The Attraction of Hearts to the House of the Beloved


Jaz̲b al-qulūb ilá diyār al-maḥbūb (The attraction of hearts to the house of the beloved) by ʻAbd al-Haqq ibn Sayf al-Din Dihlavi (1551–1642) is a work in 17 chapters on the history and lore of the city of Medina. Surpassed only by Mecca in its importance to Muslims, Medina houses the tombs of the Prophet Muhammad and some of his close companions. The Hegira (or Hejira, the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, then known as Yathrib) in 622 was a pivotal moment in Islamic history and serves as the origin of the Islamic calendar. In the introduction of the work, Sayf al-Din lists Wafā’ al-wafā’ bi akhbār dār al-muṣṭafā̄ (The exhaustive history of the house of the Chosen One) by Nur al-Din Abu al-Hasan al-Samhudi (1440‒1506) as his main reference. He also states that he commenced writing his work during a visit to Medina in 998 AH (1589‒90) and completed it in Delhi in 1001 AH (1592‒93). Although Sayf al-Din discusses the customs involved in the pilgrimage to Medina, the focus for much of his work is on the physical fabric of the city and the architecture of its religious and secular spaces (much of which has fallen into decay or been subject to deliberate dismantling in the intervening centuries). The present volume is the third edition of this work, printed and published by the famed Newal Kishore Press in Lucknow, India, in 1914.

Last updated: September 30, 2016