An Inscription Containing Supplication For Acceptance Of The Ḥajj, 91 AH / 710 CE
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First Composed: 22nd December 2014
Last Modified: 5th July 2021
Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
Figure (a) trace of original inscription, and (b) its transcription.
Dhul Qʿadah, 91 AH / September 710 CE.
80 cm x 55 cm.
The translation of the inscription is given below. The Arabic part is in italics:
- O God, forgive Makhlad bin Abi Makhlad
- mawla of ʿAli, and accept from him his Ḥajj,
- Ameen! Lord of the Worlds. And written
- in Dhul Qʿadah of the year one
- and ninety. May God have mercy on him who read
- this writing and thereafter said Ameen.
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.[1,2] Two other inscriptions on this route dated 97 AH / 715-716 CE and 100 AH / 719 CE mention the Ḥajj as well – interestingly, the former commemorates the Ḥajj of Umayyad Caliph Sulaymān ibn ʿAbd al-Malik. 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).
Al-Awjariyah, Saudi Arabia.
 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.
 Alī Ibrahīm Al-Ghabbān, Les Deux Routes Syrienne Et Égyptienne De Pèlerinage Au Nord-ouest De L'Arabie Saoudite, 2011, Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale: Cairo (Egypt), pp. 499-501 (Graffito No. 1), pp. 594-595 (Figures 224-225).
 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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