Routes across Arabia: pilgrimage routes from the region of the modern United Arab Emirates in historical context
Keywords:hajj, UAE, Arabia, routes, pilgrimage
The hajj routes followed by pilgrims from the region of the modern United Arab Emirates (UAE) developed from ancient trading routes across the Arabian Peninsula. This paper focuses on routes taken by three twentieth-century pilgrims from this region (ʿAbdallāh b. Nasīb, Umm ʿUbayd, and Saʿīd b. Rāshid al-Zuʿābī), and contextualizes them by examining how they fit into earlier journeys by medieval Muslim travellers (Nāṣir-i Khusraw, Ibn Baṭṭūṭah, and al-Hamdānī), and twentieth-century British explorers (Harry St John Philby and Wilfred Thesiger). The paper draws on original accounts written by the travellers in question, as well as oral history interviews of the Emirati pilgrims collected by ʿAbdallāh ʿAbd al-Rahmān in the 1980s. The analysis also relies on the close examination of satellite images, combined with historical and contemporary maps of the Arabian Peninsula to gain a more accurate understanding of possible pilgrimage routes. The paper's significance lies in its introduction of Arabic-language primary sources into the English-language literature on the topic, and its empirical focus on the less-commonly examined issue of pilgrimage routes from present-day UAE.
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Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK