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(914 words)

Author(s): Martin Nguyen
Caravans, derived from the Persian “ kārwān”, generally refer to a group of travelers journeying in a convoy through desert terrain. Initially caravans formed to facilitate travel and provide security in pursuit of trade. However, they also arose in response to the religious impetus of pilgrims. The confluence of commerce and pilgrimage was already underway in pre-Islamic Mecca. With the rise and spread of Islam the ritual importance of the Ḥajj saw to the establishment of regular caravans for the pre…