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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

26 January – 15 April 2012

The exhibition is now closed

In partnership with

King Abdulaziz Public Library Riyadh, Saudia Arabia

King Abdulaziz Public Library
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

HSBC Amanah has supported the exhibition's international reach outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Recommend this exhibition

Objects

One of the star objects of the exhibition was a mahmal which would have travelled on top of a camel on the route to Mecca.

Hajj exhibition mahmal video

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The exhibition featured many beautiful objects, including historical and contemporary art, textiles and manuscripts, bring to life the profound spiritual significance of the sacred rituals that have remained unchanged since the Prophet Muhammad’s time in the 7th century AD.

Many of the objects came from far-flung locations, with major loans from collections across the Middle East, from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as from Mali, Indonesia and Europe. A significant number of objects were lent by the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (Khalili Family Trust).

Certain objects, however, merely made the short trip from neighbouring galleries in the Museum, or from the Museum’s store rooms. With a global collection, the British Museum is well-placed to cover a subject that links so many different areas of the world.

 
The Ka’ba in Mecca shown as the centre of the world
  • 1

    The Ka’ba in Mecca shown as the centre of the world. Illustration from Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi. Turkey, 1650 © Leiden University Library

  • 2

    Hajj certificate (detail). 17th–18th century AD. © Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (Khalili Family Trust)

  • 3

    Pilgrims in Ihram at the sanctuary in Mecca from the Iskander Sultan Miscellany. Shiraz, 1410-1411 © The British Library

  • 4

    Ivory sundial and Qibla pointer, made by Bayram b. Ilyas. Turkey, 1582-3 © The Trustees of the British Museum

  • 5

    Ahmed Mater (b. 1979). Magnetism. Photogravure etching. 2011 © Ahmed Mater and the Trustees of the British Museum

  • 6

    Curtain for the door of the Ka’ba in the name of Sultan Abd al-Majid Khan. Cairo, 1846-47 © Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (Khalili Family Trust)

  • 7

    Water bottle made of Chinese porcelain containing Zamzam water. 19th century © The Trustees of the British Museum

  • 8

    Silk vest made from the internal kiswa of the Ka’ba. Malay Peninsula, Late 19th century © Islamic Art Museum, Malaysia

  • 9

    View from Jabal al-Rahma (The Mount of Mercy) at Arafat, 2009 © Reem al Faisal

  • 10

    Painting from a copy of the Anis ul-Hujjaj, a guide to pilgrimage. Mughal India, ca. 1677-80 © Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (Khalili Family Trust)

  • 11

    Wall tiles with a representation of Mecca. Turkey, 17th century © Benaki Museum, Athens

  • 12

    ‘We were all brothers’ by Ayman Yossri Daydban. Lightbox 1/3 2010 © Mohammed Hafiz, Saudi Arabia

  • 13

    Tile depicting the sanctuary at Mecca, Iznik, Turkey, 17th century © Benaki Museum, Athens

  • 14

    Detail from a pilgrimage certificate. Mecca, 1433 © The British Library

  • 15

    Chao Jin Tu Ji, the travelogue of Ma Fuchu. China, 1861 © Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva

  • 16

    Crossing the sea of Oman and View of Surat oriented south from the Anis al-Hujjaj (The pilgrim’s Companion) by Safi ibn Vali, India possibly Gujarat ca. 1677-80 © Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (Khalili Family Trust)

 
The Ka’ba in Mecca shown as the centre of the world. Illustration from Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi. Turkey, 1650 © Leiden University Library