Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ali Masjid, 1878

Ali Masjid is a small shrine located at the narrowest point in the Khyber Pass, to the east of the city of Landi Kotal. The shrine is dedicated to ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (circa 600–661), nephew and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and one of the first converts to Islam. Above the shrine sits a fort, at the highest point of the pass (visible atop the hill on the far side of the river in the center of the image), which was the site of several battles between British and Afghan forces during the First and Second Anglo-Afghan Wars. The shrine can be seen at the bottom-left corner of the photograph, alongside the faint signature of the photographer, John Burke.

 Ali Masjid is located in the narrowest part of the Khyber Pass, and was the first location captured by General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) on his march with the Peshawar Valley Field Force towards Kabul at the start of war. The battle took place on November 21, 1878. Browne’s victorious British and Indian troops faced the Afghan army and tribesmen led by Gholam Hyder Khan. The shrine at Ali Masjid can be seen in the background at the far right of the photograph, above the tent encampment, with the fort topping the hill rising to its left.

 Gorge Below Ali Masjid.

Ali Masjid from Below