The World Of The Middle East

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Pilgrimage is no more! For hundreds, even thousands of years, pilgrims across the Middle East have been undertaking immensely costly and onerous journeys to reach holy sites, such as: Mecca, Medina, Damascus, among many others. Although, their reasons for the visit varied, they all shared a common underlying importance— to please God. This great tradition, which brought millions of Muslims spiritual elevation and honor by obeying Allah, does not exist anymore. Colonialism and modernity have taken their tolls on Islam, which left very little of its purest form untainted. The industrial capitalist agenda of the west sped up technological advancement, which subsequently warped the world into a smaller, more easily accessible place. No longer did a pilgrim must rely solely on his own feet, or that of a camel’s. While the Middle East became a smaller place, new ethnic, religious, and geographic borders were raised that, ever so rapidly generate logistical, religious, as well as, ethical issues which Islam must continually contend with. So, has true pilgrimage really been destroyed and simply replaced with a purely commercialized shell? Despite some of the arising negative aspects and challenges, I argue that spiritual pilgrimage persists to this day; it has merely adapted to the world’s increasing volatility. Before attempting to presenting the basis for my argument, it is important to loosely lay out what a pilgrimage to a holy site such as Mecca means and what it entails.
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