An Inscription Containing Supplication For Acceptance Of The Ḥajj, 91 AH / 710 CE

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First Composed: 22nd December 2014

Last Modified: 11th September 2015

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

(a)

(b)

Figure (a) trace of original inscription, and (b) its transcription.

Date

Dhul Qʿadah, 91 AH / September 710 CE.

Size

80 cm x 55 cm.

Script

Kufic script.

Contents

The translation of the inscription is given below. The Arabic part is in italics:

  1. O God, forgive Makhlad bin Abi Makhlad
  2. mawla of ʿAli, and accept from him his Ḥajj,
  3. Ameen! Lord of the Worlds. And written
  4. in Dhul Qʿadah of the year one
  5. and ninety. May God have mercy on him who read 
  6. this writing and thereafter said Ameen.

Comments

Found on the Ḥajj route from Syria, this is the second earliest mention of the Ḥajj in a dated inscription from the 1st century AH.[1] Another inscription on this route from 100 AH / 719 CE also mentions the Ḥajj as well. The earliest mention of the Ḥajj comes from an inscription dated 82 AH / 701-702 CE on the Darb Zubayda pilgrimage route. There is also a near contemporaneous papyrus dated 86-99 AH / 705-717 CE which also mentions the Ḥajj and as an exhortation from the amīr al-muʾminīn to the people encouraging its performance.

The supplicant is asking for forgiveness and acceptance of his Ḥajj that will commence in a few days time (or that he has already completed). From the date on the inscription, one can calculate the 10th Dhul Ḥijjah 91 AH to be 8th October 710 CE. The Ḥajj is likely to have had additional significance this year as it was personally led by the amīr al-muʾminīn, al-Walid (r. 86-96 AH / 705-715 CE).[2]

Location

Al-Awjariyah, Saudi Arabia.

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References

[1] H. B. A. H. Al-Kilabi, Al-Nuqūsh Al-Islāmīyah ʿala Ṭarīq al-Ḥajj al-Shāmī bi-Shamāl Gharb al-Mamlakah al-ʿArabīyah al-Saʿūdīyah, 2009, Maktabat al-Malik Fahd al-Waṭanīyah: Ar-Riyāḍ, 2009, pp. 70-71.

[2] M. Hinds (Trans.), History Of Al-Tabari, Volume XXIII: The Zenith Of The Marwanid House, 1990, State University Of New York Press: Albany (NY), pp. 179-181. For some interesting commentary see, M. E. McMillan, The Meaning Of Mecca: The Politics Of Pilgrimage In Early Islam, 2011, Saqi Books: London, pp. 97-100 (Power and Patronage: The Caliphal Ḥajj Of 91 AH).

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