From Russia to Mecca: Hajj as an experience of a socio-cultural borderland

Naima Neflyasheva


Full Text:



The author discusses the special meaning and significance of Hajj in Islam: a journey to the holy city helped every Muslim to understand himself a member of a single Ummah. But the realities of the pilgrimage could make an obstacle in achieving of that goal. The article describes main routes of Hajj, which were used by the Russian Muslims; difficulties that pilgrims faced to on their way to Mecca. The author concludes: an ideal unity of all Muslims was troubled and challenged by everyday and technical difficulties on the way, an idealistic conception of the hajj contrasted to the realities of travel. As a result of the experience of hajj, Russian Muslims felt themselves as aliens at the sacred center of Islam.


hajj; pilgrimage; travel; Russian Muslims; Mecca; Ummah