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Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam

Date: 22/10/2012

This week 24th to 29th October 2012 Muslims from countries and cultures all over the globe will gather together to take part in the Hajj - the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which is central to the Muslim faith.

To mark the 2012 Hajj, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is re-releasing a short film which was made earlier this year which explores the AHRC-funded exhibition at British Museum, Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam (Jan – April 2012).

Going on Hajj is incumbent to Muslims who are instructed by the Qur'an to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lives – if they possibly can. When commenting on the Haji, Dr Venetia Porter said: This isn't just something about the past. It's about something that's happens absolutely now

Hajj: Journey to the heart of Islam was the first major exhibition dedicated to the Hajj. It was attended by thousands of visitors - both Muslim and non-Muslim - who were able to experience Hajj thorough a collection of beautiful objects, including historical and contemporary works of art, textiles and manuscripts. The exhibition brought to life the profound spiritual significance of the sacred rituals that have remained unchanged since the Prophet Muhammad's time in the 7th century AD.

The AHRC funding enabled Dr Venetia Porter, Curator of the exhibition, to undertake research focusing on the history of the Hajj, the material culture associated with it, and its contemporary religious and social aspects.

Dr Porter also worked in partnership with the University of Leeds on a collaboration that explored the British Communities' own unique experiences and of Hajj. Dozens of these experiences went on to become part of the Hajj exhibition – and are now available to view via an online gallery hosted by the British Museum.

Notes for editors

  • Watch the film, Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam.
  • For more information on the AHRC-funded Hajj project and to discover this exciting exhibition online, please visit the following link to the British Museum's website.
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.


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