Part 5 out of 9
remarked that assuredly that language was the peculiar dialect of the
damned. As Khalid appeared to suffer from the observation, and to
betray certain symptoms of insubordination, the Prophet condescended to
comfort him by graciously pronouncing the words “Ghashe linda raora,” i.e.,
bring me my bow and arrows. (Remarks on Dr. Dorn’s Chrestomathy of the
Pushtu or Afghan Language. Trans. Bombay As. Society, 1848.)
[FN#5] See the ninth building of the Ka’abah, described in chap. iv.
[FN#6] It requires not the ken of a prophet to foresee the day when
political necessity—sternest of [Greek]!—will compel us to occupy in force
the fountain-head of Al-Islam.
[FN#7] Good acts done at Meccah are rewarded a hundred-thousand-fold in
heaven; yet it is not auspicious to dwell there. Omar informs us that
an evil deed receives the punishment of seventy.
[FN#8] It must be remembered that my predecessor visited Meccah when
the Egyptian army, commanded by Mohammed Ali, held the town.
[FN#9] In another place I have ventured a few observations concerning
the easy suppression of this traffic.
[FN#10] The act is called “Tashrit,” or gashing. The body is also marked,
but with smaller cuts, so that the child is covered with blood. Ali Bey
was told by some Meccans that the face-gashes served for the purpose of
phlebotomy, by others that they were signs that the scarred was the
servant of Allah’s house. He attributes this male-gashing, like
female-tat[t]ooing, to coquetry. The citizens told me that the custom
arose from the necessity of preserving children from the kidnapping
Persians, and that it is preserved as a mark of the Holy City. But its
wide diffusion denotes an earlier origin. Mohammed expressly forbad his
followers to mark the skin with scars. These “beauty marks” are common to
the nations in the regions to the West of the Red Sea. The Barabarah of
Upper Egypt adorn their faces with scars exactly like the Meccans. The
Abyssinians moxa themselves in hetacombs for fashion’s sake. I have seen
cheeks gashed, as in the Holy City, among the Gallas. Certain races of
the Sawahil trace around the head a corona of little cuts, like those
of a cupping instrument. And, to quote no other instances, some Somalis
raise ghastly seams upon their chocolate-coloured skins.
[FN#11] Sayrafi, money-changer; Sarraf, banker; the Indian “Shroff,”
banker, money-changer, and usurer.
[FN#12] When speaking of the Meccans I allude only to the section of
society which fell under my observation, and that more extensive
division concerning which I obtained notices that could be depended
[FN#13] The editor of Burckhardt’s “Travels in Arabia” supposes that his
author’s “sect of light extinguishers” were probably Parsees from Surat or
Bombay. The mistake is truly ludicrous, for no pious Parsee will
extinguish a light. Moreover, infidels are not allowed by law to pass
the frontiers of the Sanctuary. The sect alluded to is an obscure
heresy in Central Asia; and concerning it the most improbable scandals
have been propagated by the orthodox.
[FN#14] It is strange how travellers and linguists differ upon the
subject of Arabic and its dialects. Niebuhr compares their relation to
that of Provençal, Spanish, and Italian, whereas Lane declares the
dialects to resemble each other more than those of some different
counties in England. Herbin (Grammar) draws a broad line between
ancient and modern Arabic; but Hochst (Nachrichten von Marokos und Fez)
asserts that the difference is not so great as is imagined. Perhaps the
soundest opinion is that proposed by Clodius, in his “Arabic Grammar”:
“dialectus Arabum vulgaris tantum differt ab erudita, quantum Isocrates
dictio ab hodierna lingua Græca.” But it must be remembered that the Arabs
divide their spoken and even written language into two orders, the “Kalam
Wati,” or vulgar tongue, sometimes employed in epistolary correspondence,
and the “Nahwi,” or grammatical and classical language. Every man of
education uses the former, and can use the latter. And the Koran is no
more a model of Arabic (as it is often assumed to be) than “Paradise Lost”
is of English. Inimitable, no man imitates them.
[FN#15] Safi Ullah—Adam.
[FN#16] The legend that Abraham was the “Son of Fire” might have arisen
from his birthplace, Ur of the Chaldees. This Ur (whence the Latin uro)
becomes in Persian Hir; in Arabic Irr or Arr. It explains the origin of
“Orotalt” better than by means of “Allahu Ta’ala.” This word, variously spelt
Ourotalt, Orotalt, and Orotal (the latter would be the masculine form
in Arabic), is Urrat-ilat, or the goddess of fire, most probably the
Sun (Al-Shams) which the Semites make a feminine. Forbiggen translates
it Sonnen-gott, an error of gender, as the final consonant proves. The
other deity of pagan Arabia, Alilat, is clearly Al-Lat. May not the
Phoenicians have supplied the word “Irr,” which still survives in Erin and
in Ireland? even so they gave to the world the name of Britain,
Brettainke, Barrat et Tanuki ([Arabic lettering]), the land of tin. And
I should more readily believe that Eeran is the land of fire, than
accept its derivation from Eer (vir) a man.
[FN#17] Captain C. F. Head, author of “Eastern and Egyptian Scenery,” was,
as late as A.D. 1829, pelted by the Badawin, because he passed the
Eastern gate of Jeddah in a Frankish dress.
[FN#18] The best way would be to rush, if possible, into a house; and
the owner would then, for his own interest, as well as honour, defend a
stranger till assistance could be procured.
[FN#19] Future pilgrims must also remember that the season is gradually
receding towards the heart of the hot weather. For the next fifteen
years, therefore, an additional risk will attend the traveller.
[FN#20] Pliny is certainly right about this useful quadruped and its
congeners, the zebra and the wild ass, in describing it as “animal
frigoris maxime impatiens.” It degenerates in cold regions, unless, as in
Afghanistan and Barbary, there be a long, hot, and dry summer. Aden,
Cutch, and Baghdad have fine breeds, whereas those of India and
South-Eastern Africa are poor and weak. The best and the highest-priced
come from the Maghrib, and second to them ranks the Egyptian race. At
Meccah careful feeding and kind usage transform the dull slave into an
active and symmetrical friend of man: he knows his owner’s kind voice,
and if one of the two fast, it is generally the biped. The asses of the
Holy City are tall and plump, with sleek coats, generally ash or
grey-coloured, the eyes of deer, heads gracefully carried, an ambling
gait, and extremely sure-footed. They are equal to great fatigue, and
the stallions have been known, in their ferocity, to kill the groom.
The price varies from 25 to 150 dollars.
[FN#21] Such is the popular version of the tale, which differs in some
points from that recorded in books. Others declare that here, in days
gone by, stood the house of another notorious malignant, Abu Jahl.
Some, again, suppose that in this place a tyrannical governor of Meccah
was summarily “lynched” by the indignant populace. The first two
traditions, however, are the favourites, the vulgar—citizens, as well as
pilgrims—loving to connect such places with the events of their early
sacred history. Even in the twelfth century we read that pilgrims used
to cast stones at two cairns, covering the remains of Abu Lahab, and
the beautiful termagant, his wife.
[FN#22] Certain credulous authors have contrasted these heaps with the
clear ground at Muna, for the purpose of a minor miracle. According to
them this cairn steadily grows, as we may believe it would; and that,
were it not for the guardian angels, the millions of little stones
annually thrown at the devils would soon form a mass of equal
magnitude. This custom of lapidation, in token of hate, is an ancient
practice, still common in the East. Yet, in some parts of Arabia,
stones are thrown at tombs as a compliment to the tenant. And in the
Somali country, the places where it is said holy men sat, receive the
same doubtful homage.
[FN#23] It is called in books Al-Tanim (bestowing plenty); a word which
readers must not confound with the district of the same name in the
province Khaulan (made by Niebuhr the “Thumna,” “Thomna,” or “Tamna,” capital of
the Catabanites). Other authors apply Al-Tanim to the spot where Abu
Lahab is supposed to lie. There are two places called Al-Umrah near
Meccah. The Kabir, or greater, is, I am told, in the Wady Fatimah, and
the Prophet ordered Ayishah and her sister to begin the ceremonies at
that place. It is now visited by picnic parties and those who would
pray at the tomb of Maimunah, one of the Prophet’s wives. Modern pilgrims
commence always, I am told, at the Umrah Saghir (the Lesser), which is
about half-way nearer the city.
