The Sacred Journey: Exhibiting the Ottoman Hajj route

The Sacred Journey: Rediscovering the Ottoman Hajj Route Exhibition Launch
2 min read
19 November, 2021
In a unique opportunity to walk in the steps of pilgrims gone by, the Yunus Emre Institute in London has set up an exhibition that chronicles the Ottoman route to Hajj. Performing Hajj is a central tenet of Islam, and is mandatory for all Muslims.

Hajj, the last of the five pillars of Islam, is a sacred pilgrimage that Muslims around the world perform. It takes place during the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar (Dhul-Hijjah) at one of the holiest sites in Islam, Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Hajj is a spiritual journey that Muslims believe that God has commanded for every believer so long as they are physically, financially, and emotionally able. Thus, understanding hajj, its tenets as performed by early Muslims, and its history is an exciting learning process for adherents of the faith (and curious non-adherents alike).

The Yunus Emre Enstitüsü London has organised a fascinating exhibition on this vital Islamic pillar themed The Sacred Journey: Rediscovering the Ottoman Hajj Route. This exhibition promises to serenade its audience by bringing the Ottoman Hajj route to life.

"Understanding hajj, its tenets as performed by early Muslims, and its history is an exciting learning process for adherents of the faith (and curious non-adherents) alike"

Professor Andrew Petersen and his colleagues collected the pictures, maps, artefacts, and documents that will make up this exhibition through years of archaeological work.

The exhibition hosts a number of key artefacts from the route, as well as providing keynote lectures and seminars of the route's history and significance [Yunus Emre Institute London]
The exhibition hosts a number of key artefacts from the Ottoman Hajj route, as well as providing keynote seminars on the route's history [Yunus Emre Institute London]

Professor Petersen has previously carried out several archaeological research in Middle Eastern and African countries, including Iraq, Palestine, Oman, Jordan, the UAE, Qatar, Syria, Kenya, and Tanzania. He has also written many articles on his research interests, including one published in 2008 called The Ottoman Hajj Route in Jordan, which is relevant to this exhibition.

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The Sacred Journey: Rediscovering the Ottoman Hajj Route is free to the general public. It officially opened on Thursday, November 18 2021 at Yunus Emre Enstitüsü - London, in Fitzrovia and will run until December 17, 2021.

There will also be a four-part (online and offline) lecture series available throughout the exhibition. These lectures will explore the different aspects of the holy pilgrimage, hence a perfect companion to the visual exhibits. 

Aisha Yusuff is a book reviewer with a focus on African and Muslim literature. Her work can be found on @thatothernigeriangirl as well as in digital magazines like Rewrite London.

Follow her on Twitter: @allthingsaeesha