Amir Ahmad Alawi of Lucknow went on Hajj pilgrimage in 1929. It took him five months those days; and he maintained a diary of the pilgrims progress on a daily basis. Alawi wrote, not for publication, but for himself, and for his circle of friends and relations. Had they invented the Internet eight decades earlier Alawi would have blogged his Hajj roznamcha.
Alawi’s account has now been published – Journey to the Holy Land: A Pilgrim’s Diary – at a time that coincides with the Hajj season this year. Last year over 17 lakh Muslims from the world over visited the holy sites of Mecca and Madina. Hajji Alawi’s diary has been English translated and edited by Mushirul Hasan, historian, and Rakhshanda Jalil of jamia Millia Islamia.