It is the largest exhibition ever held in France on the pilgrimage to Mecca. Hajj, Pilgrimage to the Mecca opens at the Institut du Monde Arabe (Institute of the Arab World) in Paris on April 23, tracing its historical evolution and artists’ impressions of the journey through 230 objects. The items have been curated from public and private collections, including the Louvre, diplomatic archives, university libraries and the British Museum. The exhibition is organised jointly with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Public Library.
Elodie Bouffard, the assistant curator of the exhibition, says “We wanted to show both the collective nature of the Haj as well as its highly personal, spiritual nature. This is a journey that people make together, yet it remains ‘an individual experience’”.
For more than 1,350 years, pilgrims have undertaken this important journey to the holy city of Mecca through four major land and sea routes.
According to Jack Lang, France’s former minister for culture and the current president of the Institut du Monde Arabe, the exhibition is an opportunity for visitors to discover some of the many rich facets of Islam in a country where Muslims represent the second largest religious group.
Even French President Francois Hollande after leaving the inauguration visited the exhibition yesterday.
Saudi Arabia is concentrating on promoting Mecca, including now in Europe in which they are attempting to win Europeans to be fascinated with it.
Shoebat.com last week reported that there is no place on earth today where stands the largest structure in the world, used for a religious purpose, all worshipping in one tongue regardless of their mother tongue, and is holy to more than 1.5 billion people on earth that is called Mount Babel, except the largest massive structures overlooking the Ka’ba which was recently built by Saudi Arabia. The structures on what is literally called “Mount Babel” by Arabs, serve also an observatory to monitor the movement of the moon and is called “Seven Towers of the House” reminiscent to the ancient name of Babel, which was called “The house of the seven lights of the earth”.
The Hadith had this to say about the Ka’ba:
“… the Kaaba is the house of God and God’s sanctuary is Bab-Illah (the gate to God), so when they went there, they stood by the door in supplication …”
Babel, the English pronunciation, and Bab-Illah are identical in meaning. The difference is simply in the accent.
Hannah Westley, The National, April 22, 2014
Shu’ab Al-Iman by Al-Bayhaqi, No. 4084, 3/684