About The Book
UPDATED AND EXPANDED EDITION
With a Foreword by Reza Aslan
One Thousand Roads to Mecca collects significant works by observant travel writers from the East and West over the last ten centuries–including two new contemporary narratives–creating a comprehensive, multifaceted literary portrait of the enduring tradition. Since its inception in the seventh century, the pilgrimage to Mecca has been the central theme in a large body of Islamic travel literature. Beginning with the European Renaissance, it has also been the subject for a handful of adventurous writers from the West who, through conversion or connivance, managed to slip inside the walls of a city forbidden to non-Muslims. These very different literary traditions form distinct impressions of a spirited conversation in which Mecca is the common destination and Islam the common subject of inquiry.
Featured writers include Ibn Battuta, J.L. Burckhardt, Sir Richard Burton, the Begum of Bhopal, John Keene, Winifred Stegar, Muhammad Asad, Lady Evelyn Cobbald, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, and Malcolm X. One Thousand Roads to Mecca is a historically, geographically, and ethnically diverse collection of travel writing that adds substantially to the literature of Islam and the West.
“A first-rate addition to a spiritual library.” –Los Angeles Times
“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)
‘serves as an excellent introduction to a religion, people, culture, and philosophy.” –Santa Cruz Sentinel