'Dritte Ansicht desselben; im Hintergrund windet sich der Weg nach Mekka'. 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 and middle ground is littered with tents of varying shapes and sizes. Several low-lying hills are evident in the background, while a pathway snaking from left through the centre into the distance is described as ‘the way to Mecca’ in the title.

Tradition relates that she requested to be buried at this location, where she married Mohammed.

This photograph is described as a ‘third view’, however, it does not appear to have been taken from the same vantage point as the two previous photographs.


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

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


103 x 145 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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'Dritte Ansicht desselben; im Hintergrund windet sich der Weg nach Mekka'. Photographer: al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār, British Library: Visual Arts, X463/9, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023514790.0x000014> [accessed 5 March 2024]

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