June 16, 2016

The Pilgrimage to Mecca: Religious, Social, and Public Health Considerations

Le pèlerinage de La Mecque au point de vue religieux, social et sanitaire (The pilgrimage to Mecca: Religious, social, and public health considerations) is a book by Dr. Firmin Duguet (born 1876), inspector general of the International Quarantine Board in Alexandria, Egypt. Duguet also served as inspector general of health services of Lebanon and Syria under the French Mandate and was responsible for the medical supervision of the pilgrimage to Mecca. The first part of the book gives some historical background to the Hajj, and its roots in the Qur’an. Duguet describes the obligations, restrictions, and propaganda associated with it, the countries of origin of the pilgrims, social classes, gender, means of transportation, their religious ceremonies, the visit to Medina, and the Hajj of Shiites from Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq, Syria, and Kuwait). Part two concentrates on the public health and sanitary problems of the Hajj, the international focus on Muslim pilgrims after the cholera epidemic of 1865 and the 1866 international sanitary conference in Constantinople and subsequent conferences, as the building of railroads and the new Suez Canal accelerated the spread of infectious diseases. Duguet looks at specific pilgrimage years, the last years of Ottoman Turkish administration of the holy sites, and the fall of Sharif Hussein in 1924. Part three considers the Saudi conquest of Hejaz, the roles of Ibn Saud and the Wahhabis, pilgrimage during 1925‒30, and the incidence of cholera affecting the Hajj. The work includes details of daily fatalities in different years, particularly during what Duguet describes as the pèlerinage de l’épouvante (pilgrimage of horror), the cholera outbreak in 1893. The pilgrimage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries took a huge toll on human lives. When disease struck, the loss of life could reach 40 percent of all pilgrims. In 1891, out of 46,000 pilgrims, 21,000 never returned home. Appendices include descriptions of the actions taken to protect pilgrims by the International Quarantine Board of Egypt in implementing the International Sanitary Convention of 1926, and the Beirut and Paris conferences on this subject of January 1929 and October 1930. The book is illustrated with photographs of the pilgrims and their caravans and has maps of the routes most used to reach Mecca.

The Art of the Administration of Justice

Fann al-qadāʼ (The art of the administration of justice) comprises two works. The first is a translation into Arabic of Essai sur l'art de juger (Essay on the art of the administration of justice), a 1912 work by Georges Ransson (born 1856), a French judge who is identified as having worked “in the Seine Court.” The translation is by Muhammad Rushdi, a former judge of the Egyptian court of appeals. The second work, Ādāb al-qāḍī fī al-sharīʻah al-Islāmīyah (Moral conventions of judges in Islamic sharia), is a collection of legal anecdotes and opinions on the administration of justice throughout Islamic history. The collection was compiled by Rushdi, and is largely taken from various Arabic legal sources, both classical and modern, including al-Mabsut (The elucidated) by Hanafi jurist al-Sarakhsi (died 1090 or 1091), and Duha al-Islam (The morning of Islam), by jurist and academic Ahmad Amin (1886–1954). Ransson’s essay, in 13 chapters, is mainly a guide for judges. It discusses such matters as the proper way to write a legal opinion and the items that a judge should include in a ruling. There are two introductions to the essay, a translator’s introduction by Rushdi, and a substantive introduction by French lawyer and statesman Raymond Poincaré (1860–1934). Rushdi, about whom not much is known, states in his introduction that he prefers literal translation to paraphrase. However, parts of his rendering of the text often do read like a paraphrase. Rushdi added commentary and marginal notes, which are divided into footnotes accompanying the translation and longer comments that are given as an addendum. The book was published in Cairo in 1943 by the well-known press operated by the al-Babi al-Halabi brothers. This copy is from the collections of the Law Library of the Library of Congress.

The Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith

The Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith is an important early work by the British Orientalist and historian of Islamic art Sir Thomas Walker Arnold (1864–1930). Arnold was born in Devonport, Devon, England, and graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1888 he moved to British India, where he taught philosophy at the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (present-day Aligarh Muslim University). It was there that he began to form strong bonds with Indian Muslim reformists such as Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Shibli Numani. Arnold had a long career in teaching, which took him to Government College, Lahore, and then back to England, where he became professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of London. In 13 chapters, the book traces the spread of the Muslim faith from Arabia westward into Christian Europe and eastward into Persia, Central Asia, India, and beyond. Later Muslim expansions into Africa, the Balkans, and the Malay Archipelago also are covered. Following German Orientalist Max Müller’s categorization of both Christianity and Islam as “missionary” religions, Arnold contrasts the ways missionary work is carried out in Islam and Christianity. He credits “the absence of any priesthood and any ecclesiastical organization” in Islam with the success of Muslim preachers. Overall, the book gives a nuanced explanation for the spread of Islam into former Christian territories, pivoting away from the common argument about Muslim persecution of Christians to consider such factors such as economics, tolerance, politics, and trade. Arnold was also the author of Painting in Islam, a classic on the subject. Presented here is the revised and enlarged second edition (1913) of The Preaching of Islam, a work first published in 1896.

