'Zweite Ansicht des Lagers der Mèjmūnahpilger'. Photographer: al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār


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The record is made up of 1 collotype print. It was created in 1886-1889. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Visual Arts.

About this record


Genre/Subject Matter:

This landscape view shows an expansive camping ground near Mecca at a place called Sarif (Saref or ‘èn-Nawwārijjeh’, according to Snouck Hurgronje), described as ‘the grave of our lady Maymūna [the last of nine wives married to the prophet Mohammed] and camp of the Meccan pilgrims who travelled there’. Snouck Hurgonje, in the second volume of his publication Mekka describes the place, as well as the festival of ‘Sittanā Mèjmūnah’ in detail.

Much of the foreground, middle ground and background is littered with tents of varying shapes and sizes. In the foreground bushes can be seen and in the middle ground and background pilgrims are grouped together. A ridge of hills rises to the left and extends into the far distance on the right along the horizon.

Tradition relates that she requested to be buried at this location, where she married Mohammed. A group of pilgrims form a circle to the right of the centre of the image. At centre, the camera has captured the movement of pilgrims walking.

The negative has had hand-work applied, creating a drawing-like quality in places, particularly in the background.

This is the second of two photographs taken from the same vantage point, which form a panoramic view over the camp. The first is X463/7.


Above image, on the right, in ink: ‘VIII’

Temporal Context:

According to Durkje van der Wal in his publication Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje: The First Western Photographer in Mecca, 1884-1885 (Amsterdam : Manfred & Hanna Heiting Fund, Rijksmuseum, 2011, pp. 43-51), the photographs in this publication that pertain to the hadj (this image included) likely date to August 1888 since this was the period of the last hadj before February 1889, the date Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje received the final consignment of images.

Extent and format
1 collotype print
Physical characteristics


188 x 244 mm


Collotype print, pasted into volume


The print is in good condition with minor surface dirt and light abrasions throughout.





Written in
Arabic in Arabic script

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Visual Arts
Access conditions


Archive reference

History of this record

1886-1889 (CE, Gregorian)

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'Zweite Ansicht des Lagers der Mèjmūnahpilger'. Photographer: al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār, British Library: Visual Arts, X463/8, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023514790.0x000005> [accessed 24 April 2024]

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