Marzolph, Ulrich. "From Mecca to Mashhad: The Narrative of an Illustrated Shiʿi Pilgrimage Scroll from the Qajar Period." Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World 31 (2014): 207-243.
Hajj certificates are stylized legal documents testifying to the fact that a certain individual has participated in the pilgrimage to Mecca and has executed the required rituals. While most previous studies of hajj certificates and related phenomena are concerned with specimens that are either very old or particularly attractive in terms of their execution, fairly recent items, and particularly printed ones, have not received much attention. Moreover, hajj certificates have so far mostly been studied as a Sunni or general Muslim phenomenon, and items with a specific Shiʿi agenda have largely been neglected. The present essay discusses in detail an illustrated Shiʿi pilgrimage scroll from the Qajar period that is currently preserved in a private collection in Hawai‘i. Preceded by the Niebuhr scroll, an illustrated manuscript copy dating from the middle of the eighteenth century, and followed by modern printed posters, the lithographed Qajar-period scroll presents a distinct Shiʿi perspective in that the pilgrim’s ultimate goal is the sanctuary of the Eighth Shiʿi Imam, ʿAli ibn Musa al-Rida (d. 818), in Mashhad.