Stunning New Book by Respected Scholar and Award Winning Photographer Offers a Rare Glimpse Into Islam’s Sacred Cities

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Released on Tuttle Publishing on November 5th, “Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant,” is written by Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the world’s foremost scholars on the subject of Islam. This is the first and only book of full-color photographs lifting the veil on the pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam considered mandatory in the foundation of Muslim life.

"Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant," a rare glimpse into Islam's most important cities.

Despite Islam's worldwide popularity, staking claim to one quarter of the world's population, many aspects of Muslim thought and belief remain an enigma to non-Muslims—until now. “Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant” offers readers 140 stunning photographs taken by the award winning photographer, Ali Kazuyoshi Nomachi, with the permission of the Saudi Arabian Authorities. The first book of its kind, “Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant” offers a groundbreaking glimpse into these sacred Muslim cities, with insightful narration from Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the world’s foremost scholars of Islamic, Religious and Comparative Studies in the world today.

Author Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, has published over fifty books including Islamic Art and Spirituality, Islamic Life and Thought, and Traditional Islam in the Modern World, and five hundred articles which have been translated into several major Islamic, European and Asian languages. Now a luminary in the academic world and professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, Professor Nasr began his career as the first Iranian to be admitted to MIT; he later graduated from Harvard University with a PhD. at the age of 25.

Photographer Ali Kazuyoshi Nomachi is known for his exhaustive research and field work covering the Arabian Peninsula. His photographs have been featured in Life, National Geographic, and Stern, among other leading magazines. Nomachi is the recipient of many awards, including the Annual Award 1997 from the Photographic Society of Japan.

Never-Before-Seen Imagery From Islam's Sacred Cities

While the cities of Mecca and Medina are restricted to Muslims, and photographing the sites requires special—and rarely given—permission from the Saudi Arabian authorities, Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant is an unprecedented exploration of Islam's most holy cities and the great pilgrimage, mostly presented in full-color, never-before-seen photographs.

A remarkable achievement, Japanese photographer Ali Kazuyoshi Namachi garnered the full support of the Saudi Arabian authorities to capture over 140 stunning and dynamic images, providing an opening to the mystical places and scenes of Islam. From breathtaking aerial photographs of the Arabian terrain, to vistas of teeming crowds of worshipers surrounding the Kacbah, Mecca's sacred center and the fulcrum toward which they face in prayer five times daily, to intense portraits of faithful Muslims in prayer, to the magnificent architecture reflecting the faith of the believers, this book allows both Muslims and those unfamiliar with the Islamic faith complete access to the holiest sites of one of the world's major religions.

A selection of archival illustrations is also included to supplement the photographs. Also featured is an essay about the spiritual and historical significance of both Mecca and Medina as well as a discussion of the meaning and symbolic content of the hajj—the Muslim annual pilgrimage to Mecca—by Professor Nasr, one of the most highly regarded scholars of Islam.

“Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant” is available for pre-order direct on Tuttle or on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About Tuttle Publishing
Established in 1948 by Charles Egbert Tuttle Jr. in Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, Japan, Tuttle Publishing is the premier publisher of English language books on Asian culture. Today, Tuttle maintains an active offering of books on a wide range of topics, including Asian culture, Asian literature, Asian architecture, Eastern spirituality, gardening, cooking, martial arts, crafts, travel, health and wellness, and fine art for a worldwide audience.

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