Editio princeps of an important 1882 Hajj diary

Sanusi, Muhammad (ibn 'Uthman) as- / Shanufi, 'Ali (ed.). [Ar-rihla al-hijaziyya]. Ar-rihla al-higaziyya. Relation de voyage au Higaz. Texte arabe établi et annoté avec introduction en français [...].

Tunis, Societé Tunisienne de Diffusion, 1976-1981 CE = 1396-1402 H.

3 vols. Large 8vo (178 x 245 mm). 344, (1), 15 pp. 557, (3) pp. (3)-400, (4) pp. All with a portrait frontispiece and numerous halftone illustrations throughout. Printed original wrappers (Arabic cover printed in green and black).

Includes: Chenoufi (Shanufi), Ali. Un savant Tunisien du XIXème siècle: Muhammad As-Sanusi. Sa vie et son oeuvre. Tunis, Imprimérie Officielle, 1977. 8vo. 244, (4) pp. With portrait frontispiece and several halftone illustrations. Printed original wrappers.


First edition of this valuable account of a 19th century Hajj.

Muhammad as-Sanusi was an important law teacher at the University of Ez-Zitouna in Tunis, remembered as a scholar who was part of the late-19th century "Nahdha" Muslim reformist movement. Dismissed from civil service in 1881 for opposing the French Protectorate in Tunisia, he decided to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1882/83. His journey took him to Hejaz via Italy, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and finally back to Tunisia via Malta. He kept extensive notes on the customs of the countries visited, the persons he met, and the technological advances of Europe - particularly describing the railway, which in his opinion made it possible to "bring cities and believers closer together". His manuscript travel diary, a valuable perspective by a North African outsider on his Western and Middle Eastern contemporaries, was long neglected until it was rediscovered and published for the first time in 1976.

Bindings a little rubbed and bumped, but altogether a good, unmarked set. Includes the biography of As-Sanusi by the editor of his travelogue, the Tunisian scholar 'Ali Shanufi.


Mahfoudh III, 251 A. Abdesselem, Historiens Tunisiens, 407 ff. OCLC 10523199, 6247132.