prepared by Halit Eren and Salih Sadawi, Foreword by Abdullah Gül, prologue by Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Series of historical photograph albums 8, IRCICA; Istanbul, 592 p., 37×46 cm., illustrations, maps, plans (Turkish, English, Arabic)
This major publication by IRCICA contains reproductions of historical photographs of Makka and Madina selected from the archives of IRCICA accompanied by a history of the Muslims’ devotion and services rendered to these holy lands of Islam. Within the Islamic understanding, the locations that are considered to be more virtuous and sacred spiritually than any other in the world and are landmarks in humanity’s sphere of faith and worship, are the Ka’ba (Masjid al-Haram) in Makka al-Mukarrama, al-Masjid al-Nabawi in al-Madina al-Munawwara and al-Masjid al-Aqsa in al-Quds. For this reason, Makka, Madina and al-Quds have a special place in the hearts of the Muslims. Makka and Madina among them are specifically safeguarded by the Islamic jurisprudence and considered to be "harem" (sacred territory) and are called "Haramayn" or "haremân" meaning two sacred territories. These sacred places where the Holy Qur’an was revealed are the originating points of the Islamic faith, its history and civilization and the locations that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) spent his worldly days; they have maintained and will continue to maintain their importance as sources of knowledge and inspiration, places of worship and visit as well as valuable heritage assets of Islamic civilization. The book’s album section containing the photographs is divided into four parts, devoted, respectively, to photographs of Makka, Madina, the Surra (the caravan carrying gifts and money to Makka from the Ottoman Sultans annually), and miscellaneous photographs (adjacent cities, economic and social activities, personalities, etc.)
The book prepared by the IRCICA team has been published under the patronage of H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey who also wrote the Foreword. It has a prologue by Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Secretary General of the OIC. The Introduction by Dr. Halit Eren reviews the services rendered to the holy places by rulers of the Muslim states succeeding each other, with an emphasis on the Ottoman period. These services include: repairs, restorations, constructions conducted in the Holy Ka’ba and other sacred places in Makka, the Prophet’s Mosque and other sacred locations in Madina, land development, services and arrangements relating to the Hajj – Muslims’ pilgrimage, the Surra welfare assistance provided and endowments dedicated to the holy cities and their peoples, among many others. The introductory parts and the photographs’ annotations are in Turkish, English and Arabic. The photographs contained in the album date from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Altogether the book documents all salient aspects of the history of Makka and Madina, with special reference to the delicate period of this history corresponding to about the last fourty decades of the Ottoman State.