From Verdun to the Ka'ba

“Throughout the period of the Hajj Amir Husayn manifested continuous signs of his favor toward our representatives and pilgrims. He named Si Kaddour and Commander Cadi to assist in the annual cleansing of the Bayt Allah, a much appreciated honor. At the solemn prayer which followed the ceremony the Amir took up his position at the place, marked with a marble slab, where Muhammad had prayed and had Si Kaddour stand beside him, and then, before he gave die signal for prayer to begin, said to Commander Cadi in a bad voice, “From Verdun to the Ka’ba!” which made a deep impression on the thousands in attendance, since at that time everyone knew that if the Allies were not defeated, it was because the French, alone, had held at Verdun.
The pilgrimage left Mecca on the 6th for Mount Arafat where the Great Feast was celebrated on the 8th. The number of pilgrims was estimated at 3 0,000. The Grand Sharif was favorably received throughout. He had his band play the “Marseillaise“ at Arafat in honor of the pilgrims and reviewed the troops of Aziz Ali al-Misri—one squadron, 2 infantry companies, 2 mountain batteries, composed of Turkish deserters or prisoners and an Egyptian detachment.”

General Edouard Bremond: Le Hijaz dans la Guerre Mondiale. Paris: Payot, 1931. 52ff. As cited in Peter, F.E.: The Hajj. The Muslim Pilgrimage To Mecca And The Holy Places. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1996 S. 326

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