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A Pilgrimage: Study of Futuh al-Haramayn and Its Emotional Connotations

An online seminar hosted by The University of Western Australia. Part of the CHE Virtual Fellows Seminar Series


Image: Muhi al-Din Lari, Futon al-Haramayn (Description of the Holy Cities), dated A.H. 1089/A.D. 1678, p. 27. The Met

Date: Monday 22 August 2022
Time: 10:30am AWST / 12:30pm AEST
Venue: Online via Zoom. Please email emotions@uwa.edu.au for connection details. 
Enquiries: emotions@uwa.edu.au

This research aims to investigate emotions such as joy, longing, belonging, grief, peace, satisfaction, and excitement experienced by Medieval pilgrims conducting Hajj pilgrimage and the role of manuscripts, style of  illustrations, narratives, and stories told within the text, as well as described places, rituals and depicted objects on the arousal and intensification of emotions.

Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage and one of the pillars of Islam. Every year from the 1st to the 10th of Dhu al-Hijja (the twelfth and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar) Muslims gather in Mecca and perform symbolic rituals of Hajj in designated locations. This presentation focuses on the textual and pictorial study of Futuh al-Haramayn, a Hajj travelogue with illustrations. Futuh al-Haramayn contains pieces of poetry on the poet’s known as Muhyi al-Din Larispiritual and cultural experience during the Hajj. It contains detailed and well-performed illustrations which can be considered as maps of actual places in Mecca and Medina, two holy cities of Islam. 

This research will deepen our understanding of different emotions such as joy and grief, experienced by a pilgrim. It also sheds light on the role of poets, writers, scribes, and illustrators as well as market demand and public taste in the creation of such emotions.


Prof Charles Zika (The University of Melbourne)


Leila Alhagh is a research affiliate at the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University and CHE Honorary Virtual fellow. She holds a PhD in the conservation of cultural materials from The University of Melbourne. She has curated two exhibitions at The University of Melbourne and Immigration Museum, 'Didar: the stories of the Middle Eastern Collection' and 'Kahlil Gibran: the Garden of the Prophet'. Previously, she was a manuscript conservator at the Iranian Parliament in Tehran. Her main research is focussed on the interdisciplinary study of Medieval Islamic manuscripts detached from their places of origin and scattered in an Australian setting.