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Bosnian Hajj Literature: Multiple Paths to the Holy

This is the first critical and theoretically grounded book-length study of Hajj literature (written texts about the experience of the Hajj) and Hajj practices of Bosnian Muslims.

It redefines the ways pilgrimage can be understood and offers new methods for investigating the meaning and importance of Hajj for generations of premodern and modern believers. It also throws light on Balkan communities previously ignored by modern scholarship in Islamic, religious, and area studies. Breaking with the predominant academic trends of focusing on nationalism and ethnic conflict in the region, it instead puts the spotlight on the richness of texts, and visual and archival material, and focuses on genres that challenge the established literary canons.

Explores changing attitudes to the holy through a study of five centuries of Bosnian Hajj literature

  • Discusses Hajj literature from Bosnia written between the 16th and 21st centuries in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish and Bosnian
  • Engages with a variety of classical and modern genres including narrative accounts, travelogues, journalistic reportages, diaries, letters and postcards, religious treatises, essays, poems and plays
  • Stands at the intersection of Islamic studies, religious studies and broader area studies
  • Recentres the study of Islam on practices and writings, and on the Balkan experiences, which are often seen as ‘peripheral’ within the Muslim world

About the Author

Dženita Karić is a senior researcher at the Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. She has published articles in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Archiv Orientalni, Prilozi za orijentalnu filologiju, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women, Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History (Brill), and Cultural History (forthcoming). She has also contributed to the edited volumes Muslim Women’s Pilgrimage to Mecca and Beyond: Reconfiguring Gender, Religion, and Mobility (ed. Marjo Buitelaar, Manja Stephan-Emmrich, Viola Thimm, Routledge 2020) and Muslim Pilgrimage in Europe (ed. Ingvild Flaskerud and Richard J. Natvig, Routledge 2016).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing about the Hajj through the Centuries

Layers of Mediation

The Bosnian Hajj through Centuries

The In-betweenness of the Bosnian Hajj

The Manāzil of the Book

1 The Meanings of the Sacred

Bosnian Scholars in the Ottoman Empire

The Universal Values of the Holy Places

The Eternal Protectors of the Holy Places

Mediating the Worlds through the Black Stone

The City and the Prophet

Loving the Prophet

Living and Dying in Medina


2 The Roads to Mecca

The Habitus of Hajj

Setting Off on the Voyage

On the Journey

Pious Visitations

Places of Highest Importance

Places and Senses


3 Change

Interwar Debates on the Hajj

Transforming the Hajj

Hajj on the Marketplace of News

Hajj as a Modern Curiosity

The Hajj between the Local and the Global

The Significance of the Pilgrimage


4 Dis/Connections

Promoting Yugoslavia: Postwar Hajj Delegations

Mecca in the Postwar Imaginary

No Angels in the Desert: Zuko Džumhur in the Hijaz

Against Empty Form: ‘I Do Not Kneel to You, Nor Do I Worship Thee’

Modernist Disconnections: Objections to Sufism

Kissing the Prophet’s Tomb with One’s Heart


5 Bosniaks between Homeland and Holy Land

Bosniaks on the Hajj with Their President

Maimed Bodies on the Hajj

Places Without God’s House

Rites and Close Encounters

Traversing the Distance – The Hajj and the Self


Conclusion: The Persistence of Devotion

Writing about the Hajj

The Hajj and the World

Possibilities of Mediation



Printed Books and Articles

Bibliographic Information

Title: Bosnian Hajj Literature: Multiple Paths to the Holy

Author(s): Dženita Karić

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

Length: 256 Pages

ISBN: 9781474494137

Pub. Date: December 2022

Click Here to Buy the Book.

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