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Seven Wonders Of The Muslim World

Airs Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Young Muslims leave their homes and families to take the journey of a lifetim...

Credit: Courtesy of American Public Television

Above: Young Muslims leave their homes and families to take the journey of a lifetime, bound for Saudi Arabia on their first pilgrimage to Mecca.

Making a pilgrimage to Mecca, birthplace of the prophet Muhammad, is one of the five pillars of the Muslim faith. In "Seven Wonders Of The Muslim World," a group of young Muslims leave their homes and families to take the journey of a lifetime, bound for Saudi Arabia on their first pilgrimage to Mecca. This compelling documentary traces the history and message of Islam as it follows these young pilgrims, exploring their lives and beliefs as well as the beautiful and historic mosques where they worship.

Islam spread rapidly around the world within decades of the death of Muhammad, and its history can be traced through the flowering of exquisite Muslim architecture. Over the next few hundred years, beautiful mosques were constructed around the globe — from Spain and Iran to Turkey and Mali — forming important centers of worship for the Muslim life.

"Seven Wonders Of The Muslim World," explores seven noted mosques — the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem; the Alhambra in Granada, Spain; the Blue Mosque in Istanbul; the Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali; the Imam Mosque in Esfahan, Iran; the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan; and the Grand Mosque of Mecca, where all practicing Muslims turn when they pray.

The pilgrims profiled are articulate and passionate about Islam, and their journeys are filled with emotion, especially when they reach their final destination — the Grand Mosque. Here, the cameras were given unusual access as the devout from around the world circle the Grand Mosque's Kaaba Shrine, the holiest place on Earth for Muslims.

"Seven Wonders Of The Muslim World" sheds light on the key tenets of the Muslim faith and at the same time reveals the stunning beauty of its major mosques.

Preview: Seven Wonders Of The Muslim World

Making a pilgrimage to Mecca, birthplace of the prophet Muhammad is one of the five pillars of the Muslim faith. In "Seven Wonders Of The Muslim World," a group of young Muslims leave their homes and families to take the journey of a lifetime, bound for Saudi Arabia on their first pilgrimage to Mecca. This compelling documentary traces the history and message of Islam as it follows these young pilgrims, exploring their lives and beliefs as well as the beautiful and historic mosques where they worship.

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