Al Sirajiyyah: Or the Mahommedan Law of Inheritance

Kitāb al-Farāʼiḍ al-Sirājīyah (The Sirajite book of inheritance laws) is a treatise on the laws of inheritance according to the Hanafi School of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. It is regarded as the most important work in this field. Commonly known by its short title al-Sirājīyah, the treatise is named after its author, Siraj al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Sajawandi, a 12th-century jurist and mathematician. The English philologist and jurist Sir William Jones (1746–94) published the first English translation of this work in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), India in 1792. Presented here is an 1890 reprint of Jones’s translation, with an introduction and notes by Almaric Rumsey (1825–99), barrister-at-law and professor of Indian Jurisprudence at King’s College, University of London. The original treatise, a subject of a number of commentaries including one by al-Sajawandi himself, starts with an introduction on the importance of ‘ilm al-farā’iḍ (the science of inheritance and patrimony). It goes on to cover many aspects of the subject, including impediments to succession, the doctrine of shares and the persons entitled to them, and the division of the property among heirs and among creditors. Islamic inheritance law is a complex and refined system of rules that developed over several centuries and that is based on passages in the Qurʼan that specify the fixed fractional shares of a deceased person’s estate that are to be awarded to the relatives of that person. This copy is from the collections of the Law Library of the Library of Congress.

The Mahomedan Law of Inheritance According to the School of Shafii

The Mahomedan Law of Inheritance According to the School of Shafii is a treatise on the laws of inheritance according to the Shafiʻi School of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. The author, Charles Herbert Withers Payne, was advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements (present-day Malaysia and Singapore). The book, he wrote, was meant to “clear some of the complexity with which this subject is enshrouded” and assist “those who have occasion to deal with problems arising therefrom.” This short book is comprised of a general introduction on Muslims and Islamic jurisprudence, followed by five other chapters detailing the rights of sharers, of residuary heirs, and of distant kindred, the three main classes eligible for inheritance. Two appendices provide a table of succession, as well as pedigrees showing all kinships involved in inheritance division. There is also a list of cases cited in the book. Islamic inheritance law is a complex and refined system of rules that developed over several centuries, and that is based on passages in the Qurʼan that specify the fixed fractional shares of a deceased person’s estate that are to be awarded to the relatives of that person. The Shafiʻi school was founded by Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafiʻi (767−820), the third of the four great imams of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. It is credited with organizing the concept of usul al-fiqh (the principles of Islamic jurisprudence). In addition to the Malay Peninsula, the Shafiʻi school predominates in Egypt, East Africa, and Southern Arabia. The Straits Settlements was a British crown colony on the Strait of Malacca. It consisted of four distinct trade centers: Penang, Malacca, Singapore, and Labuan, the first three of which were initially controlled by the British East India Company.

The Code of “Ḥubūs” (or “Waqf”) According to Islamic Law

The author of this work on hubus, or hobous, the North African equivalent of the Arabic waqf (endowment), Ernest Mercier (1840‒1907), was for some years the mayor of Constantine, a city in northeast Algeria, then a French colony. Mercier also wrote several other works on North African subjects. The book, which is in French, first defines the Muslim obligation of charitable and pious endowment, its origins, and its legal status. It describes the rules, the essential religious or humanitarian purpose of waqf, designation of beneficiaries, management of the endowment, rights of beneficiaries, the role of the qadi (judge), and many other aspects of the practice, including the requirements of coexistence with the French judicial system. Matters addressed in the appendices include the application of the rules, the views of a mufti from Algiers, cancellation of an unregistered waqf, and other observations. The Library of Congress copy presented here has an ink stamp in Japanese: Minami Manshū Tetsudō Kabushiki Kaisha Tōa Keizai Chōsakyoku zōsho no in (Seal of collection at the South Manchuria Railway Company, East Asia Economic Research Bureau). During World War II, the South Manchuria Railway Company engaged in extensive intelligence gathering and operational activities on behalf of the Japanese Imperial Army, including efforts to agitate Muslims against Chinese and Russian rule. Most likely the book was confiscated by the U.S. armed forces at the end of the war and subsequently transferred to the Library of Congress.