|Born||1822 or 1832|
|Died||1902 (aged 79–80 or 69–70)|
|Occupation||military surveyor, photographer, author|
Muhammad Sadiq Bey(1822 or 1832 – 1902 ) was an Egyptian army engineer and surveyor who served as treasurer of the Hajj pilgrim caravan. As a photographer and author, he documented the holy sites of Islam at Mecca and Medina, taking the first ever photographs in what is now Saudi Arabia.
Born in Cairo, Sadiq was educated in Cairo's military college and at the Paris École Polytechnique.He qualified as an colonel in the Egyptian army and returned to the military college to teach cartographic drawing.
In 1861, he was assigned to visit the region of Arabia from Medina to the port of Al Wajh and conduct a detailed survey. He took a small team and some surveying equipment as well as his own camera; photography was not part of the official mission.His records of the expedition are the earliest known detailed accounts of the region's climate and settlements. His photographs of Medina were the first ever taken there. In 1880 he was assigned to accompany the Hajj pilgrim caravan from Egypt to Mecca as its treasurer. He was responsible for the safe passage of the mahmal, a ceremonial passenger-less litter, to Mecca. Again he brought a camera, becoming the first person to photograph Mecca, the Great Mosque, the Kaaba, and pilgrim camps at Mina and Arafat.
In the 1870s he was given the title Bey and two decades later the higher rank of Pasha. By the end of his military career he reached the rank of liwa, equivalent to Major-General. He was briefly the governor of the Egyptian city of Arish but returned to Cairo after suffering sunstroke. He was married for 34 years; his wife died while accompanying him on a trip to Medina and is buried there.Sadiq died in Cairo in 1902.
Sadiq used a wet-plate collodion camera, which had been invented in the 1850s. This produced negatives on wet glass plates, requiring a portable darkroom. From these negatives he made albumen prints which he signed or, later, stamped.
The sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina are the holiest sites of Islam. As part of the Hajj which is one of the five pillars of Islam, pilgrims perform rituals at Mecca and other nearby sites.On his expeditions from 1861 to 1881, Sadiq photographed the interiors and exteriors of sites on the Hajj pilgrimage route as well as at Medina. Photographing the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) and its surroundings in Medina on 11 February 1861, he noted in his diary that no-one had taken such photographs before.
He used walls and mosque roofs as vantage points to capture panoramas of the cities.He also photographed people connected to the holy sites. As well as the Hajj pilgrims walking around the Kaaba, he photographed Shaykh 'Umar al-Shaibi, the keeper of the key of the Kaaba, and Sharif Shawkat Pasha, guardian of the Prophet's Mosque.
In 1876 his photographs of Medina were displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He presented an album of twelve photographs at the 1881 Third International Conference of Geographers in Venice, winning a gold medal. As a result, this set was published as Collection de Vues Photographiques de La Mecque et de Médine.
His photographs are held today by collections including the Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage,the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Reiss Engelhorn Museum, and the Harvard Fine Arts Library. The curator Claude Sui describes Sadiq's achievements in photography as very significant: "[T]he sheer quality of his photographs is evidence of his talent in this field and reveals professional standards in his handling of the wet collodion procedure". His photography reflects both a cartographer's awareness of spatial relationships and a devout Muslim's connection to the region, culture, and people.
The report of his 1861 visit to Medina was later published in 1877 in the Egyptian Military Gazette and then in a book, Summary of the Exploration of the Wajh-Madinah Hijaz Route and its Military Cadastral Map.
His other publications include:
All his books combine photographs and written advice for Hajj pilgrims based on his repeated visits to the area.His publications in French were a summary of his work that missed out the detail of his Arabic publications, so for a long time the non-Arabic world was unaware of his achievements.
Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah and commonly shortened to Makkah, is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the holiest city in Islam. The city is 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow valley 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its last recorded population was 1,578,722 in 2015. The estimated metro population in 2020 is 2.042 million, making it the third-most populated city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah. Pilgrims more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj pilgrimage, observed in the twelfth Hijri month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah.
Medina, officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah, is the second holiest city in Islam and the capital of the Medina Province of Saudi Arabia. The 2020 estimated population of the city is 1,488,782, making it the fourth-most populous city in the country. Located at the core of the Medina Province in the western reaches of the country, the city is distributed over 589 square kilometers, 293 km2 of which constitutes the city's urban area, while the rest is occupied by the Hejaz mountain range, empty valleys, agricultural spaces and older dormant volcanoes.
The Hejaz is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia. It includes the cities of Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, Tabuk, Yanbu and Taif. It is also known as the "Western Province" in Saudi Arabia. It is bordered in the west by the Red Sea, in the north by Jordan, in the east by the Najd, and in the south by the 'Asir Region. Its largest city is Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, with Mecca and Medina being the fourth and fifth largest cities respectively in the country. The Hejaz is the most cosmopolitan region in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Black Stone is a rock set into the eastern corner of the Kaaba, the ancient building in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, known in English as The Prophet's Mosque, and also known as Al Haram, Al Haram Al Madani and Al Haram Al Nabawi by locals, is a mosque built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the city of Medina in the Al Madinah Province of Saudi Arabia. It was the second mosque built by Muhammad in Medina, after Masjid Quba'a, and is the second largest mosque and second holiest site in Islam, both titles ranking after the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. It is generally open regardless of date or time, and has only been closed to visitors once in modern times, as Ramadan approached during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
The ʿUmrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Ḥajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
Kiswah is the cloth that covers the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is draped annually on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day pilgrims leave for the plains of Mount Arafat during the Hajj. The term kiswah is Arabic for 'pall', the cloth draped over a casket.
