Studying Mecca elsewhere: Exploring the meanings of the Hajj for Muslims in Morocco and the Netherlands

Kholoud Al-Ajarma, Marjo Buitelaar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

While the hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is a once-in-a-lifetime religious obligation, only a small percentage of Muslims can actually perform it. Yet, the desire to visit Mecca and perform the hajj is a strong presence in Muslims’ individual and collectives’ lives. This paper discusses the different approaches of both authors to the study of the meanings of the hajj in the daily lives of Muslims in Morocco and those of Moroccan descent in the Netherlands. The chapter reflects on the merits and limitations of several axes involved in the dialogical production of knowledge on practices and meanings of the hajj, such as participant observation versus interviews, being a Muslim researcher versus a non-Muslim researcher, and studying Muslims in a Muslim-majority country where Islam is a self-evident presence versus Muslims in a post-migration European context dominated by Islam-hostile views.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApproaching Pilgrimage
Subtitle of host publicationMethodological Issues Involved in Researching Routes, Sites and Practices
EditorsMario Katić, John Eade
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000982077
ISBN (Print)9780367682231
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Pilgrimage, Religious Travel and Tourism


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