The Sacred City

Book - 2014
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Mecca is, for many, the heart of Islam. It is the birthplace of Muhammad, the direction to which Muslims turn when they pray, and the site of pilgrimage that annually draws some three million Muslims from all corners of the world. Yet the significance of Mecca is more than purely religious. What happens in Mecca and how Muslims think about the political and cultural history of Mecca has had and continues to have a profound influence on world events to this day.

In this insighful book, Ziauddin Sardar unravels the meaning and significance of Mecca. Tracing its history, from its origins as a "barren valley" in the desert to its evolution as a trading town and sudden emergence as the religious center of a world empire, Sardar examines the religious struggles and rebellions in Mecca that have significantly shaped Muslim culture. An illuminative, lyrical, and witty blend of history, reportage, and memoir, Mecca reflects all that is profound and enlightening, curious and amusing about Mecca and takes us behind the closed doors to one of the most important places in the world today.

Publisher: New York, New York :, Bloomsbury,, 2014, ©2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781620402665
Branch Call Number: 297. 352 SAR
Characteristics: xxxviii, 408 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), map ; 25 cm


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May 25, 2019

A superb record of the history of Mecca. Read this for one of the best uses of the English language as well as for a detailed, comprehensive history of Mecca, the Kaaba and the beginning of Islam.
I was amazed at the author's use of English: his smooth story telling style is something to be mimicked by writers. This is the first time I read about this holy city, founded by Ibrahim, prophet to the Jews, Christians and Islam. Here you can read evidenced information about the early battles for Islamic monotheism during and after Prophet Mohammed's short life. Here too you can get an idea of the power held by women in Isalam. The author documents,too, the sad deterioration of the Islamic values set by Mohammed in the hands of those who wield power in recent years in the birthplace of Islam.
I only wish that this author published further works on the history of Islam and the characteristics of past and present leaders.

Jun 07, 2015

Love this book! So well written and such a lively history.

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