Approximate Distribution of the Rites or Schools of Law and Religious Sects of Islam in Arabia


This map illustrates the varieties of religious affiliation in the Muslim populations of the Middle East. It shows the locations of adherents to the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence and the distribution of Shia populations. Where it is impossible to portray this diversity visually, the sheet provides a few paragraphs of further explanation, such as on the Senussi order in Medina, the Maliki school of Islamic law in Syria, and the Hanafi school as the official law of the Ottoman provinces. The map is rich in detail, and shows a profusion of small towns and villages. Deserts or areas “of low culture” such as the Arabian Desert, the Sinai, and the Eastern Desert of Egypt are shown as white space. Information on the map is given as of September 1918. The map covers the area from Homs (Syria) and Chermansciah (present-day Kemanshah, Iran) in the north to the entire Arabian Peninsula in the south and east. The map was created by the prolific Italian cartographer Achille Dardano (1870−1938) and annotated by Carlo Alfonso Nollini (1872−1938), a scholar who was at one time the professor of famous Egyptian writer Taha Hussein. The map was photolithographed by the Italian Ministry of Colonies.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Italy. Ministry of Colonies


Title in Original Language

Arabia distribuzione approssimativa dei riti o scuole giuridiche e delle sette religiose Musulmane

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 68 x 54 centimeters


  • Scale 1:6,000,000


  1. Leonardo Capezzone “Nallino, Carlo Alfonso,” in
  2. Elio Migliorini “Dardano, Achille,” in

Last updated: June 9, 2015