This is the fourth volume published by IRCICA to facilitate access of researchers whose main language is Arabic to the Ottoman documents concerning the Arab provinces of the Ottoman State. The first three volumes, published in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively, comprised documents from the periods of sultans Selim I and Sulaiman the Lawgiver. As to the fourth volume, it is related to the Haramayn (Makkah al-Mukarramah and Madina al-Munawara) in the period of Sultan Selim II (974-982 H / 1566-1574).
A relatively larger number of documents are inherited from that period; this first study is devoted to those on the two holy places of Muslims on account of their importance for Muslims. Dr. Fazil Bayat, expert at IRCICA, prepared the book with the same methodology as in the earlier ones, by transliterating, translating and analyzing each Ottoman document. A detailed index facilitates the reader’s task. The documents studied in this volume were selected from among the Hükmü Hümayun (Imperial Decrees) contained in the Muhimme (essential questions) registers 7-26 in the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul.
The documents on Al-Haramayn are classified in the book under fourteen subject headings: constructions and services in Makkah, construction and services in Madina, the project concerning the Arafah water canal in Makkah, supply of water for visitors at the Prophet’s mosque in Madina, the employees for different services in Al-Haramayn, waqfs and religious affairs, maintenance and cleaning in Al-Haramayn, schools, services and resources of the waqfs, provision of soup and grains to people of the region, pilgrimage (Hadj) affairs and pilgrims, notables of Makkah, economic affairs in Al-Haramayn, and miscellaneous questions. The series will continue with volumes focusing on the history of other regions, the next one on Iraki provinces.