[FN#24] Some assume the Ihram garb at this place.
[FN#25] We had still the pretext of my injured foot. When the Sai rite
is performed, as it should be, by a pedestrian, he mounts the steps to
about the height of a man, and then turns towards the temple.
[FN#26] I will not trouble the reader with this Niyat, which is the
same as that used in the Tawaf rite.
[FN#27] Almost every Mutawwif, it must be remembered, has his own set
[FN#28] “Safa” means a large, hard rock; “Marwah,” hard, white flints, full of
[FN#29] In former times a devastating torrent used to sweep this place
after rains. The Fiumara bed has now disappeared, and the pillars are
used as landmarks. Galland observes that these columns are planted upon
the place which supported Eve’s knees, when, after 300 years’ separation,
she was found by Adam.
[FN#30] This house is called in books Rubat al-Abbas.
[FN#31] Here once stood “As’af” and “Naylah,” two idols, some say a man and a
woman metamorphosed for stupration in the Temple.
[FN#32] Koran, chap. ii.
[FN#33] Ibn Jubayr gives 893 steps: other authorities make the distance
780 short cubits, the size of an average man’s forearm.
[FN#34] The ceremony of running between Safa and Marwah is supposed to
represent Hagar seeking water for her son. Usually pilgrims perform
this rite on the morning of visiting the Ka’aba.
[p.247] CHAPTER XXXIII.
PLACES OF PIOUS VISITATION AT MECCAH.
THE traveller has little work at the Holy City. With exceptions of
Jabal Nur and Jabal Saur,[FN#1] all the places of pious visitation lie
inside or close outside the city. It is well worth the while to ascend
Abu Kubays; not so much to inspect the Makan al-Hajar and the Shakk
al-Kamar,[FN#2] as to obtain an excellent bird’s-eye view of the Harim
and the parts adjacent.[FN#3]
The boy Mohammed had applied himself sedulously to commerce after his
return home; and had actually been seen by Shaykh Nur sitting in a shop
and selling small curiosities. With my plenary consent I was made
[p.248] over to Abdullah, his brother. On the morning of the 15th Zu’l
Hijjah (19th Sept.) he hired two asses, and accompanied me as guide to
the holy places.
Mounting our animals, we followed the road before described to the
Jannat al-Ma’ala, the sacred cemetery of Meccah. A rough wall, with a
poor gateway, encloses a patch of barren and grim-looking ground, at
the foot of the chain which bounds the city’s western suburb, and below
Al-Akabah, the gap through which Khalid bin Walid entered Meccah with
the triumphant Prophet.[FN#4] Inside are a few ignoble, whitewashed
domes: all are of modern construction, for here, as at Al-Bakia,
further north, the Wahhabis indulged their levelling
propensities.[FN#5] The rest of the ground shows some small enclosures
belonging to particular houses,—equivalent to our family vaults,—and the
ruins of humble tombs, lying in confusion, whilst a few parched aloes
spring from between the bricks and stones.[FN#6]
[p.249] The cemetery is celebrated in local history: here the body of
Abdullah bin Zubayr was exposed by order of Hajjaj bin Yusuf; and the
number of saints buried in it has been so numerous, that even in the
twelfth century many had fallen into oblivion. It is visited by the
citizens on Fridays, and by women on Thursdays, to prevent that meeting
of sexes which in the East is so detrimental to public decorum. I shall
be sparing in my description of the Ma’ala ceremonies, as the prayers,
prostrations, and supplications are almost identical with those
performed at Al-Bakia.
After a long supplication, pronounced standing at the doorway, we
entered, and sauntered about the burial-ground. On the left of the road
stood an enclosure, which, according to Abdullah, belonged to his
family. The door and stone slabs, being valuable to the poor, had been
removed, and the graves of his forefathers appeared to have been
invaded by the jackal. He sighed, recited a Fatihah with tears in his
eyes, and hurried me away from the spot.
The first dome which we visited covered the remains of Abd al-Rahman,
the son of Abu Bakr, one of the Worthies of Al-Islam, equally respected
by Sunni and by Shi’ah. The tomb was a simple catafalque, spread with the
usual cloth. After performing our devotions at this grave, and
distributing a few piastres to guardians and beggars, we crossed the
main path, and found ourselves at the door of the cupola, beneath which
sleeps the venerable Khadijah, Mohammed’s first wife. The tomb was
covered with a green cloth, and the walls of the little building were
decorated with written specimens of religious poetry. A little beyond
it, we were shown into another dome, the resting-place of Sitt Aminah,
the Prophet’s mother.[FN#7] Burckhardt chronicles its ill-usage by
[p.250] the fanatic Wahhabis: it has now been rebuilt in that frugal
style that characterizes the architecture of Al-Hijaz. An exceedingly
garrulous old woman came to the door, invited us in, and superintended
our devotions; at the end of which she sprinkled rosewater upon my
face. When asked for a cool draught, she handed me a metal saucer,
whose contents smelt strongly of mastic, earnestly directing me to
drink it in a sitting posture. This tomb she informed us is the
property of a single woman, who visits it every evening, receives the
contributions of the Faithful, prays, sweeps the pavement, and dusts
the furniture. We left five piastres for this respectable maiden, and
gratified the officious crone with another shilling. She repaid us by
signalling to some score of beggars that a rich pilgrim had entered the
Ma’ala, and their importunities fairly drove me out of the hallowed walls.
Leaving the Jannat al-Ma’ala, we returned towards the town, and halted on
the left side of the road, at a mean building called the Masjid al-Jinn
(of the Genii). Here was revealed the seventy-second chapter of the
Koran, called after the name of the mysterious fire-drakes who paid
fealty to the Prophet. Descending a flight of steps,—for this Mosque,
like all ancient localities at Meccah, is as much below as above
ground,—we entered a small apartment containing water-pots for drinking
and all the appurtenances of ablution. In it is shown the Mauza
al-Khatt (place of the writing), where Mohammed wrote a letter to Abu
Mas’ud after the homage of the Jinnis. A second and interior flight of
stone steps led to another diminutive oratory, where the Prophet used
to pray and receive the archangel Gabriel. Having performed a pair of
bows, which caused the perspiration
[p.251 to burst forth as if in a Russian bath, I paid a few piastres,
and issued from the building with much satisfaction.
We had some difficulty in urging our donkeys through the crowded
street, called the Zukak al-Hajar. Presently we arrived at the Bayt
al-Nabi, the Prophet’s old house, in which he lived with the Sitt
Khadijah. Here, says Burckhardt, the Lady Fatimah first saw the
light[FN#8]; and here, according to Ibn Jubayr, Hasan and Hosayn were
born. Dismounting at the entrance, we descended a deep flight of steps,
and found ourselves in a spacious hall, vaulted, and of better
appearance than most of the sacred edifices at Meccah. In the centre,
and well railed round, stood a closet of rich green and gold stuffs, in
shape not unlike an umbrella-tent. A surly porter guarded the closed
door, which some respectable people vainly attempted to open by honeyed
words: a whisper from Abdullah solved the difficulty. I was directed to
lie at full length upon my stomach, and to kiss a black-looking
stone—said to be the lower half of the Lady Fatimah’s quern[FN#9]—fixed at
the bottom of a basin of the same material. Thence we repaired to a
corner, and recited a two-bow at the place where the Prophet used to
pray the Sunnat and the Nafilah, or supererogatory devotions.[FN#10]
Again remounting, we proceeded at a leisurely pace homewards, and on
the way passed through the principal
[p.252] slave-market. It is a large street roofed with matting, and
full of coffee-houses. The merchandise sat in rows, parallel with the
walls. The prettiest girls occupied the highest benches, below were the
plainer sort, and lowest of all the boys. They were all gaily dressed
in pink and other light-coloured muslins, with transparent veils over
their heads; and, whether from the effect of such unusual splendour, or
from the re-action succeeding to their terrible land-journey and
sea-voyage, they appeared perfectly happy, laughing loudly, talking
unknown tongues, and quizzing purchasers, even during the delicate
operation of purchasing. There were some pretty Gallas, douce-looking
Abyssinians, and Africans of various degrees of hideousness, from the
half-Arab Somal to the baboon-like Sawahili. The highest price of which
I could hear was £60. And here I matured a resolve to strike, if favoured
by fortune, a death-blow at a trade which is eating into the vitals of
industry in Eastern Africa. The reflection was pleasant,—the idea that
the humble Haji, contemplating the scene from his donkey, might become
the instrument of the total abolition of this pernicious
traffic.[FN#11] What would have become of that pilgrim had the crowd in
the slave-market guessed his intentions?
