A guide book for pilgrims, including a 17th-century depiction of the Holy Shrine of Mecca
A 17th-century copy of the Futūḥ al-Ḥaramayn, a poetical description of the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina and the rites of pilgrimage by Muḥyī Lārī (d.1526 or 1527).
A guidebook for pilgrims
The Futūḥ al-ḥaramayn (‘Revelations of the two sanctuaries’) was written in the early 16th century by Muhyī al-Dīn Lārī as a guidebook to the pilgrimage (hajj) which all Muslims must complete once in their lifetime. It was dedicated to Muzaffar Shah II, Sultan of Gujarat (r. 1511–1526) and describes in Persian verse the holy sites in and and around the cities of Mecca and Medina. Many copies were made with colourful illustrations, which are usually stylised and diagrammatic rather than strictly accurate representations. Several were copied in Mecca itself, suggesting that they could have been intended as souvenirs for pilgrims.
What do we see here?
This copy contains seventeen paintings dating from the 17th century. Featured here are the tombs of the Prophet’s wife Khadījah and others at Mecca (f. 23v, digitised image 2) and the tombs of his family in the cemetery of Baqiʻ al-Gharqad (f. 39r, digitised image 3), which was destroyed in 1806.
Explore this manuscript in its entirety via our Digitised Manuscripts website.
- Article by:
- Sophia Arjana
- Islam, Pilgrimage, text and place
Hajj is the most well-known pilgrimage in Islam. Here Dr Sophia Arjana discusses its role in the religion, whilst also looking at Shi‘a and regional pilgrimages, sainthood and sacred space in Islam.