, especially in the countries with Muslim minorities. * Henri Chambert-Loir, American Historical Review * Tagliacozzo's excellent new monograph outlines the social and economic exchange that accompanied the journey to Mecca of Southeast Asian Muslims ... a concise, erudite monograph ... Highly recommended. * P.B. Guingona, CHOICE *
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About Eric Tagliocozzo

Eric Tagliacozzo is Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, Cornell University. He is the author of Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915
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