The miqat is the principal boundary at which Muslim pilgrims intending to perform the Ḥajj or Umrah pilgrimages must be enter the state of iḥrām, a state of consecration in which certain permitted activities are made prohibited.
The four holiest sites in Islam are the Kaaba inside the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca as the holiest of the four, followed by Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus; these sites are accepted in this order by the overwhelming majority of Islamic sects which are all held in high esteem. The two holiest sites of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia are directly mentioned or referred to in the Quran.
The Masjid al-Qiblatayn, also spelt Masjid al-Qiblatain, is a mosque in Medina believed by Muslims to be the place where the final Islamic prophet, Muhammad, received the command to change the Qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca. The mosque was built by Sawad ibn Ghanam ibn Ka'ab during the year 2 AH and is one of the few mosques in the world to have contained two mihrabs in different directions.
The destruction of heritage sites associated with early Islam is an ongoing phenomenon that has occurred mainly in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, particularly around the two holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. The demolition has focused on mosques, burial sites, homes and historical locations associated with the Islamic prophet Muhammad, his companions, and many of the founding personalities of early Islamic history by the Saudi government. In Saudi Arabia, many of the demolitions have officially been part of the continued expansion of the Masjid al-Haram at Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina and their auxiliary service facilities in order to accommodate the ever-increasing number of Muslims performing the pilgrimage (hajj).
The Green Dome is a green-coloured dome built above the tombs of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the early Rashidun Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, which used to be Aisha's chamber. The dome is located in the southeast corner of Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. Millions visit it every year, since it is a tradition to visit the mosque after the pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Kaaba, also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah, is a building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam. It is considered by Muslims to be the Bayt Allah and is the qibla for Muslims around the world when performing salah.
Shia Muslims consider sites associated with Muhammad, his family members, Shia Imams and their family members to be holy. After the four holy cities of Islam, Najaf, Karbala and Qom are the most revered by Shias.
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and of supporting their family during their absence from home.
The hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca performed by millions of Muslims every year, coming from all over the Muslim world. Its history goes back many centuries. The present pattern of the Islamic Hajj was established by Islamic prophet Muhammad, around 632 CE, who reformed the existing pilgrimage tradition of the pagan Arabs. According to Islamic tradition, the hajj dates from thousands of years earlier, from when Abraham, upon God's command, built the Kaaba. This cubic building is considered the most holy site in Islam and the rituals of the hajj include walking repeatedly around it.
Amir al-hajj was the position and title given to the commander of the annual Hajj pilgrim caravan by successive Muslim empires, from the 7th century until the 20th century. Since the Abbasid period, there were two main caravans, departing from Damascus and Cairo. Each of the two caravans was annually assigned an amir al-hajj. The main duties entrusted to an amir al-hajj were securing funds and provisions for the caravan, and protecting it along the desert route to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the Hejaz.
The Khalili Collection of the Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage is a private collection of around 4,500 items relating to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca which is a religious duty in Islam. It is one of eight collections assembled, conserved, published and exhibited by the British-Iranian scholar, collector and philanthropist Nasser Khalili; each collection is considered among the most important in its field. The collection's 300 textiles include embroidered curtains from the Kaaba, the Station of Abraham, the Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad and other holy sites, as well as textiles that would have formed part of pilgrimage caravans from Egypt or Syria. It also has illuminated manuscripts depicting the practice and folklore of the Hajj as well as photographs, art pieces, and commemorative objects relating to the Hajj and the holy sites of Mecca and Medina.
A mahmal is a ceremonial passenger-less litter that was carried on a camel among caravans of pilgrims on the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca which is a sacred duty in Islam. It symbolised the political power of the sultans who sent it, demonstrating their custody of Islam's holy sites. Each mahmal had an intricately embroidered textile cover, or kiswah. The tradition dates back at least to the 13th century and ended in the mid-20th. There are many descriptions and photographs of mahmals from 19th century observers of the Hajj.
A sitara or sitarah is an ornamental curtain used in the sacred sites of Islam. A sitara forms part of the kiswah: the cloth covering of the Kaaba in Mecca. Another sitara adorns the Prophet's Tomb in the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi mosque in Medina. These textiles bear embroidered inscriptions of verses from the Quran and other significant texts. Sitaras have been created annually since the 16th century as part of a set of textiles sent to Mecca. The tradition is that the textiles are provided by the ruler responsible for the holy sites. In different eras, this has meant the Mamluk Sultans, the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, and presently the rulers of Saudi Arabia. The construction of the sitaras is both an act of religious devotion and a demonstration of the wealth of the rulers who commission them.
Media related to Muhammad Sadiq (photographer) at Wikimedia Commons