Passing through the large bazar, called the Suk al-Layl, I saw the
palace of Mohammed bin Aun, quondam Prince of Meccah. It has a certain
look of rude magnificence,
[p.253] the effect of huge hanging balconies scattered in profusion
over lofty walls, claire-voies of brickwork, and courses of
various-coloured stone. The owner is highly popular among the Badawin,
and feared by the citizens on account of his fierce looks, courage, and
treachery. They described him to me as vir bonus, bene strangulando
peritus; but Mr. Cole, who knew him personally, gave him a high
character for generosity and freedom from fanaticism. He seems to have
some idea of the state which should “hedge in” a ruler. His palaces at
Meccah, and that now turned into a Wakalah at Jeddah, are the only
places in the country that can be called princely. He is now a state
prisoner at Constantinople, and the Badawin pray in vain for his
The other places of pious visitation at Meccah are briefly these:—
1. Natak al-Nabi, a small oratory in the Zukak al-Hajar. It derives its
name from the following circumstance.
[p.254] As the Prophet was knocking at the door of Abu Bakr’s shop, a
stone gave him God-speed, and told him that the master was not at home.
The wonderful mineral is of a reddish-black colour, about a foot in
dimension, and fixed in the wall somewhat higher than a man’s head. There
are servants attached to it, and the street sides are spread, as usual,
with the napkins of importunate beggars.
2. Maulid al-Nabi, or the Prophet’s birthplace.[FN#13] It is a little
chapel in the Suk al-Layl, not far from Mohammed bin Aun’s palace. It is
below the present level of the ground, and in the centre is a kind of
tent, concealing, it is said, a hole in the floor upon which Aminah sat
to be delivered.
3. In the quarter “Sha’ab Ali,” near the Maulid al-Nabi, is the birthplace of
Ali, another oratory below the ground. Here, as in the former place, a
Maulid and a Ziyarah are held on the anniversary of the Lion’s birth.
4. Near Khadijah’s house and the Natak al-Nabi is a place called
Al-Muttaka, from a stone against which the Prophet leaned when worn out
with fatigue. It is much visited by devotees; and some declare that on
one occasion, when the Father of Lies appeared to the Prophet in the
form of an elderly man, and tempted him to sin by asserting that the
Mosque-prayers were over, this stone, disclosing the fraud, caused the
Fiend to flee.
5. Maulid Hamzah, a little building at the old Bab Umrah, near the
Shabayki cemetery. Here was the Bazan, or channel down which the Ayn
Hunayn ran into the Birkat Majid. Many authorities doubt that Hamzah
was born at this place.[FN#14]
[p.255] The reader must now be as tired of “Pious Visitations” as I was.
Before leaving Meccah I was urgently invited to dine by old Ali bin Ya
Sin, the Zemzemi; a proof that he entertained inordinate expectations,
excited, it appeared, by the boy Mohammed, for the simple purpose of
exalting his own dignity. One day we were hurriedly summoned about
three P.M. to the senior’s house, a large building in the Zukak al-Hajar.
We found it full of pilgrims, amongst whom we had no trouble to
recognise our fellow-travellers, the quarrelsome old Arnaut and his
impudent slave-boy. Ali met us upon the staircase, and conducted us
into an upper room, where we sat upon diwans, and with pipes and coffee
prepared for dinner. Presently the semicircle arose to receive a
eunuch, who lodged somewhere in the house. He was a person of
importance, being the guardian of some dames of high degree at Cairo
and Constantinople: the highest place and
[p.256] the best pipe were unhesitatingly offered to and accepted by
him. He sat down with dignity, answered diplomatically certain
mysterious questions about the dames, and applied his blubber lips to a
handsome mouthpiece of lemon-coloured amber. It was a fair lesson of
humility for a man to find himself ranked beneath this high-shouldered,
spindle-shanked, beardless bit of neutrality; and as such I took it
duly to heart.
The dinner was served up in a Sini, a plated copper tray about six feet
in circumference, and handsomely ornamented with arabesques and
inscriptions. Under this was the usual Kursi, or stool, composed of
mother-o’-pearl facets set in sandal-wood; and upon it a well-tinned and
clean-looking service of the same material as the Sini. We began with a
variety of stews—stews with spinach, stews with Bamiyah (hibiscus), and
rich vegetable stews. These being removed, we dipped hands in Biryani,
a meat pillaw, abounding in clarified butter; Kimah, finely chopped
meat; Warak Mahshi, vine leaves filled with chopped and spiced mutton,
and folded into small triangles; Kabab, or bits of roti spitted in
mouthfuls upon a splinter of wood; together with a Salatah of the
crispest cucumber, and various dishes of water-melon cut up into
Bread was represented by the Eastern scone, but it was of superior
flavour, and far better than the ill-famed Chapati of India. Our drink
was water perfumed with mastic. After the meat came a Kunafah, fine
vermicelli sweetened with honey, and sprinkled with powdered white
sugar; several stews of apples and quinces; Muhallibah, a thin jelly
made of rice, flour, milk, starch, and a little perfume; together with
squares of Rahah,[FN#15] a confiture
[p.257] highly prized in these regions, because it comes from
Constantinople. Fruits were then placed upon the table; plates full of
pomegranate grains and dates of the finest flavour.[FN#16] The dinner
concluded with a pillaw of rice and butter, for the easier discussion
of which we were provided with carved wooden spoons.
Arabs ignore the delightful French art of prolonging a dinner. After
washing your hands, you sit down, throw an embroidered napkin over your
knees, and with a “Bismillah,” by way of grace, plunge your hand into the
attractive dish, changing ad libitum, occasionally sucking your
finger-tips as boys do lollipops, and varying that diversion by
cramming a chosen morsel into a friend’s mouth. When your hunger is
satisfied, you do not sit for your companions; you exclaim “Al Hamd!” edge
away from the tray, wash your hands and mouth with soap, display signs
of repletion, otherwise you will be pressed to eat more, seize your
pipe, sip your coffee, and take your “Kayf.” Nor is it customary, in these
lands, to sit together after dinner—the evening prayer cuts short the
seance. Before we rose to take leave of Ali bin Ya Sin, a boy ran into
the room, and displayed those infantine civilities which in the East
are equivalent to begging a present. I slipped a dollar into his hand;
at the sight of which he, veritable little Meccan, could not contain
his joy. “The Riyal!” he exclaimed; “the Riyal! look, grandpa’, the good
Effendi has given me a Riyal!” The old gentleman’s eyes twinkled with
emotion: he saw how easily the coin had slipped from my fingers, and he
fondly hoped that he had not seen the last piece. “Verily thou art a good
[p.258] young man!” he ejaculated, adding fervently, as prayers cost
nothing, “May Allah further all thy desires.” A gentle patting of the back
evidenced his high approval.
I never saw old Ali after that evening, but entrusted to the boy
Mohammed what was considered a just equivalent for his services.
[FN#1] Jabal Nur, or Hira, has been mentioned before. Jabal Saur rises
at some distance to the South of Meccah, and contains the celebrated
cave in which Mohammed and Abu Bakr took refuge during the flight.
[FN#2] The tradition of these places is related by every historian. The
former is the repository of the Black Stone during the Deluge. The
latter, “splitting of the moon,” is the spot where the Prophet stood when,
to convert the idolatrous Kuraysh, he caused half the orb of night to
rise from behind Abu Kubays, and the other from Jabal Kayka’an, on the
Western horizon. This silly legend appears unknown to Mohammed’s day.
[FN#3] The pilgrimage season, strictly speaking, concluded this year on
the 17th September (13th Zu’l Hijjah); at which time travellers began to
move towards Jeddah. Those who purposed visiting Al-Madinah would start
about three weeks afterwards, and many who had leisure intended
witnessing the Muharram ceremonies at Meccah.
[FN#4] This is the local tradition; it does not agree with authentic
history. Muir (Life of Mahomet, vol. iv. p. 126) reminds me that Khalid
and his Badawin attacked the citizens of Meccah without the Prophet’s
leave. But after the attack he may have followed in his leader’s train.
