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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1215] (264/688)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (341 folios). It was created in 1917. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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not restored for 22 years, and then only for a great ransom, when it was plain that even
the loss of its palladium could not destroy the sacred character of the city. Under the
Fatimites Egyptian influence began to be strong m Mecca ; it was supposed by
Sultans of Yemen, while native princes claiming descent from the Prophet,
Hashimite Amirs and after them the Amirs of the hous 3 of Qxtada attamedtogreat
authority and aimed at independence ; but soon after the final fall of the Abba. ,
the Egyptian overlordship was definitely established by Sultan Bibars. The Turkish
conquest of Egypt transferred the supremacy to the Ottoman Sultans, who treated
Mecca with much favour, and during the 16th century executed great works in the
sanctuary and mosque. The Ottoman power, however, became gradually almost
nominal and that of the Sharfs increased in proportion, culminating, under Ghalib,
whose accession dates from A. D. 1786. Then followed the wars of the Wahhabis and
the restoration of Turkish rule by the troops of Muhammad Ah. By him the dignity
of Sharif was deprived of much of its weight and in A. D. 1827 a change of dynasty was
effected by the appointment of Ibn 'Aun. Afterwards Turkish authority again
decayed. Mecca is, however, officiality the capital of a Turkish province and has a
Governor- General and a Turkish garrison, while Muhammadan law is established by
a judce sent from Constantinople. B it the real sovereign of Mecca and the Hejaz is
the Sharif, who as head of the princely family claiming descent from the Prophet,
holds a sort of feudal position. The dignity of Sharif, or Grand Sharif as Europeans
usually say for the sake of distinction since all the kin of the princely houses reckoning
descent from the Prophet are also named Sharif, although by no means a religious
pontificate, is highly respected owing to its traditional d?scent in the line of Hasan,
son of the fourth Khalif, 'Ali. From a political point of view the Shar f is the modem
counterpart of the ancient Amirs of Mecca, who were named in the public prayers
immediately after the reigning Khalif. {Murphy.)
Safa and Marwah—
In religious importance these two points or hills connected by the Masa, stand second
only to the Ka'abah, Safa is an elevated platform surmounted by a triple arch
and approached by a flight of steps. Ibu Jubair speaks of 14 steps. Ali Bey of 44,
Burckhardt of 3, the surrounding ground no doubt has risen so that the old name '' Hil
of Safa " is now inapplicable. It lies south-east of the Ka'abah, facing the black corner
and 76 paces from the '' Gate of Safa,'' which is architecturally the chief gate of the
mosque. Merwa is a similar platform, formerly covered with a single arch, on the
opposite side of the valley. It stands on a spur of the Red Mountain called Jabal
Kuaykian. The course between these two sacred points is 493 paces long, and the
religious ceremony called the '' Say '' consists in traversing it seven times, beginning
and ending at Safa. The lowest part of the course, between the so-called green mile
stones, is done at a run. This ceremony which as we shall presently see, is part of the
Omra is generally said to be performed in memory of Hagar, who ran to and fro
between the two eminences vainly seeking water for her son. The observance,
however, is certainly of pagan origin, and at one time there were idols on both the
so-called hills.
Sharifat of Mecca—
The Sharifs of the Imara family are of the Quraish tribe (now only a remnant of
about 200 families) and directly descended from Husain, son of the Khaliph ' Ali
and of Fatimah the Prophet's daughter.
The present Sharifial family dates its power to Sharif Muhammad, Tbn 'Aun, who
displaced in 1827 the younger branch represented by his predecessor, Ghalib. He
was a friend of Muhammad 'Ali of Egypt. The latter presented the Sharif with 5,700
feddans of land in Upper Egypt, of which 2,000 were constituted wakf. This property
is now administered for the Grand Sharif. The family has also about 500 feddans
at Dawakhila, near Mehalla, divided between the Sharif, his brother Nasir, his sisters
and his mother ; 100 feddans at Bahtin, and properties at Mecca, Taif, west Fatima,
west Laimun, and Raiyan. The principal residences of the Sharifs are at Mecca (winter)
and Taif (summer). They maintain a princely state and are the most civilized as well
as the wealthiest of Arabian potentates.

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Volume II of III of the Gazetteer of Arabia. The Gazetteer is alphabetically-arranged and this volume contains entries K through to R.

The Gazetteer is an alphabetically-arranged compendium of the tribes, clans and geographical features (including towns, villages, lakes, mountains and wells) of Arabia that is contained within three seperate bound volumes. The entries range from short descriptions of one or two sentences to longer entries of several pages for places such as Iraq and Yemen.

A brief introduction states that the gazetteer was originally intended to deal with the whole of Arabia, "south of a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah, through Ma'an, to Abu Kamal on the Euphrates, and to include Baghdad and Basrah Wilayats" and notes that before the gazetteer could be completed its publication was postponed and that therefore the three volumes that now form this file simply contain "as much of the MSS. [manuscript] as was ready at the time". It further notes that the contents have not been checked.

Extent and format
1 volume (341 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This volume's foliation system is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1215] (264/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 6 April 2020]

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