Page images
PDF
EPUB

that Thou art all-knowing respecting him. O God, he hath gone to abide with Thee, and Thou art the best with whom to abide. He hath become in need of Thy mercy, and Thou hast no need of his punishment. We have come to Thee supplicating that we may intercede for him. () God, if he were a doer of good, over-reckon his good deeds; and if he were an evil-doer, pass over his evil-doings; and of Thy mercy grant that he may experience Thine acceptance; and spare him the trial of the grave and its torment; and make his grave wide to him; and keep back the earth from his sides; and of Thy mercy grant that he may experience security from Thy torment, until Thou send him safely to Thy Paradise, O Thou most merciful of those who show mercy” (Lane's translation). After the other prayers have been said, the leader in prayer, addressing those present, says, “Give your testimony respecting him," and they reply, "He was of the virtuous.” The bier is then taken up, and the procession re-forms in the same order as before, and the body is taken to the grave. In the case of well-to-do people the grave is an oblong brick vault, which is sufficiently high to allow the deceased to sit upright when being examined by the two angels Munkar and Nakîr; over the vault a low, oblong monument is built, having an upright stone at the head and foot. On the stone at the head are inscribed the name of the deceased, the date of death, and a verse from the Ķur'ân. The body is taken from the bier, its bandages are untied, and it is then laid in the vault on its right side with the face towards Mecca; a little earth is gently laid upon the body, and the vault is closed.

Now the pious Muḥammadans have imagined it to be possible for the deceased to forget what he ought to say when the angels Munkar and Nakîr come to examine him, therefore, in many cases, an instructor of the dead takes his seat near the tomb after the body has been laid therein, and tells the deceased what questions he will be asked and what answers he is to make. After the burial, food and drink are distributed among the poor, who come in large numbers to the burial of a man of means and position. The soul is thought to remain with the body on the night of burial, and afterwards to depart to its appointed place to await the day of doom. Men do not wear mourning in any case, but women dye their garments blue with indigo as a sign of grief, for everyone except an old man ; they also leave their hair unplaited, and omit to put on certain of their ornaments.

The Fâtihah.--As mention has been made above of the Fâtihah, the opening chapter of the Ķur'ân, a version of it is here given :-"In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Gracious. Praise be unto God, the Lord of the worlds, the Merciful, the Gracious, the Ruler of the day of judg. ment. Thee do we worship, and of Thee do we beg assistance. Direct us in the right way, in the way of those to whom Thou hast been gracious, upon whom there is no wrath, and who have not erred.” It is to the Muhammadans what the Lord's Prayer is to Christians.

The Call to Prayer, which is usually sung from the gallery of the minaret (Arab, manârah) by the muedoin of the mosque, is as follows :-“God is great. God is great. God is great. God is great. I bear witness that there is no god but God. I bear witness that there is no god but God. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of God. I bear witness that Muḥammad is the Apostle of God. Come to prayer. Come to prayer. Come to service. Come to service. God is great. God is great. There is no god but God.” At certain large mosques two other calls to prayer are cried during the night, the first a little after midnight, and the second about an hour before daybreak.

Mr. Lane's renderings of these “calls” are as follows :

I. “There is no deity but God, there is no deity but God, there is no deity but God alone. He hath no

companion ; to Him belongeth the dominion; and to Him belongeth praise. He giveth life, and causeth death ; and He is living, and shall never die. In His hand is blessing (or, good]; and He is almighty. There is no deity but God, there is no deity but God, there is no deity but God, and we will not worship any beside Him, serving Him with sincerity of religion, though the infidels be averse (thereto). There is no deity but God. Mohammad is the most noble of the creation in the sight of God. Mohammad is the best prophet that hath been sent, and a lord by whom his companions became lords; comely; liberal of gifts; perfect; pleasant to the taste; sweet; soft to the throat (or, to be drunk]. Pardon, O Lord, Thy servant and Thy poor dependant, the endower of this place, and him who watcheth it with goodness and beneficence, and its neighbours, and those who frequent it at the times of prayers and good acts, 0 Thou Bountiful :-0 Lord, O Lord, O Lord. Thou art He Who ceaseth not to be distinguished by mercy; Thou art liberal of Thy clemency towards the rebellious; and protectest him; and concealest what is foul; and makest manifest every virtuous action; and Thou bestowest Thy beneficence upon the servant, and comfortest Him, O Thou Bountiful :--O Lord, O Lord, O Lord. My sins, when I think upon them, [I see to be] many; but the mercy of my Lord is more abundant than are my sins; I am not solicitous on account of good that I have done ; but for the mercy of God I am most solicitous. Extolled be the Everlasting. He hath no companion in His great dominion. His perfection [I extol]: exalted be His name : [I extol] the perfection of God.”