[FN#5] The reason of their Vandalism has been noticed in a previous
[FN#6] The Aloe here, as in Egypt, is hung, like the dried crocodile,
over houses as a talisman against evil spirits. Burckhardt assigns, as
a motive for it being planted in graveyards, that its name Saber
denotes the patience with which the believer awaits the Last Day. And
Lane remarks, “The Aloe thus hung (over the door), without earth and
water, will live for several years, and even blossom: hence it is
called Saber, which signifies patience.” In India it is hung up to
prevent Mosquitoes entering a room. I believe the superstition to be a
fragment of African fetichism. The Gallas, to the present day, plant
Aloes on graves, and suppose that when the plant sprouts the deceased
has been admitted into the gardens of “Wak”—the Creator. Ideas breed
vocables; but seldom, except among rhymesters, does a vocable give
birth to a popular idea: and in Arabic “Sibr,” as well as “Sabr,” is the name
of the Aloe.
[FN#7] Burckhardt mentions the “Tomb of Umna, the mother of Mohammed,” in
the Ma’ala at Meccah; and all the ciceroni agree about the locality. Yet
historians place it at Abwa, where she gave up the ghost, after
visiting Al-Madinah to introduce her son to his relations. And the
learned believe that the Prophet refused to pray over or to intercede
for his mother, she having died before Al-Islam was revealed.
[FN#8] Burckhardt calls it “Maulid Sittna Fatimah”: but the name “Kubbat el
Wahy,” applied by my predecessor to this locality, is generally made
synonymous with Al-Mukhtaba, the “hiding-place” where the Prophet and his
followers used in dangerous times to meet for prayer.
[FN#9] So loose is local tradition, that some have confounded this
quern with the Natak al-Nabi, the stone which gave God-speed to the
[FN#10] He would of course pray the Farz, or obligatory devotions, at
[FN#11] About a year since writing the above a firman was issued by the
Porte suppressing the traffic from Central Africa. Hitherto we have
respected slavery in the Red Sea, because the Turk thence drew his
supplies; we are now destitute of an excuse. A single steamer would
destroy the trade, and if we delay to take active measures, the people
of England, who have spent millions in keeping up a West African
squadron, will not hold us guiltless of negligence.
NOTE TO SECOND EDITION.—The slave trade has, since these remarks were
penned, been suppressed with a high hand; the Arabs of Al-Hijaz
resented the measure by disowning the supremacy of the Porte, but they
were soon reduced to submission.
[FN#12] The Prince was first invested with the Sharifat by Mohammed Ali
of Egypt in A.D. 1827, when Yahya fled, after stabbing his nephew in
the Ka’abah, to the Benu Harb Badawin. He was supported by Ahmad Pasha of
Meccah, with a large army; but after the battle of Tarabah, in which
Ibrahim Pasha was worsted by the Badawin, Mohammed Bin Aun, accused of
acting as Sylla, was sent in honourable bondage to Cairo. He again
returned to Meccah, where the rapacity of his eldest son, Abdullah, who
would rob pilgrims, caused fresh misfortunes. In A.D. 1851, when Abd
al-Muttalib was appointed Sharif, the Pasha was ordered to send Bin Aun
to Stambul—no easy task. The Turk succeeded by a manœuvre. Mohammed’s two
sons, happening to be at Jeddah, were invited to inspect a man-of-war,
and were there made prisoners. Upon this the father yielded himself up;
although, it is said, the flashing of the Badawi’s sabre during his
embarkation made the Turks rejoice that they had won the day by
state-craft. The wild men of Al-Hijaz still sing songs in honour of
NOTE TO SECOND EDITION.—Early in 1856, when the Sharif Abd al-Muttalib
was deposed, Mohammed bin Aun was sent from Constantinople to quiet the
insurrection caused by the new slave laws in Al-Hijaz. In a short space
of time he completely succeeded.
[FN#13] The 12th of Rabia al-Awwal, Mohammed’s birthday, is here
celebrated with great festivities, feasts, prayers, and perusals of the
Koran. These “Maulid” (ceremonies of nativity) are by no means limited to a
single day in the year.
[FN#14] The reader is warned that I did not see the five places above
enumerated. The ciceroni and books mention twelve other visitations,
several of which are known only by name.
1. Al-Mukhtaba, the “hiding-place” alluded to in the preceding pages. Its
locality is the subject of debate.
2. Dar al-Khayzaran, where the Prophet prayed secretly till the
conversion of Omar enabled him to dispense with concealment.
3. Maulid Omar, or Omar’s birthplace, mentioned in books as being visited
by devotees in the 14th Rabia al-Awwal of every year.
4. Abu Bakr’s house near the Natak al-Nabi. It is supposed to have been
destroyed in the twelfth century.
5. Maulid Ja’afar al-Tayyar, near the Shabayki cemetery.
6. Al-Mada’a, an oratory, also called Naf al-Arz, because creation here
7. Dar al-Hijrah, where Mohammed and Abu Bakr mounted for the flight.
8. Masjid al-Rayah, where the Prophet planted his flag when Meccah
9. Masjid al-Shajarah, a spot at which Mohammed caused a tree to
advance and to retire.
10. Masjid al-Ja’aranah, where Mohammed clad himself in the pilgrim garb.
It is still visited by some Persians.
11. Masjid Ibrahim, or Abu Kubays.
12. Masjid Zu Tawa.
[FN#15] Familiar for “Rahat al-Hulkum,”—the pleasure of the throat,—a name
which has sorely puzzled our tourists. This sweetmeat would be pleasant
did it not smell so strongly of the perruquier’s shop. Rosewater tempts
to many culinary sins in the East; and Europeans cannot dissociate it
from the idea of a lotion. However, if a guest is to be honoured,
rosewater must often take the place of the pure element, even in tea.
[FN#16] Meccah is amply supplied with water-melons, dates, limes,
grapes, cucumbers, and other vegetables from Taif and Wady Fatimah.
During the pilgrimage season the former place sends at least 100 camels
every day to the capital.
[p.259] CHAPTER XXXIV.
A GENERAL plunge into worldly pursuits and pleasures announced the end
of the pilgrimage ceremonies. All the devotees were now “whitewashed”—the
book of their sins was a tabula rasa: too many of them lost no time in
making a new departure “down south,” and in opening a fresh account. The
faith must not bear the blame of the irregularities. They may be
equally observed in the Calvinist, after a Sunday of prayer, sinning
through Monday with a zest, and the Romanist falling back with new
fervour upon the causes of his confession and penance, as in the Moslem
who washes his soul clean by running and circumambulation; and, in
fairness, it must be observed that, as amongst Christians, so in the
Moslem persuasion, there are many notable exceptions to this rule of
extremes. Several of my friends and acquaintances date their
reformation from their first sight of the Ka’abah.
The Moslem’s “Holy Week” over, nothing detained me at Meccah. For reasons
before stated, I resolved upon returning to Cairo, resting there for
awhile, and starting a second time for the interior, via Muwaylah.[FN#1]
The Meccans are as fond of little presents as are nuns: the Kabirah
took an affectionate leave of me, begged me to be careful of her boy,
who was to accompany
[p.260] me to Jeddah, and laid friendly but firm hands upon a brass
pestle and mortar, upon which she had long cast the eye of
Having hired two camels for thirty-five piastres, and paid half the sum
in advance, I sent on my heavy boxes with Shaykh, now Haji Nur, to
Jeddah.[FN#2] Omar Effendi was to wait at Meccah till his father had
started, in command of the Dromedary Caravan, when he would privily
take ass, join me at the port, and return to his beloved Cairo. I bade
a long farewell to all my friends, embraced the Turkish pilgrims, and
mounting our donkeys, the boy Mohammed and I left the house. Abdullah
the Melancholy followed us on foot through the city, and took leave of
me, though without embracing, at the Shabayki quarter.
Issuing into the open plain, I felt a thrill of pleasure—such joy as only
the captive delivered from his dungeon can experience. The sunbeams
warmed me into renewed life and vigour, the air of the Desert was a
perfume, and the homely face of Nature was as the smile of a dear old
friend. I contemplated the Syrian Caravan, lying on the right of our
road, without any of the sadness usually suggested by a parting look.
