The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is a journey of self-discovery and an exploration of man's relationship with the Creator. Mecca is located in an arid land where thing grows, and few, if any, earthly distractions exist. The pilgrim is therefore left alone face to face with God. Each stage of the Hajj should bring the pilgrim closer to the objective of self kwledge. However, attaining this depends on each person's natural ability and desire to do so. For this reason, two Hajj journeys are ever alike, and every Hajj pilgrim leaves the great journey forever altered from the person they were beforehand. It is difficult to capture the Hajj in text or visually since the Hajj is larger than any possible description.No book or photograph can ever give the Hajj its due. Even those who perform the Hajj can never fully comprehend it. Nonetheless, in this book, Saudi princess and photographer Reem Al Faisal attempts to document the Hajj, which every Muslim must undertake once in his or her lifetime. But Princess Al Faisal, herself a Muslim, does t confine herself to recording religious expressions. With her photographs she also tries to reveal the divine in man and nature.For her, photography itself is a means of houring God's presence.
Reem Al Faisal is a granddaughter of the Saudi king Feisal. Her photographs have been exhibited in France, Egypt, China and Korea, and she was the first artist from a Gulf state to exhibit in Palestine. She is one of only a few women to have covered the Hajj extensively in her work. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is the University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, and has lectured widely throughout the United States, Western Europe and most of the Islamic world. The author of more than thirty books and over 300 articles, his works concern not only various aspects of Islamic studies but also comparative philosophy and religion, philosophy of art and the philosophical and religious dimensions of the environmental crisis.