In this, one of his last works, Martin Lings discusses the significance of the pilgrimage to Mecca, made annually by several million Muslims, in the light of the tradition of Abraham. Drawing upon his own experience of performing the pilgrimage first in 1946 and then in 1978, as well referring to the traditional sources, he considers the timeless spiritual meaning of the Hajj, which was proclaimed and established by Abraham and Ishmael and renewed by the Prophet Muhammad, in the context of its long history and comes to some surprising conclusions.
About The Author
Martin Lings (1909–2005), also known as Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din, was an English writer, a student of Frithjof Schuon and a renowned British Shakespearean scholar, with degrees in English and Arabic from London University and Oxford University. At Oxford, he studied English under C. S. Lewis, who later became a close friend. Lings taught at several European universities and the University of Cairo and served as the keeper of Oriental manuscripts for the British Museum and the British Library.
His friendship and similar beliefs with philosophers René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon inspired Lings to convert to Islam. He went on to become an influential member of Western Muslim society, participating in several international Islamic councils and conferences, including acting as consultant to the World of Islam Festival Trust. He is the author of twelve books on religion and spirituality.
Martin Lings, formerly Keeper of Oriental Manuscript in the British Museum and the British Library, is the author of two works on Islamic mysticism, The Book of Certainty and A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, both published by the Islamic Texts Society. His Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, also published by the Islamic Texts Society, has been internationally acclaimed as a masterpiece.