From the Introduction by A. de L. Rush
From the time of the prophet Muhammad to the present day, the descriptions and testimonies of history are gathered in the volumes of the monumental, fascinating and insipiring collection of Records of the Hajj.
"The first House of Worship founded for men was at Bakkah, Blessed and of guidance for all beings. In it are signs evident, even the place of Ibrahim. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage therto is a duty men owe to God - those who can afford the journey. But if any disbelieve, God does not stand in need of any of his Creatures." QUR´AN 3:96-97
The Editor writes about the history and significance of the Hajj...
The Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, Mina Arafat and Muzdalifa, is surely the world´s largest and most impressive international event. In our secular age, its appeal might have been expected to diminish, reflecting the current decline in the formal observance of other religions. Yet the reverse is true. Today, over two million Muslims converge on Mecca annually, a figure that the Saudi Arabian authorities expect to increase by a further million in the next ten years. Though this phenomenon owes much to the case of modern travel, it also attests to the enduring symbol of spiritual power, the Ka´bah, towards which muslims have been prostrating themselves for some 1,400 years in their prayers to the one invisible God, Allah. Yet the Hajj is not only of religious importance. Just as politics have always been an integral part of Islam, control of the Hajj has been associated with leadership of the Islamic World. The elements of idealism, suffering, violence and piety evident in the political history of Mecca are mirrored on a personal level in the experiences of individual pilgrims. The annals of the Hajj mention many occasions how pilgrims have been suffocated or trampled to death by fellow pilgrims pushing through the dense crowd. Most wonderful for anyone reading these fascinating pilgrimage records is to find irrefutable evidence of genuine exaltation and an intense redeeming faith permeating and validating the whole Hajj drama. While each year many pilgrims raise complaints, how many others find spiritual fulfilment. For them the Hajj is indeed a pillar of Islam, the experience of a lifetime. For them it makes all things bearable Even death is welcomed as the doorway to Heaven.
Volume 1: Spiritual and ceremonial background
The antiquity and spiritual significance of the Hajj; its establishment as a pillar of the Islmic faith; pilgrim prayers, invocations and rites.
Volume 2: The pre-Ottoman period (632-1516)
The Hajj and the early Arabian Caliphate; interuption of pilgrim rites by power struggles between Umayyads, Abbasids, Kharijites and other Islamic factions; seizure of the Black Stone by the Qarmatians (930); rise of the Meccan Sharifate and the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt as arbiters of the Hajj; the pilgrimage of Harun al-Rashid (802), Nasir-e Khosrau (1045), Ibn Jubair (1183), Mansa Musa (1325), Ibn Batuta (1326-28), Varthema (1503-4).
Volumes 3 and 4: The Ottoman period (1517-1916)
Entry of the Hajj into the sphere of the Ottomans; desription of pilgrims and pilgrim caravans in D'Ohsson's Tableau Général de l'Empire Ottoman (1790); expansion of the Hajj after introduction of steam navigation; preparation of pilgrimage reports by European government agents and accounts by officials, explorers and scholars including Burckhardt (1814), Burton (1853), Keane (1877-78), Snouck Hurgronje (1884) and Kazem Zadeh (1910-11).
Volume 5: The Hashimite period (1916-1925)
The Hajj under full Hashimite control after Sharif Husain's sponsorship of the Arab Revolt Against Turkey in the First World War; the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate (1924); pilgrims's complaints and sufferings encourage Ibn Sa'ud (later King'Abd al-'Aziz) to invade and destroy the new Hashimite Kingdom of the Hijaz and to take over the Hajj Administration.
Volume 6, 7 and 8: The Saudi period (1926-)
The absorbtion of the Holy Places into the Nascent Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the impact of Ibn Sa'ud's Wahhabi movement on the Hajj; attempt to assassinate Ibn Sa'ud during the pilgrimage (1935) ;the modernisation of the Hajj and the begining of motor and air transport; defilement of the Bayt al-Haram by Iranian pilgrims (1943); arrival of pilgrims from West Africa, Indonesia, Malaya and the Soviet Union; criticism of expansion projects at the Bayt al-Haram and the Prophet's Mosque; Juhaiman's insurrection at Mecca in 1400 AH (1979); charges of maladministration of the Hajj directed by opponents of the Al-Saud regime.
Volume 9: Health affairs
Medical reports on the pilgrimage; documentation on the development of international quarantine procedures for the prevention of cholera.
Box with maps, illustrations and genealogical tables.