The Syrian Hajj Pilgrimage Caravan and the Administrative Arrangments of the Wilayat of Damascus between 1151/1738 and 1155/1742 Examples from Ottoman Documents in the Topkapi Saray Museum as a Source

Ibrahim Faour Al Shraah, Ehab Mohammad Ali Zahir

Abstract


The study examines the administrative arrangments that the Wilayat of Damascus made for the annual Syrian Hajj Pilgrimage caravan between 1151/1738 and 1155/1742. The Ottomans needed to allocate sufficient funds to enure the safety of the pilgrims and their ease of movement along the route from Damascus to Mecca and to organze such aspects as guarding the caravan and supplying it with provisions and maintaining the Hajj forts.
The study studies the preparations and expenditures of the Ottoman goverment during the Hajj season between 1151/1738 and 1155/1742, based on historical documentary sources. The study takes into account socio-economic data such as purchase of grain and other foodstuffs and hire of camels for the areas where the Hajj caravan and accompanying tribes passed through, and the impact of the caravans on the population of those areas.
The Ottoman Wilayat of Damascus, headed in those years by the governor Suleiman Pasha al-Azm, took great care in preparing for the Syrian Hajj caravan, as shown by Ottoman documents that monitored expenditures and distribution of supplies, contributing to their successful administration of the caravan.

Keywords


Syrian Hajj Pilgrimage Caravan, Ottoman Syria, Pilgrimage to Mecca, 18th Century Ottoman History

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