The Amir ul-haj, " commander of the pilgrimage" (to Mecca).
Gaulanitis (which probably derived its name from the city of refuge, Golan, the site of which has not yet been discovered) is represented by the modern Jaulan, a province extending from the Jordan lakes to the Haj Road.
To 1 First described by the Turk, Haj j i Khalifa, in the 37th century; first seen by the Swedish traveller Otter in 1736, and first published in 1840 in Ritter's Erdkunde, iii., after a drawing by Major Fischer, made in 1837.
Besides giving to the world the first accurate description of the holy city and the Haj ceremonies, he was the first to fix the position of Mecca by astronomical observations, and to describe the physical character of its surroundings.
Travelling down from Damascus in 1875 with the Haj caravan, he stopped at El Hajr, one of the pilgrim stations, with the intention of awaiting the return of the caravan and in the meantime of exploring the rock-cut tombs of Medain Salih and El Ala.
Apart, each furnished with a well and reservoir, and for the further protection of the haj, payments are made to the Bedouin tribes through whose territories the route passes.
The Yemen pilgrim route, known as the Haj el Kabsi, led from Sada through Asir to Tail and Mecca, but it is no longer used.
After an excursion to Mosul and Diarbekr, he made the haj a second time, staying at Mecca three years.
After visiting other parts of the gulf he crossed the breadth of Arabia to Mecca, making the haj for the third time.
Revisiting Jerusalem and Cairo he made the haj a fourth time, and finally reappeared at Fez (visiting Sardinia en route) on the 8th of November 1349, after twenty-four years' absence.
These tracts are known as harra; the most remarkable is the Harrat El Awerid, west of the Haj route from Tebuk to El Ala, a mountain mass 100 m.
In the present day the Syrian pilgrim route, or Darb el Haj, from Damascus to Medina and Mecca is the most used.
The annual pilgrim caravan or haj, numbering some 6000 people with Io,000 pack animals, is escorted by a few Turkish irregulars known as agel; small fortified posts have been established at the regular halting-places some 30 m.