Mecca.

Escapar de la Meca

LOS ÁNGELES – La avalancha en la Meca ocurrida recientemente, en la que más de mil peregrinos murieron aplastados durante el haj, es un suceso trágico pero ofrece un recordatorio poderoso de la importancia de la ciudad en el mundo musulmán. De acuerdo con la tradición teológica, todo musulmán tiene que viajar a la ciudad por lo menos una vez en su vida, si le es posible.

Sin embargo, la importancia que ha cobrado en el Islam la peregrinación a la Meca es reciente. La ciudad siempre ha tenido un significado simbólico, pero su relevancia para millones de musulmanes en todo el mundo es en mucho un fenómeno moderno, que ha crecido en las últimas décadas a medida que funcionarios sauditas y clérigos wahabíes fundamentalistas iban promoviendo el turismo religioso como una manera de aumentar su influencia.

Durante gran parte de la historia islámica, una inmensa mayoría de musulmanes no viajaron a la Meca. En cambio, hicieron peregrinaciones locales a santuarios importantes que siguen engalanando el mundo musulmán. Algunos están dedicados a profetas coránicos y son incluso más antiguos que Mahoma, otros se dedican a imanes chiitas o santos sufitas; y otros se siguen dedicando a mujeres musulmanas sagradas. El nombre de un lugar sagrado, el necrópolis de Makli en Pakistán, sugiere su ambición medieval de convertirse en una destinación para los peregrinos: Makli significa “la pequeña Meca”.

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