II. “[I extol] the perfection of God, the Existing for ever and ever. [1 extol] the perfection of God, the Existing for ever and ever. [I extol] the perfection of God, the Existing for ever and ever, the perfection of God, the Desired, the Existing, the Single, the Supreme: the perfection of God, the One, the Sole : the perfection of Him Who taketh to Himself, in His great dominion, neither female companion, nor male partner, nor any like unto Him, nor any that is disobedient, nor any deputy, nor any equal, nor any offspring. His perfection [be extolled]: and exalted be His name. He is a Deity Who knew what hath been before it was, and called into existence what hath been ; and He is now existing as He was (at the first). His perfection [be extolled]: and exalted be His name. He is a Deity unto Whom there is none like existing, There is none like unto God, the Bountiful, existing. There is none like unto God, the Clement, existing. There is none like unto God, the Great, existing. There is none Jike unto God, the Great, existing. And there is no deity but Thou, O our Lord, to be worshipped, and to be praised, and to be desired, and to be glorified. [1 extol] the perfection of Him Who created all creatures, and numbered them, and distributed their sustenance, and decreed the terms of the lives of His servants; and our Lord, the Bountiful, the Clement, the Great, forgetteth not one of them. [l extol] the perfection of Him, Who, of His power and greatness, caused the pure water to flow from the solid stone, the mass of rock : the perfection of Him Who spake with our Lord Moosa [or, Moses] upon the mountain ; whereupon the mountain was reduced to dust, through dread of God, whose name be exalted, the One, the Sole. There is no deity but God. He is a just Judge. [I extol] the perfection of the First. Blessing and peace be on thee, O comely of countenance : ( Apostle of God. Blessing and peace be on thee, O first of the creatures of God, and seal of the apostles of God. Blessing and peace be on thee, O thou Prophet; on thee and on thy Family, and all thy Companions. God is most Great, God is most Great, God is most Great, God is most. Great. I testify that there is no deity but God. I testify that there is no deity but God. I testify that Mohammad is God's Apostle. I testify that Mohammad is God's Apostle. Come to prayer. Come to prayer. Come to security. Come to security. God is most Great. God is most Great. There is no deity but God. O God, bless and save and still beatify the beatified Prophet, our lord Mohammad. And may God, whose name be blessed and exalted, be well pleased with thee, O our lord El-Hasan, and with thee, O our lord El-Hoseyn, and with thee, O Aboo Farrag, O Sheykh of the Arabs, and with all the favourites of God. Amen."

Muhammadan Calendar.— The Muḥammadans reckon their era from the 16th of July, * 622, i.e., the day of the Flight (al-Hijra) of the Prophet from Mecca to Madina. Their year is lunar, and always consists of twelve lunar months, beginning with the approximate new moon, without any intercalation to keep them in the same season with respect to the sun, so that they retrograde through all the seasons in about 32 years. Their years are divided into cycles of 30 years, 19 of which contain 354 days, and the other ii are intercalary years, having an extra day added to the last month. The mean length of the year is 354 days 8 hours 48 minutes; a mean lunation = 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes; the difference between a mean lunation and an astronomical lunation will amount to a day in about 2,400 years. For the names of the months see p. 244. Muḥammadan Weights and Measures :Pik or Dirâ (of the country) = 24 kirrâț (plur. ķarâri!)

= 22.83 inch = '585 metre. Pik (Turkish and Indian) = 25-88 inches = 65-82

centimetres, and 2 feet 2 inches or 66 metre respec

tively. * The true date, according to Caussin de Perceval, is June 20, A.D. 622.

+ The Sûdân Dira' = 224 in. or 57 centimetres.

« PreviousContinue »