This work is important for its photographic illustrations of the Hijaz and forms a detailed narrative of General Ibrahim Rif'at Pasha's four pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina in 1901, 1903, 1904 and 1908. After the first pilgrimage, he resolved to take his own photographs. But during the pilgrimages of 1904 and 1908 he was accompanied by the more skilful Egyptian photographer, Muhammad 'Ali Efendi Sa'udi, who was the first to take 3-D views of the Hajj and many of the photographs reproduced in his account.
The first photographs of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina were taken by General Muhammad Sadiq Bey (1822-1903). Although he first visited the cities in 1861, his first photographs are from 1880 where he documented the buildings of Mecca and Medina as well as panoramic views of Mecca. Two other works, Muhammad Batanuni’s The Journey to the Hijaz and Subhi Saleh’s Pélerinage à la Mecquet et à Médine use Sadiq Bey’s photographs.