It is not my intention minutely to describe the line down which we
travelled that night: the pages of Burckhardt give full information
about the country. Leaving Meccah, we fell into the direct road running
south of Wady Fatimah, and traversed for about an hour a flat
surrounded by hills. Then we entered a valley by a flight of rough
stone steps, dangerously slippery and zigzag, intended to facilitate
the descent for camels and for laden beasts. About midnight we passed
into a hill-girt Wady, here covered with deep sands, there hard with
[p.261] gravelly clay: and, finally, about dawn, we sighted the
maritime plain of Jeddah.
Shortly after leaving the city, our party was joined by other
travellers, and towards evening we found ourselves in force, the effect
of an order that pilgrims must not proceed singly upon this road.
Coffee-houses and places of refreshment abounding, we halted every five
miles to refresh ourselves and the donkeys.[FN#3] At sunset we prayed
near a Turkish guard-house, where one of the soldiers kindly supplied
me with water for ablution.
Before nightfall I was accosted, in Turkish, by a one-eyed old fellow,
“with faded brow,
Entrenched with many a frown, and conic beard,”
and habited in unclean garments, was bestriding a donkey as faded as
himself. When I shook my head, he addressed me in Persian. The same
manœuvre made him try Arabic; still he obtained no answer. Then he
grumbled out good Hindustani. That also failing, he tried successively
Pushtu, Armenian, English, French, and Italian. At last I could “keep a
stiff lip” no longer; at every change of dialect his emphasis beginning
with “Then who the d— are you?” became more emphatic. I turned upon him in
Persian, and found that he had been a pilot, a courier, and a servant
to Eastern tourists, and that he had visited England, France, and
Italy, the Cape, India, Central Asia, and China. We then chatted in
English, which Haji Akif spoke well, but with all manner of courier’s
phrases; Haji Abdullah so badly, that he was counselled a course of
study. It was not a little strange to hear such phrases as “Come ’p, Neddy,”
and “Cre nom d’un baudet,” almost within earshot of the tomb of Ishmael, the
birthplace of Mohammed, and the Sanctuary of Al-Islam.
[p.262] About eight P.M. we passed the Alamayn, which define the
Sanctuary in this direction. They stand about nine miles from Meccah,
and near them are a coffee-house and a little oratory, popularly known
as the Sabil Agha Almas. On the road, as night advanced, we met long
strings of camels, some carrying litters, others huge beams, and others
bales of coffee, grain, and merchandise. Sleep began to weigh heavily
upon my companions’ eye-lids, and the boy Mohammed hung over the flank of
his donkey in a most ludicrous position.
About midnight we reached a mass of huts, called Al-Haddah. Ali Bey
places it eight leagues from Jeddah. At “the Boundary” which is considered
to be the half-way halting-place, Pilgrims must assume the religious
garb,[FN#4] and Infidels travelling to Taif are taken off the Meccan
road into one leading Northward to Arafat. The settlement is a
collection of huts and hovels, built with sticks and reeds, supporting
brushwood and burned and blackened palm leaves. It is maintained for
supplying pilgrims with coffee and water. Travellers speak with horror
of its heat during the day; Ali Bey, who visited it twice, compares it
to a furnace. Here the country slopes gradually towards the sea, the
hills draw off, and every object denotes departure from the Meccan
plateau. At Al-Haddah we dismounted for an hour’s halt. A coffee-house
supplied us with mats, water-pipes, and other necessaries; we then
produced a basket of provisions, the parting gift of the kind Kabirah,
and, this late supper concluded, we lay down to doze.
After half an hour’s halt had expired, and the donkeys were saddled, I
shook up with difficulty the boy Mohammed, and induced him to mount. He
was, to use his own expression, “dead from sleep”; and we had
[p.263] scarcely advanced an hour, when, arriving at another little
coffee-house, he threw himself upon the ground, and declared it
impossible to proceed. This act caused some confusion. The donkey-boy
was a pert little Badawi, offensively republican in manner. He had
several times addressed me impudently, ordering me not to flog his
animal, or to hammer its sides with my heels. On these occasions he
received a contemptuous snub, which had the effect of silencing him.
But now, thinking we were in his power, he swore that he would lead
away the beasts, and leave us behind to be robbed and murdered. A pinch
of the windpipe, and a spin over the ground, altered his plans at the
outset of execution. He gnawed his hand with impotent rage, and went
away, threatening us with the Governor of Jeddah next morning. Then an
Egyptian of the party took up the thread of remonstrance; and, aided by
the old linguist, who said, in English “by G—! you must budge, you’ll catch
it here!” he assumed a brisk and energetic style, exclaiming, “Yallah! rise
and mount; thou art only losing our time; thou dost not intend to sleep
in the Desert!” I replied, “O my Uncle, do not exceed in talk!”—Fuzul (excess)
in Arabic is equivalent to telling a man in English not to be
impertinent—rolled over on the other side heavily, as doth Encelades, and
pretended to snore, whilst the cowed Egyptian urged the others to make
us move. The question was thus settled by the boy Mohammed who had been
aroused by the dispute: “Do you know,” he whispered, in awful accents, “what
that person is?” and he pointed to me. “Why, no,” replied the others. “Well,”
said the youth, “the other day the Utaybah showed us death in the Zaribah
Pass, and what do you think he did?” “Wallah! what do we know!” exclaimed the
Egyptian, “What did he do?” “He called for—his dinner,” replied the youth, with a
[p.264] sarcastic emphasis. That trait was enough. The others mounted,
and left us quietly to sleep.
I have been diffuse in relating this little adventure, which is
characteristic, showing what bravado can do in Arabia. It also suggests
a lesson, which every traveller in these regions should take well to
heart. The people are always ready to terrify him with frightful
stories, which are the merest phantoms of cowardice. The reason why the
Egyptian displayed so much philanthropy was that, had one of the party
been lost, the survivors might have fallen into trouble. But in this
place, we were, I believe,—despite the declarations of our companions
that it was infested with Turpins and Fra Diavolos,—as safe as in Meccah.
Every night, during the pilgrimage season, a troop of about fifty
horsemen patrol the roads; we were all armed to the teeth, and our
party looked too formidable to be “cruelly beaten by a single footpad.” Our
nap concluded, we remounted, and resumed the weary way down a sandy
valley, in which the poor donkeys sank fetlock-deep. At dawn we found
our companions halted, and praying at the Kahwat Turki, another little
coffee-house. Here an exchange of what is popularly called “chaff” took
place. “Well,” cried the Egyptian, “what have ye gained by halting? We have
been quiet here, praying and smoking for the last hour!” “Go, eat thy
buried beans,[FN#5]” we replied. “What does an Egyptian boor know of
manliness!” The surly donkey-boy was worked up into a paroxysm of passion
by such small jokes as telling him to convey our salams to the Governor
of Jeddah, and by calling the asses after the name of his tribe. He
replied by “foul, unmannered, scurril taunts,” which only drew forth fresh
derision, and the coffee-house keeper laughed consumedly,
[p.265] having probably seldom entertained such “funny gentlemen.”
Shortly after leaving the Kahwat Turki we found the last spur of the
highlands that sink into the Jeddah Plain. This view would for some
time be my last of
“Infamous hills, and sandy, perilous wilds;”
and I contemplated it with the pleasure of one escaping from it. Before
us lay the usual iron flat of these regions, whitish with salt, and
tawny with stones and gravel; but relieved and beautified by the
distant white walls, whose canopy was the lovely blue sea. Not a tree,
not a patch of verdure was in sight ; nothing distracted our attention
from the sheet of turquoises in the distance. Merrily the little
donkeys hobbled on, in spite of their fatigue. Soon we distinguished
the features of the town, the minarets, the fortifications—so celebrated
since their honeycombed guns beat off in 1817 the thousands of Abdullah
bin Sa’ud, the Wahhabi,[FN#6] and a small dome outside the walls.
The sun began to glow fiercely, and we were not sorry when, at about
eight A.M., after passing through the mass of hovels and coffee-houses,
cemeteries and sand-hills, which forms the eastern approach to Jeddah,
we entered the fortified Bab Makkah. Allowing eleven hours for our
actual march,—we halted about three,—those wonderful donkeys had
accomplished between forty-four
[p.266] and forty-six miles,[FN#7] generally in deep sand, in one
night. And they passed the archway of Jeddah cantering almost as nimbly
as when they left Meccah.
