Thursday, 25 April 2013

Plague, Cholera and the Hajj 1865-1926

Empire of the Hajj: Pilgrims, Plagues, and Pan-Islam under British Surveillance,1865-1926
Michael Christopher Low
Georgia State University
Digital Archive @ GSU
Dept of History
16 July 2007

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Recommended Citation
Low, Michael Christopher, "Empire of the Hajj: Pilgrims, Plagues, and Pan-Islam under British Surveillance,1865-1926" (2007).
History Theses. Paper 22.


“A Woeful Crescendo of Death” 38
Edwin Chadwick and the Foundations of British Attitudes Toward Cholera 44
Science versus the Science of Denial 48
International Sanitary Conferences and the Quarantine Controversy 54
The Thomas Cook Hajj: Reforming the “Sanitary Pariah of the East” 65
Pauper Pilgrims, the Suez Canal, and the Civilizational Boundaries of Travel 71

Cholera’s Grande Finale 106
The Bombay Plague of 1896: The Defeat of British Sanitary Obstructionism 113

The Hashimite Interregnum 161
The Wahhabi Conquest of the Hajj 166

Figure 1. The Ka'ba and the Masjid al-Haram, Mecca, 1885 2
Figure 2. Major Pilgrimage Routes in the Nineteenth Century 4
Figure 3. "Actual and Supposed Routes of Cholera from Hindoostan to Europe" 5
Figure 4. The Western Indian Ocean Basin, c. 1935 34
Figure 5. An Early Sketch Map of the Kamarān Island Quarantine Station, 1892 61
Figure 6. Tihāma-style Hut, Kamarān Island 63
Figure 7. Sultan Abdul Hamid II, c. 1890 89
Figure 8. Early Twentieth-Century Pilgrims at Jidda's Harbor 103
Figure 9. Dastūr al-‘Amal, Anjuman-i Khuddām-i Ka‘ba, 1913 139

The first House established for the people was that at Bakka [Mecca], a place holy, and a guidance to all beings. Therein are clear signs—the station of Abraham, and whosoever enters it is in security. It is the duty of all men towards God to come to the House a pilgrim, if he is able to make his way there.
-Qur’an, 3:96-97

And proclaim to humanity the Pilgrimage, and they shall come unto thee on foot and upon every lean camel. They shall come from every remote place that they may witness things profitable to them.
-Qur’an, 22: 27-28*

*All translations from the Qur’an have been taken from A.J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (London:
Allen and Unwin, 1955; repr. ed., New York: Touchstone, 1996).

Terminologies and things of general interest:
haramayn (sacred areas) of Mecca and its nearby sister city, Medina.
dar al-Islam (the Islamic world)
The Suez Canal was opened in 1869 [see page 3 footnote 3 for travel routes before 1869]
the ‘ulama’ (religious elites and scholars)

the introduction of steamship of “modern” hajj
the steamship-era hajj
C.A. Bayly,
The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914 (Malden, M.A. and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 354;
William R. Roff, “Sanitation and Security: The Imperial Powers and the Nineteenth Century Hajj” in Arabian Studies
VI (London: Scorpion Comm. and the Middle East Centre, University of Cambridge, 1982), 143.

influx of India’s destitute pilgrim masses and the globalization of epidemic disease

British Indian pilgrims were a “dangerous class” of “pauper pilgrims.”
David Arnold, Colonizing the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 186-189.

... see Foreign Office (hereafter F.O.) 78/4094 in “British efforts to improve travel conditions for pilgrims; appointment of travel agent; problem of indigent pilgrims,” Oct. 1884-Feb. 1887, Alan de L. Rush, ed., Records of the Hajj: A Documentary History of the Pilgrimage to Mecca, vol. 3 (London: Archive Editions, 1993), 593-626.

A virulent epidemic of cholera broke out in the Hijaz in 1865, killing an estimated 15,000 pilgrims.

Robert Koch discovered the bacillus vibrio cholera in 1884.

The VK7(C) Dream

VK7(C) is the pay grade for Malaysian professors today. It is the most sought after and the most privileged pay for an academic at a government institution, especially in medical school, and especially in Kelantan, where I work.

The VK7(C) is the lowest rung of the Malaysian professors pay scheme; above it is VK7(B) and the top and highest paid is VK7(A). Going from C to B takes approximately 10 years; going from B to A takes about the same time. By the time a person gets VK7(C), he/she is about 50 years old (on average). Most professors end their career at 56/58/60 with VK7(C). Many never get to VK7(B) or VK7(A). Deputy VCs and their circle get VK7(B). The VC and his circle get VK7(A).

I am at VK7(C) since 29 January 2009. I have another 5 years to go before I reach compulsory retirement at 60. Under normal work conditions, I will never get to see VK7(B), unless of course a miracle happens. I will leave that matter alone.

The salary statement was issued by USM Bendahari and I received mine this morning. Let's see what is in store for the next 5 years ... The letter is in Malay but this is what I understand of it.

Pay Scheme for University Lecturers VK7(C)

Basic salary: RM12,278.04/mo


1. Official functions: RM2,500.00/mo ... this is the limit for us to spend on official things

2. Housing: RM1,300.00/mo .... got own house

3. Special Grade: RM1,000.00/mo ... not sure what this is

4. Servant: RM500.00/mo ... got no maid

The annual basic salary is RM147,336.45 per annum (~AUD$43,850.00 pa)

The allowance is good for spending inside Malaysia but is not too good for outside spending.

At retirement, the pension works out to 40% of last pay (basic salary) = RM4,911.22/mo (~AUD$1,461.00/mo) ... tax-free

The basic pay of an entry/fresh MSc/PhD lecturer is RM2,500.00/mo.

The maximum basic salary of an Office Assistant/Pembantu Am Rendah (PAR) is ~RM2,000.00/mo.

Minimum pay in Malaysia today is RM1,000.00/mo.

Not bad at all. Not bad at all. Living in Kelantan, this is heaven on earth! Life is better in Kelantan than anywhere else. There no highway toll. We use well water and electricity. Food is freshly cooked and halal anywhere in Kelantan. There are mosques and suraus everywhere and anywhere. There are fresh markets everywhere. There are no dogs and pigs except where they are allowed. Life is safe and very good up here in Kelantan. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

To bloggers elsewhere: Please do not copy-and-paste or re-post my posts elsewhere or in your blogs.