Document with architectural features executed in untarnished silver, place names in black naskhi, with 10 lines of text below the illustration in divani.
AKM528, Pilgrimage certificate with illustration of the Ka'ba

© The Aga Khan Museum

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Pilgrimage certificate with illustration of the Ka'ba
  • Accession Number:AKM528
  • Creator:Created for: Bibi Khanum
  • Place:Saudi Arabia or Iran
  • Dimensions:44.5 cm × 85 cm
  • Date:1778/AH 1193
  • Materials and Technique:Ink, opaque watercolour and silver on laid paper.

This pilgrimage (hajj) certificate shows the holy city of Mecca, with the Ka'ba at centre and various monuments surrounding it. The style of domed arches that surround the map suggests that they may have been painted by Indian artists in Arabia. This image would have provided a way for the pious Muslim to imaginatively re-trace the path of pilgrimage, as well as to share that journey with those still waiting to depart.

The inscription reveals that this certificate belonged to a woman, Bibi Khanum, who paid Sayyid 'Ali Wali to perform the pilgrimage in her place, perhaps due to poor health. The seal of Sayyid 'Ali Wali appears below, guaranteeing the completion of Bibi Khanum’s spiritual obligation.


- Filiz Çakır Phillip and Suzanne Conklin Akbari

Note: This online resource is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. We are committed to improving this information and will revise and update knowledge about this object as it becomes available.

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