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Holy Cities, The Pilgrimage and the World of Islam

“Mecca and Medina, the world’s most forbidden cities, have long been a symbol of mystery and fascination to outsiders...In this unique, ground-breaking book, one of the world’s leading experts in Arabian history investigates the colourful, often astonishing story of these two great cities. Carefully sifting fact from legend, Sultan Ghalib describes their architecture, religious life, society, and politics, and shows how they have played a pivotal role in the history of Islam. All those with an interest in Islamic civilization, religion, and current affairs, will find this volume an indispensable resource.”
– T.J. Winter, Professor of Islamic Studies, Cambridge University

“The product of years of painstaking research drawing on thousands of sources inaccessible to all but rare scholars of Islam, The Two Holy Cities, The Pilgrimage and the World of Islam by Sultan Ghalib al-Qu’aiti uses the single lens of the pilgrimage and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to look deep into the history of Islamic civilization. Not only scholars but all who are interested in how Islamic religion and culture have exerted power and fascination down through centuries of intricate Muslim social and political history will benefit from this book.”
– Frank Vogel, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Adjunct
Professor of Islamic Legal Studies, Harvard Law School

“...The book offers the reader an inspiring review of the various aspects of cultural life in the two Holy Cities across the centuries, based on authentic journals of contemporary [to each period] travelers and expeditions...This book is the product of an extensive and commendable effort on the part of the author to present the reader with a wide and comprehensible insight into the vicissitudes of time which encompassed the two Holy Mosques, the most sacrosanct and venerated sanctuaries in Islam.”
– Professor Ekmeleddin Ih



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