Kapal Haji: Singapore and the Hajj Journey by Sea
Anthony Green and Raman Daud
The hajj calls Muslims to journey to Mecca from wherever they are across the world. Of the far-flung communities one of the largest is that of the Muslims in Southeast Asia, and within that region in times pat, one of the principal centres for hajj transit and transport was Singapore.
If modern air travel bridges continents within hours, before the 1970s, pilgrims travel from Southeast Asia was by sea and distance and difficulties were far more strongly felt. Hajj pilgrims then might take a lifetime to save for the journey, so a great many were old and frail, yet no real records remain and very few personal accounts exist of the experience, the tests, or fears along the way of the journey by sail or by “steam”.
This book sets out to describe the development of hajj shipping and the historical place of Singapore in this network. And, though anecdotes and comparisons, images and maps, to paint a picture of what the hajj journey entailed.