Shaykh Nur had been ordered to take rooms for me in a vast pile of
madrepore—unfossilized coral, a recent formation,—once the palace of
Mohammed bin Aun, and now converted into a Wakalah. Instead of so
doing, Indian-like, he had made a gipsy encampment in the square
opening upon the harbour. After administering the requisite correction,
I found a room that would suit me. In less than an hour it was swept,
sprinkled with water, spread with mats, and made as comfortable as its
capability admitted. At Jeddah I felt once more at home. The sight of
the sea acted as a tonic. The Maharattas were not far wrong when they
kept their English captives out of reach of the ocean, declaring that
we were an amphibious race, to whom the wave is a home.
After a day’s repose at the Caravanserai, the camel-man and donkey-boy
clamouring for money, and I not having more than tenpence of borrowed
coin, it was necessary to cash at the British Vice-Consulate a draft
given to me by the Royal Geographical Society. With some trouble I saw
Mr. Cole, who, suffering from fever, was declared to be “not at home.” His
dragoman did by no means admire my looks; in fact, the general voice of
the household was against me. After some fruitless messages, I sent up
a scrawl to Mr. Cole, who decided upon admitting the importunate
Afghan. An exclamation of astonishment and a hospitable welcome
followed my self-introduction as an officer of the Indian army. Amongst
other things, the Vice-Consul informed me that, in divers discussions
with the Turks about the possibility of an Englishman finding his way
en cachette to Meccah,
[p.267] he had asserted that his compatriots could do everything, even
pilgrim to the Holy City. The Moslems politely assented to the first,
but denied the second part of the proposition. Mr. Cole promised
himself a laugh at the Turks’ beards; but since my departure, he wrote to
me that the subject made the owners look so serious, that he did not
like recurring to it.
Truly gratifying to the pride of an Englishman was our high official
position assumed and maintained at Jeddah. Mr. Cole had never, like his
colleague at Cairo, lowered himself in the estimation of the proud race
with which he has to deal, by private or mercantile transactions with
the authorities. He has steadily withstood the wrath of the Meccan
Sharif, and taught him to respect the British name. The Abbe Hamilton
ascribed the attentions of the Prince to “the infinite respect which the
Arabs entertain for Mr. Cole’s straightforward way of doing business,—it
was a delicate flattery addressed to him.” And the writer was right;
honesty of purpose is never thrown away amongst these people. The
general contrast between our Consular proceedings at Cairo and Jeddah
is another proof of the advisability of selecting Indian officials to
fill offices of trust at Oriental courts. They have lived amongst
Easterns, and they know one Asiatic language, with many Asiatic
customs; and, chief merit of all, they have learned to assume a tone of
command, without which, whatever may be thought of it in England, it is
impossible to take the lead in the East. The “home-bred” diplomate is not
only unconscious of the thousand traps everywhere laid for him, he even
plays into the hands of his crafty antagonists by a ceremonious
politeness, which they interpret—taking ample care that the
interpretation should spread—to be the effect of fear or of fraud.
Jeddah[FN#8] has been often described by modern pens.
[p.268] Burckhardt (in A.D. 18) devoted a hundred pages of his two
volumes to the unhappy capital of the Tihamat al-Hijaz, the lowlands of
the mountain region. Later still, MM. Mari and Chedufau wrote upon the
subject; and two other French travellers, MM. Galinier and Ferret,
published tables of the commerce in its present state, quoting as
authority the celebrated Arabicist M. Fresnel.[FN#9] These
[p.269] have been translated by the author of “Life in Abyssinia.” Abd
al-Karim, writing in 1742, informs us that the French had a factory at
Jeddah; and in 1760, when Bruce revisited the port, he found the East
India Company in possession of a post whence they dispersed their
merchandise over the adjoining regions. But though the English were at
an early epoch of their appearance in the East received here with
especial favour, I failed to procure a single ancient document.
Jeddah, when I visited it, was in a state of commotion, owing to the
perpetual passage of pilgrims, and provisions were for the same reason
scarce and dear. The two large Wakalahs, of which the place boasts,
were crowded with travellers, and many were reduced to encamping upon
the squares. Another subject of confusion was the state of the
soldiery. The Nizam, or Regulars, had not been paid for seven months,
and the Arnauts could scarcely sum up what was owing to them. Easterns
are wonderfully amenable to discipline; a European army, under the
circumstances, would probably have helped itself. But the Pasha knew
that there is a limit to a man’s endurance, and he was anxiously casting
about for some contrivance that would replenish the empty pouches of
his troops. The worried dignitary must have sighed for those beaux
jours when privily firing the town and allowing the soldiers to
plunder, was the Oriental style of settling arrears of pay.[FN#10]
[p.270] Jeddah displays all the license of a seaport and garrison town.
Fair Corinthians establish themselves even within earshot of the
Karakun, or guard-post; a symptom of excessive laxity in the
authorities, for it is the duty of the watch to visit all such
irregularities with a bastinado preparatory to confinement. My
guardians and attendants at the Wakalah used to fetch Araki in a clear
glass bottle, without even the decency of a cloth, and the messenger
twice returned from these errands decidedly drunk. More extraordinary
still, the people seemed to take no notice of the scandal.
The little “Dwarka” had been sent by the Bombay Steam Navigation Company to
convey pilgrims from Al-Hijaz to India. I was still hesitating about my
next voyage, not wishing to coast the Red Sea in this season without a
companion, when one morning Omar Effendi appeared at the door, weary,
and dragging after him an ass more weary than himself. We supplied him
with a pipe and a cup of hot tea, and, as he was fearful of pursuit, we
showed him a dark hole full of grass under which he might sleep
The student’s fears were realised; his father appeared early the next
morning, and having ascertained from the porter that the fugitive was
in the house, politely called upon me. Whilst he plied all manner of
questions, his black slave furtively stared at everything in and about
the room. But we had found time to cover the runaway with grass, and
the old gentleman departed, after a fruitless search. There was,
however, a grim smile about his mouth which boded no good.
That evening, returning home from the Hammam, I found the house in an
uproar. The boy Mohammed, who had been miserably mauled, was furious
with rage; and Shaykh Nur was equally unmanageable, by reason of his
fear. In my absence the father had returned with a posse comitatus of
friends and relatives. They questioned the
[p.271] youth, who delivered himself of many circumstantial and
emphatic mis-statements. Then they proceeded to open the boxes; upon
which the boy Mohammed cast himself sprawling, with a vow to die rather
than to endure such a disgrace. This procured for him some scattered
slaps, which presently became a storm of blows, when a prying little
boy discovered Omar Effendi’s leg in the hiding-place. The student was
led away unresisting, but mildly swearing that he would allow no
opportunity of escape to pass. I examined the boy Mohammed, and was
pleased to find that he was not seriously hurt. To pacify his mind, I
offered to sally out with him, and to rescue Omar Effendi by main
force. This, which would only have brought us all into a brunt with
quarterstaves, and similar servile weapons, was declined, as had been
foreseen. But the youth recovered complacency, and a few well-merited
encomiums upon his “pluck” restored him to high spirits.
The reader must not fancy such escapade to be a serious thing in
Arabia. The father did not punish his son; he merely bargained with him
to return home for a few days before starting to Egypt. This the young
man did, and shortly afterwards I met him unexpectedly in the streets
Deprived of my companion, I resolved to waste no time in the Red Sea,
but to return to Egypt with the utmost expedition. The boy Mohammed
having laid in a large store of grain, purchased with my money, having
secured all my disposable articles, and having hinted that, after my
return to India, a present of twenty dollars would find him at Meccah,
asked leave, and departed with a coolness for which I could not
account. Some days afterwards Shaykh Nur explained the cause. I had
taken the youth with me on board the steamer, where a bad suspicion
crossed his mind. “Now, I understand,” said the boy Mohammed to his
fellow-servant, “your master is a Sahib from India; he hath laughed at
[p.272] He parted as coolly from Shaykh Nur. These worthy youths had
been drinking together, when Mohammed, having learned at Stambul the
fashionable practice of Bad-masti, or “liquor-vice,” dug his “fives” into Nur’s
eye. Nur erroneously considering such exercise likely to induce
blindness, complained to me; but my sympathy was all with the other
side. I asked the Hindi why he had not returned the compliment, and the
Meccan once more overwhelmed the Miyan with taunt and jibe.
