|About the Book|
More than 800 years ago, an Iraqi scholar, teacher, preacher, ascetic, pilgrim, ambassador, and counsellor to the Abbâsid caliph left his native Iraq and settled in Syria. Alî ibn Abî Bakr al-Harawî (d. 611/1215) came to serve Saladin (r.MoreMore than 800 years ago, an Iraqi scholar, teacher, preacher, ascetic, pilgrim, ambassador, and counsellor to the Abbâsid caliph left his native Iraq and settled in Syria. Alî ibn Abî Bakr al-Harawî (d. 611/1215) came to serve Saladin (r. 564/1169-589/1193) and his sons as an advisor and an emissary to Christian rulers. Al-Harawî lived in an age in which the Jews and Christians of the Islamic world lived in relative peace and prosperity, even while Muslims were at war with the Crusaders. This period witnessed the spread of Sûfî orders, the construction of domed shrines, and the growth of pilgrimage activities throughout the Islamic world and Mediterranean. Al-Harawîs Kitâb al-ishârât ilâ marifat al-ziyârât is the only known medieval pilgrimage guide for the Islamic world, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. This unique account is presented by Josef Meri in a meticulously annotated English translation along with the parallel Arabic text, and an accessible introduction that explores al-Harawîs life and times. Among the pilgrimage sites included are the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the tombs of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, the shrine of the Prophets cousin and son-in-law Alî at Najaf in Iraq and that of the Prophet Ezekiel outside Baghdad. Also mentioned are Jewish and Christian sites and the antiquities of ancient Egypt and Byzantium. A Lonely Wayfarers Guide affords the reader a rare glimpse into the popular pietistic practices, rituals, and beliefs of the inhabitants of the medieval Mediterranean basin and the Islamic world in general. This guide testifies to the authors reverence for the holy places not just of Sunnî and Shîî Muslims, but also those of Jews and Christians.