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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎996] (33/688)

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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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Resources. —^Apart from the torn, ot Kadhimain the a3 f 0 '? s .
consist in onltivation and livestock of the same kinds as ? re . fo ™j a m ^? h ot ^ Te X i ^
of the Baghdad Saniaq, such as Jazirah. The principal canals which traverse the
Qadlm are described in the articles on the Euphrates river : they are those apparently from
the Saqlawiyah to the Latifiyah inclusive.
Administration. —Under Turkish rule the Qadha was of the _ 3rd class ^nd was not,
ru.i.a-cilly, sub-divided into NShij'ahs ; the town ot Kadhimam wa» the chef-hen. iho
Mrat al samyah had established a firm hold on the district and were represented by
Mudirs at Abu Ghuraib and MahmSdiyah.
Known also as Imam Musa ; this town in 'Iraq, situated on the right bank of the Tigris
about 3 miles north-west of Baghdad City, is important b^th as a Shi ah place of pil
grimage and as the headquarters of a Qadha of_ the same name in the Sanjaq and
Wilavat of Baghdad. It is connected with Baghdad by a horse-tramway (which was-
constructed by Midhat Pasha, Wali of Baghdad about 1870, and runs most of the way
along the top of an embankment^ and with Mu'adhdham on the opposite bank of the
Tigris by a bridge of 21 boats.
The permanent population of the town is about 8,000 souls, all Muhammadans, of
whom about 7,000 are Shi'ahs ; about 1,000 are Persian subjects ; 200 are British subjects,
being Indians or of Indian descent; and 50 are Russian subjects of Persian race.
The town is a hot-bed of vice venereal and ophthalmic maladies are common, and the
passage through the place of nearly all the Shi'ah corpses sent from Persia to be buried
at the holy places of Najaf and Karbala in no wise adds to its salubrity. In the cold
weather the population is largely increased by Shi'ah pilgrims on their outward and re
turn journeys.
The chief feature of the place is the tomb of the 7th and 9th Shi'ah Imams, namely,
Musa-bin-Ja'far and his grandson Muhammad-bin 'Ali, from whom the town derives its
name of Kadhimain or '• the Two Self Restrained Ones," although in strictness the epi
thet of Kadhim belongs to the 7th Imam alone. Christians are not admitted within the
precincts of the shrine, which is surrounded by a lofty wall; but a good general view of
the buildings can be obtained from the roof of a Khan which faces the main entrance.
The structure has the form of double cube, each of the two portions of which is surmount
ed by a cupola ; and four tall galleried minarets spring from near the corners of t'ao build
ing. After his visit to the shrine in 1874 Nasr-ud-Dln, Shah of Persia, imitating the
munificence of Nadir Shah at Karbala, caused the twin domes to be plated and the
minarets to be richly ornamented with gold, and the general effect produced by the largo
surfaces of the precious metal is brilliant in the extreme. The coloured encaustic tile
work of the entrance gate and minarets, also the stalactite corbelling below and the
carved wood-work above the galleries of the minarets, are equally remarkable. The
shrine is richly endowed and the endowments were formerly under the management of
the Auqaf Dspartment of the Turkish Government by whom the salaries of the custodians
and attendants were paid. There are graveyards here for devout Shi'ahs, of which
the principal is the Maqabir-i-Qaraish ; but they do not possess equal sanctity with
those of Najaf and Karbala.
Combs and small artistic objects of ivory, wood and tortoise-shell are manufactured
for export, chiefly by Persians ; Kashi or encaustic tiles and bricks are also made by
Persians ; and there are some skilful Persian painters who decorate walls and roofs. The
weaving of silk kerchiefs and handkerchiefs is a considerable industry and some of the
handkerchiefs are sent abroad as far as to Tunis and Algeria ; there arc also tanneries.
There is a trade in Persian carpets which the pilgrims, combining business with the
performance of a religious duty, bring with them from their country ; and the fact that
the pilgrims mostly leave their riding animals to wait for them at Kadhimain while they
proceed by stage-coach to Karbala, creates a large demand for forage. The pilgrims,
many of whom are visitors from cold climates, are considerable purchasers of tea, sugar
and wollen cloths. Kadhimain contains 30 Khans or hostelries and over 300 shops.
Under Turkish rule, the principal civil officials were the Qaim-Maqam of the Qadha and
representatives of the Departments of Customs and Public Debt. The ordinary police
forca of Kadhimain consisted of about 50 Dhabitlyahs, but at the Muharram, and on

About this item


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' [‎996] (33/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 February 2020]

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