Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Road to Mecca Paperback – January 1, 2000
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Let me get to the book. This book is actually four journeys fitted into one. It is a geographical, historical, linguistic, and spiritual journey all in one.
- Geographical: for it a first class travelogue of the Middle-East region during the twenties, before the current borders ever existed or were drawn. He provides a very graphic description of places, lands, moods, cities, and people that he has come across, that virtually transports you to those times. He is not the romantic orientalist, nor is he the underminning military observer, but somehow a mixture of both with a flair of adventure. He traveled during a period of time when it was still possible to join caravans, hire horses and guides, and buy camels when embarking on a journey, which makes it all the more exciting to read.Read more ›
On beginning the book I was initially disappointed by two things. First of all, Mr. Assad was a journalist. Secondly, the book was first published some 50 years ago - and the events described in it happened 20 years earlier than that. I have no objection to reading old books - far from it! - and I have in general no objection to reading books by journalists, but I tend to avoid old books by journalists. The journalist, by definition, you might say, is absorbed in the ephemera of current events; when he refers to the past, it is usually only to make a point about the present. And what may be a cogent observation about current events tends to pall quickly with time. At best, most old books by journalists are old news; at worst, downright laughable. Anybody who has tried to read an erstwhile best seller by Lowell Thomas or John Gunther will know what I mean. In addition, I feared that a book on religion by a journalist could only be superficial, so I resigned myself to making the best of what I feared was to be a bad situation; after all, I had already bought the book.
It was true that the book seemed steeped in the current events of 1930: the French and British "mandates" in the Middle East, the Saudi struggles against the Beni Hashim and their English friends for control of the Arabian peninsula, the Sanusi battling Fascist Italy in Libya, Shah Reza Khan building a new Iran. Most of these events are ancient history to Western readers, if indeed they ever heard of them at all.Read more ›
Muhammad Asad was a Polish-Austrian Jew born to an orthodox rabbi in Lwow (then a part of Austro-Hungary) in the summer of 1900 whose spiritual journey led him eventually to leave Judaism and embrace Islam. Though published in 1957, Asad is recounting events from the 1920s and early 1930s. The central thread is a haj to Mecca in 1932 via camel from the northern reaches of Saudi Arabia. He uses flashbacks to give the history of his travels and conversion.
His conversion started in adolescence. "Under the influence of an agnostic environment, I drifted...into a matter-of-fact rejection of all institutional religion." (61) Seeking adventure he joined the Austrian army toward the end of 1914. He was only 14, but tall. This made it easier to convincingly lie about his age. His father tracked him down, though, so his enlistment didn't last more than a few weeks. Four years later he was drafted into the army, "but by then was searching for other avenues to self-fulfillment." His draft enlistment was only a little longer than his previous one for soon Austria-Hungary was out of the war.
After attending a university for a time, he gave up his studies to pursue journalism. It wasn't the profession that drew him, per se, but rather wanderlust leavened with spiritual restlessness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book gives an interesting insight into the conditions of the middle east in late 1920's. A restless and very talented Viennese author joins his secular Jewish cousin at... Read morePublished 3 months ago by k iwasa
I've been reading this book for the last couple of days and am quite willing to share what changes did it shed in my life. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Hamza Mudassir
Excellent book! Author expresses everything in great detail and clarity. Selection of words is extremely impressive. Read morePublished 9 months ago by mmubar
This is a fascinating book—half travelogue and half conversion memoir. (Amazon also seems to have fixed the Kindle version, complained of in preview reviews—mine was excellent,... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Adam Wayne
This is unreadable. There is a better version out now. Don't get this one.Published 12 months ago by Kate Andalusia