It is not easy to pass the time at Jeddah. In the square opposite to us
was an unhappy idiot, who afforded us a melancholy spectacle. He
delighted to wander about in a primitive state of toilette, as all such
wretches do; but the people of Jeddah, far too civilised to retain
Moslem respect for madness, forced him, despite shrieks and struggles,
into a shirt, and when he tore it off they beat him. At other times the
open space before us was diversified by the arrival and the departure
of pilgrims, but it was a mere rechauffe of the feast, and had lost all
power to please. Whilst the boy Mohammed remained, he used to pass the
time in wrangling with some Indians, who were living next door to us,
men, women, and children, in a promiscuous way. After his departure I
used to spend my days at the Vice-Consulate; the proceeding was not
perhaps of the safest, but the temptation of meeting a
fellow-countryman, and of chatting “shop” about the service was too great
to be resisted. I met there the principal merchants of Jeddah; Khwajah
Sower, a Greek; M. Anton, a Christian from Baghdad, and
others.[FN#11]And I was introduced to Khalid Bey, brother of Abdullah
bin Sa’ud, the Wahhabi. This noble Arab once held the
[p.273] official position of Mukayyid al-Jawabat, or Secretary, at
Cairo, where he was brought up by Mohammed Ali. He is brave, frank, and
unprejudiced, fond of Europeans, and a lover of pleasure. Should it be
his fate to become chief of the tribe, a journey to Riyaz, and a visit
to Central Arabia, will offer no difficulties to our travellers.
I now proceed to the last of my visitations. Outside the town of Jeddah
lies no less a personage than Sittna Hawwa, the Mother of mankind. The
boy Mohammed and I, mounting asses one evening, issued through the
Meccan gate, and turned towards the North-East over a sandy plain.
After half an hour’s ride, amongst dirty huts and tattered coffee-hovels,
we reached the enceinte, and found the door closed. Presently a man
came running with might from the town; he was followed by two others;
and it struck me at the time they applied the key with peculiar
empressement, and made inordinately low conges as we entered the
enclosure of whitewashed walls.
“The Mother” is supposed to lie, like a Moslemah, fronting the Ka’abah, with
her feet northwards, her head southwards, and her right cheek propped
by her right hand. Whitewashed, and conspicuous to the voyager and
traveller from afar, is a diminutive dome with an opening to the West;
it is furnished as such places usually are in Al-Hijaz. Under it and in
the centre is a square stone, planted upright and fancifully carved, to
represent the omphalic region of the human frame. This, as well as the
dome, is called Al-Surrah, or the navel. The cicerone directed me to
kiss this manner of hieroglyph, which I did, thinking the while, that,
under the circumstances, the salutation was quite uncalled-for. Having
prayed here, and at the head, where a few young trees grow, we walked
along the side of the two parallel dwarf walls which define the
outlines of the body: they are about six paces apart, and between them,
[p.274] neck, are two tombs, occupied, I was told, by Osman Pasha and
his son, who repaired the Mother’s sepulchre. I could not help remarking
to the boy Mohammed, that if our first parent measured a hundred and
twenty paces from head to waist, and eighty from waist to heel, she
must have presented much the appearance of a duck. To this the youth
replied, flippantly, that he thanked his stars the Mother was
underground, otherwise that men would lose their senses with fright.
Ibn Jubayr (twelfth century) mentions only an old dome, “built upon the
place where Eve stopped on the way to Meccah.” Yet Al-Idrisi (A.D. 1154)
declares Eve’s grave to be at Jeddah. Abd al-Karim (1742) compares it to
a parterre, with a little dome in the centre, and the extremities
ending in barriers of palisades; the circumference was a hundred and
ninety of his steps. In Rooke’s Travels we are told that the tomb is
twenty feet long. Ali Bey, who twice visited Jeddah, makes no allusion
to it; we may therefore conclude that it had been destroyed by the
Wahhabis. Burckhardt, who, I need
[p.275] scarcely say, has been carefully copied by our popular authors,
was informed that it was a “rude structure of stone, about four feet in
length, two or three feet in height, and as many in breadth”; thus
resembling the tomb of Noah, seen in the valley of Al-Buka’a in Syria.
Bruce writes: “Two days’ journey from this place (? Meccah or Jeddah) Eve’s
grave, of green sods, about fifty yards in length, is shown to this day”;
but the great traveller probably never issued from the town-gates. And
Sir W. Harris, who could not have visited the Holy Place, repeats, in
1840, that Eve’s grave of green sod is still shown on the barren shore of
the Red Sea.” The present structure is clearly modern; anciently, I was
told at Jeddah, the sepulchre consisted of a stone at the head, a
second at the feet, and the navel-dome.
The idol of Jeddah, in the days of Arab litholatry, was called Sakhrah
Tawilah, the Long Stone. May not this stone of Eve be the Moslemized
revival of the old idolatry? It is to be observed that the Arabs, if
the tombs be admitted as evidence, are inconsistent in their dimensions
of the patriarchal stature. The sepulchre of Adam at the Masjid
al-Khayf is, like that of Eve, gigantic. That of Noah at Al-Buka’a is a
bit of Aqueduct thirty-eight paces long by one and a half wide. Job’s
tomb near Hulah (seven parasangs from Kerbela) is small. I have not
seen the grave of Moses (south-east of the Red Sea), which is becoming
known by the bitumen cups there sold to pilgrims. But Aaron’s sepulchre
in the Sinaitic peninsula is of moderate dimensions.
On leaving the graveyard I offered the guardian a dollar, which he
received with a remonstrance that a man of my dignity should give so
paltry a fee. Nor was he at all contented with the assurance that
nothing more could be expected from an Afghan Darwaysh, however pious.
Next day the boy Mohammed explained the
[p.276] Man’s empressement and disappointment,—I had been mistaken for the
Pasha of Al-Madinah.
For a time my peregrinations ended. Worn out with fatigue, and the
fatal fiery heat, I embarked (Sept. 26) on board the “Dwarka”; experienced
the greatest kindness from the commander and chief officer (Messrs.
Wolley and Taylor); and, wondering the while how the Turkish pilgrims
who crowded the vessel did not take the trouble to throw me overboard,
in due time I arrived at Suez.
And here, reader, we part. Bear with me while I conclude, in the words
of a brother traveller, long gone, but not forgotten—Fa-hian—this Personal
Narrative of my Journey to Al-Hijaz: “I have been exposed to perils, and
I have escaped from them; I have traversed the sea, and have not
succumbed under the severest fatigues; and my heart is moved with
emotions of gratitude, that I have been permitted to effect the objects
I had in view.”[FN#12]
[FN#1] This second plan was defeated by bad health, which detained me
in Egypt till a return to India became imperative.
[FN#2] The usual hire is thirty piastres, but in the pilgrimage season
a dollar is often paid. The hire of an ass varies from one to three
[FN#3] Besides the remains of those in ruins, there are on this road
eight coffee-houses and stations for travellers, private buildings,
belonging to men who supply water and other necessaries.
[FN#4] In Ibn Jubayr’s time the Ihram was assumed at Al-Furayn, now a
decayed station, about two hours’ journey from Al-Haddah, towards Jeddah.
[FN#5] The favourite Egyptian “kitchen”; held to be contemptible food by
[FN#6] In 1817 Abdullah bin Sa’ud attacked Jeddah with 50,000 men,
determining to overthrow its “Kafir-works”; namely, its walls and towers.
The assault is described as ludicrous. All the inhabitants aided to
garrison: they waited till the wild men flocked about the place,
crying, “Come, and let us look at the labours of the infidel,” they then
let fly, and raked them with matchlock balls and old nails acting
grape. The Wahhabi host at last departed, unable to take a place which
a single battery of our smallest siege-guns would breach in an hour.
And since that day the Meccans have never ceased to boast of their
Gibraltar, and to taunt the Madinites with their wall-less port, Yambu’.
[FN#7] Al-Idrisi places Meccah forty (Arab) miles from Jeddah.
Burckhardt gives fifty-five miles, and Ali Bey has not computed the
[FN#8] Abulfeda writes the word “Juddah,” and Mr. Lane, as well as MM. Mari
and Chedufau, adopt this form, which signifies a “plain wanting water.” The
water of Jeddah is still very scarce and bad; all who can afford it
drink the produce of hill springs brought in skins by the Badawin. Ibn
Jubayr mentions that outside the town were 360 old wells(?), dug, it is
supposed by the Persians. “Jeddah,” or “Jiddah,” is the vulgar pronounciation;
and not a few of the learned call it “Jaddah” (the grandmother), in
allusion to the legend of Eve’s tomb.
