Destination Mecca by Idries Shah

“‘Sayed Idries Shah has done much to explain the world of Islam to Westerners and in particular, to promote the study of Sufi philosophy among English-speaking people… Much of what he writes illuminates factors of permanent importance in the Middle East; and no one can read this book without carrying away a lasting impression of the vigour and vitality of Islamic culture, and of the many surprising manifestations of that culture in the Asian world of today.’”

The Times Literary Supplement

Available worldwide in all formats – including ebook and audio – on Amazon. In the USA go to, in the UK, in India You can also order Destination Mecca in paperback and hardback from your local bookstore — and in the UK and USA we also recommend; and in Australia and New Zealand Booktopia. ISF also publishes an edition in Spanish.

First published in 1957, Destination Mecca was both an ambitious Middle East travel memoir and a work of ethnographic and cultural research, taking the reader from Morocco to Saudi Arabia.

Destination Mecca is the Sufi writer Idries Shah’s sweeping classic travelogue through North Africa and the Middle East in the mid-20th century. As an Afghan from a Muslim background, and the son of a roving international diplomat, the author married familiarity with the region with the fresh eye of a traveller, making his account unique among books about the area.

Shah documents a wide range of fascinating journeys: from his quest for King Solomon’s Gold Mines on Sudan’s Red Sea coast, to encounters with Moroccan contraband smugglers, to his time as a personal guest of the elderly King of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud. The author’s family connections granted him access that was unavailable to other writers at the time.

Destination Mecca is both an invaluable snapshot of the Arab World, and a rare look at some of the seldom-seen cultural undercurrents running through it.