Hijrah: Walking the Path of the Prophet Muhammad on the 1,400th Anniversary of Migration
DHAHRAN: Over the past 1,400 years, the story of the great migration undertaken by the Prophet Muhammad has been one of the most continuous accounts in the region, a story that has been fondly repeated by Muslims for centuries .
To mark the occasion, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran is celebrating the Islamic New Year with a new exhibit titled Hijrah: In the Footsteps of the Prophet.
While the actual Hijrah is arguably Islam’s most significant historical event, this journey into the past remains relevant to this day due to forced migration and movement.
Many people have had to move from one country to another to escape conflict or find greater freedom. Many have settled in a country that was not their own and founded a new community.
The Prophet’s journey between Mecca and Medina shaped the beginning of Islam and was the launch of a civilization that now numbers 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.
The distance of 400 kilometers between the two holy cities during these eight days created an immeasurable impact on the social, political and economic landscape of the Arabian Peninsula.
The significance of the Hijrah can be defined as the transition from practicing Islam as an act of worship to a way of life, and the Ithra exhibit presents this journey to modern audiences.
On the exhibit’s opening night last month, curator Dr Idries Trevathan offered guided tours with anecdotes and anecdotes to bring the story of the Prophet’s journey to life.
He was especially enthusiastic about sharing ideas with non-Muslim visitors to educate them and let them know what the experience was like.
A nasheed which the Ansar sang for the Prophet when he entered Medina was recited by singers in Arabic, English, Urdu and Indonesian.
Trevathan has been with Ithra for the past eight years and is her expert in the history of Islamic art. He studied at the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and built the center’s collection of Islamic art from scratch.
Historical artifacts and contemporary pieces help bring to life an event that took place centuries ago.
Featuring around 70 scholars and artists from 20 countries, the inclusive and immersive experience celebrates the journey itself and also commemorates the 1444 Hijri New Year occasion.
“This is a very special exhibition because it lasted three years – we started just before the COVID-19 pandemic. What has been extraordinary about this trip for us is that we were able to bring together extraordinary minds,” Trevathan told Arab News.
This exhibition exemplifies Ithra’s broader mission to tell the world’s defining stories through art, heritage, culture and research.
Abdullah Al-Rashiddirector of Ithra
“We started by working closely with Dr. Abdullah Alkadi, who is considered the authority on the Hijrah route, the exact Hijrah route they took. What is amazing about his work is that he corrected all the previous narrations or previous researches on the road to Hijrah. When we did some background research, we realized that despite its importance, no one has ever attempted to do a Hijrah exhibit.
Among the must-see installations are a reconstruction of the spider web, caves and even a life-size replica of the camel on which the prophet rode in Medina.
Documentaries and videos are spread throughout the exhibition, accompanied by audio in Arabic and English, telling the journey from narrations.
Using the language, poetry and recordings of the call to prayer, the exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to be transported to holy lands. Many exhibits are shown publicly for the first time.
“The Hijrah road is inaccessible by car. You literally have to step on it. It crosses small winding valleys and is very rocky. I think many of you think of Hijrah abroad, people outside of Saudi Arabia think of sand dunes. It’s not. It’s mountainous and it’s really tough terrain,” added Trevathan.
Dr. Abdullah Hussein Alkadi, professor of urban and regional planning at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, is considered an expert for his groundbreaking research on the travel routes taken by the Prophet and his companions.
The Hijrah road is inaccessible by car. You literally have to step on it. It crosses small winding valleys and is very rocky.
Dr. Idries Trevathanconservative
His books are among the best-loved in the field, and Trevathan was adamant about including the works of his academic hero. He was thrilled when Alkadi agreed to be part of the project.
“My life has been determined by my quest to study and experience not only the exact route the Prophet and his companions took through the desert, but also the larger history, life and legacy of that journey” , said Alkadi.
“It is a journey that has occupied me for some 40 years, and with this exhibition we present new research, methodologies and findings based on extensive fieldwork that will redefine perspectives on this historic migration. The relevance of this story is just as strong today; it serves to demonstrate and remind us of the reasons people choose to move from place to place and affirms the right to practice your beliefs.
The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, the House of Islamic Arts in Jeddah, the King Abdulaziz Complex for Endowment Libraries in Medina and Turquoise Mountain, a Prince of Wales charity supporting the arts and heritage in the Middle East. East.
Contributors to the exhibit include internationally acclaimed Saudi artists, renowned photographers, scholars, scholars, such as the president of Zaytuna College, Berkeley, which is the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the United States. , and the Turquoise Mountain Institute of Afghan Arts. and Architecture in Kabul.
“As one of the most detailed studies of the history and topography of the Hijrah ever, this exhibition illustrates Ithra’s broader mission to tell the defining stories of the world through art, heritage , culture and research,” said Ithra director Abdullah Al-Rashid.
“This exhibition represents significant advances in scholarly research around the history of Islam, while the focus on human history surrounding travel and our shared human values will also foster greater understanding, empathy and tolerance. .”
The exhibition will take place in Ithra for nine months. It will then move on to other parts of the Kingdom. He will also go abroad.