[A BRILLIANT TRAVEL ACCOUNT OF MECCA AND MEDINA AND VOYAGE TO HEJAZ] Tuhfetü'l-haramayn. [i.e. A gift to Haramayn; Mecca and Medina].

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YUSUF NÂBÎ (URFALI), (1642-1712)., Darü't-Tıbaatü'l-Âmîre., Kostantiniyyah (Constantinople), [AH 1265] = 1849.

In contemporary fine black 1/3 leather bdg. Decorated gilt to spine. Roy. 8vo. (23 x 16 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 112 p.

Extremely rare first edition of this Nabi's first-hand account of Mecca, Medina, and the Hejaz during his pilgrimage in the late 17th century. This is the most celebrated literary pilgrimage narrative written in Ottoman Turkish.

Nabi (1642-1712) was one of the prominent Ottoman poets and is considered a foremost exponent of the didactic trend (hikem-i tarz) in Ottoman Turkish literature. Nabi, whose given name was Yusuf, was born in Urfa (then known as Ruha) in 1052/1642. In 1082/1671 he took part in the Ottoman military campaign in Poland, in the retinue of Müsahib Pasha, (1640-1686). Having spent thirteen years in Istanbul, Nabi desired to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He was personally ready to undertake a journey to the Hijaz and to set down an eloquent account of his journey, the experience of his lifetime. Accordingly, having achieved a position of good standing with his patrons, Müsahib Mustafa Pasha and Mehmed IV, Nabi revived his longstanding desire to perform the hajj. In 1089/1678, at around 37 years of age, he set out in a small private caravan from Istanbul, passing through Konya, Urfa, Damascus, Jerusalem, and Cairo, where he joined the main Egyptian pilgrimage caravan.

The work, which is one of the most successful examples of Ottoman insa (artistic prose), includes historical, sociological, geographical, and autobiographical information. In his preliminary remarks, Nabi indicates that he had received governmental help for his journey. He relates that he first obtained leave for the hajj from his patron Musahib Mustafa Pasha, and then submitted a qasida to Mehmed IV, describing the sacred places. The sultan provided Nabi a letter of recommendation addressed to Abdurrahman Pasha (d. 1691), governor of Egypt, ordering him to enable Nabi to make a comfortable journey. Nabi traveled in a small private caravan, since the caravan extended its route to Nabi's homeland, Urfa, and spent about fifty days there. It appears that he generally followed the usual route of the pilgrimage caravan from Istanbul to Damascus, passing through Scutari, Kartal, Gebze, Hersek, Iznik, Eskisehir, Seyitgazi, Aksehir, Ilgin, Ladik, Konia, Eregli, Adana, Misis bridge, Payas, Antioche, Aleppo (with a long detour to Urfa (Edessa) and back to Aleppo via Aintab), Hama, Hims and the Kuteyfe strait. He was fascinated with the splendid architecture of the buildings, the bazaars and the mosques built side by side by Kurdish and Circassian rulers, and the Nile when he arrived in Cairo. Nabi gives a general description of the city of Cairo, the Nile, the two reservoirs of the city, parklands, the Ahram hills, and the immediate neighborhood of the city. In Mecca, Nabi visited the sacred sites enthusiastically and performed the hajj on 77 January 1679. He gives a moving account of his experience as a pious emotional pilgrim. It appears that Nabi stayed in Mecca for more than twenty days. Immediately after 1 Muharrem 1090/12 February 1679, he set out for Medina, presumably in the Damascus caravan. While in Medina, Nabi served at the tomb of the Prophet by lighting the candles since his name was on the honorary list of attendants who were determined by the central government to serve the sanctuaries in Mecca and Medina. Nabi regards these services as a testimony to the legitimacy of Ottoman rule. He summarizes his journey of return from Medina to Damascus and to Istanbul in a few general words.

Özege 21267.; Not in OCLC.