[FN#9] In Chapters iii. and vi. of this work I have ventured some
remarks upon the advisability of our being represented in Al-Hijaz by a
Consul, and at Meccah by a native agent, till the day shall come when
the tide of events forces us to occupy the mother-city of Al-Islam. My
apology for reverting to these points must be the nature of an
Englishman, who would everywhere see his nation “second to none,” even at
Jeddah. Yet, when we consider that from twenty-five to thirty vessels
here arrive annually from India, and that the value of the trade is
about twenty-five lacs of rupees, the matter may be thought worth
attending to. The following extracts from a letter written to me by Mr.
Cole shall conclude this part of my task:—
“You must know, that in 1838 a commercial treaty was concluded between
Great Britain and the Porte, specifying (amongst many other clauses
“1. That all merchandise imported from English ports to Al-Hijaz should
pay 4 per cent. duty.
“2. That all merchandise imported by British subjects from countries not
under the dominion of the Porte should likewise pay but 5 per cent.
“3. That all goods exported from countries under the dominion of the
Porte should pay 12 per cent., after a deduction of 16 per cent. from
the market-value of the articles.
“4. That all monopolies be abolished.”
“Now, when I arrived at Jeddah, the state of affairs was this. A monopoly
had been established upon salt, and this weighed only upon our
Anglo-Indian subjects, they being the sole purchasers. Five per cent.
was levied upon full value of goods, no deduction of the 20 per cent.
being allowed; the same was the case with exports; and most vexatious
of all, various charges had been established by the local authorities,
under the names of boat-hire, weighing, brokerage, &c., &c. The duties
had thus been raised from 4 to at least 8 per cent. * * * This
being represented at Constantinople, brought a peremptory Firman,
ordering the governor to act up to the treaty letter by letter. * *
* I have had the satisfaction to rectify the abuses of sixteen years’
standing during my first few months of office, but I expect all manner
of difficulties in claiming reimbursement for the over-exactions.”
[FN#10] M. Rochet (soi-disant d’Hericourt) amusingly describes this
manœuvre of the governor of Al-Hodaydah.
[FN#11] Many of them were afterwards victims to the “Jeddah massacre” on
June 30, 1858. I must refer the reader to my “Lake Regions of Central
Africa” (Appendix, vol. ii.) for an account of this event, for the
proposals which I made to ward it off, and for the miserable folly of
the “Bombay Government,” who rewarded me by an official reprimand.
[FN#12] The curious reader will find details concerning Patriarchal and
Prophetical Tombs in “Unexplored Syria,” i. 33—35.
[p.279] APPENDIX I.
OF HAJJ, OR PILGRIMAGE.
The word Hajj is explained by Moslem divines to mean “Kasd,” or aspiration,
and to express man’s sentiment that he is but a wayfarer on earth wending
towards another and a nobler world. This explains the origin and the
belief that the greater the hardships the higher will be the reward of
the pious wanderer. He is urged by the voice of his soul: “O thou who
toilest so hard for worldly pleasures and perishable profit, wilt thou
endure nothing to win a more lasting reward?” Hence it is that pilgrimage
is common to all old faiths. The Hindus still wander to Egypt, to
Tibet, and to the inhospitable Caucasus; the classic philosophers
visited Egypt; the Jews annually flocked to Jerusalem; and the Tartars
and Mongols—Buddhists—journey to distant Lamaserais. The spirit of
pilgrimage was predominant in mediæval Europe, and the processions of the
Roman Catholic Church are, according to her votaries,[FN#1] modern
memorials of the effete rite.
Every Moslem is bound, under certain conditions,[FN#2]
[p.280] to pay at least one visit to the Holy City. This constitutes
the Hajjat al-Farz (the one obligatory pilgrimage), or Hajjat al-Islam,
of the Mohammedan faith. Repetitions become mere Sunnats, or practices
of the Prophet, and are therefore supererogatory. Some European writers
have of late years laboured to represent the Meccan pilgrimage as a
fair, a pretext to collect merchants and to afford Arabia the benefits
of purchase and barter. It would be vain to speculate whether the
secular or the spiritual element originally prevailed; but most
probably each had its portion. But those who peruse this volume will
see that, despite the comparatively lukewarm piety of the age, the
Meccan pilgrimage is religious essentially, accidentally an affair of
Moslem pilgrimage is of three kinds.
1. Al-Mukarinah (the uniting) is when the votary performs the Hajj and
the Umrah[FN#3] together, as was done by the Prophet in his last visit
2. Al-Ifrad (singulation) is when either the Hajj or the Umrah is
performed singularly, the former preceding the latter. The pilgrim may
be either Al-Mufrid b’il Hajj
[p.281] (one who is performing only the Hajj), or vice versa, Al-Mufrid
b’il Umrah. According to Abu Hanifah, this form is more efficacious than
3. Al-Tamattu (“possession”) is when the pilgrim assumes the Ihram, and
preserves it throughout the months of Shawwal, Zu’l Ka’adah, and nine days
(ten nights) in Zu’l Hijjah,[FN#4] performing Hajj and Umrah the while.
There is another threefold division of pilgrimage:—
1. Umrah (the little pilgrimage), performed at any time except the
pilgrimage season. It differs in some of its forms from Hajj, as will
2. Hajj (or simple pilgrimage), performed at the proper season.
3. Hajj al-Akbar (the great pilgrimage) is when the “day of Arafat” happens
to fall upon a Friday. This is a most auspicious occasion. M. Caussin
de Perceval and other writers, departing from the practice of (modern?)
Islam, make “Hajj al-Akbar” to mean the simple pilgrimage, in opposition to
the Umrah, which they call “Hajj al-Asghar.”
The following compendium of the Shafe’i pilgrim-rites is translated from
a little treatise by Mohammed of Shirbin, surnamed Al-Khatib, a learned
doctor, whose work is generally read in Egypt and in the countries
CHAPTER I.—OF PILGRIMAGE.[FN#5]
“Know,” says the theologist, with scant preamble, “that the acts of Al-Hajj,
or pilgrimage, are of three kinds:—
“1. Al-Arkan or Farayz; those made obligatory by Koranic precepts, and
therefore essentially necessary, and not admitting expiatory or
vicarious atonement, either in Hajj or Umrah.
“2. Al-Wajibat (requisites); the omission of which may, according to some
schools,[FN#6] be compensated for by the Fidyat, or atoning sacrifice:
“3. Al-Sunan (pl. of Sunnat), the practice of the Prophet, which may be
departed from without positive sin.
“Now, the Arkan, the ‘pillars’ upon which the rite stands, are six in
“1. Al-Ihram (‘rendering unlawful’), or the wearing pilgrim garb and avoiding
“2. Al-Wukuf, the ‘standing’ upon Mount Arafat.
“3. The Tawaf al-Ifazah, or circumambulation of impetuosity.[FN#8]
“4. The Sai, or course between Mounts Safa and Marwah.
“5. Al-Halk; tonsure (of the whole or part) of the head for men; or
taksir, cutting the hair (for men or women).[FN#9]
“6. Al-Tartib, or the due order of the ceremonies, as above enumerated.
“But Al-Sai (4), may either precede or follow Al-Wukuf (2), provided that
the Tawaf al-Kudum, or the circumambulation of arrival, has previously
been performed. And Halk (5) may be done before as well as after the
Tawaf al-Ifazah (3).
“Now, the Wajibat (requisites of pilgrimage, also called ‘Nusuk’) are five in
“1. Al-Ihram, or assuming pilgrim garb, from the Mikat, or fixed
“2. The Mabit, or nighting at Muzdalifah: for this a short portion,
generally in the latter watch, preceding the Yaum al-Nahr, or
“3. The spending at Muna the three nights of the ‘Ayyam al-Tashrik,’ or days
of drying flesh: of these, the first is the most important.
“4. The Rami al-Jimar, or casting stones at the devil: and—
“5. The avoiding of all things forbidden to the pilgrim when in a state
“Some writers reduce these requisites by omitting the second and third.
The Tawaf al-Wida’a, or the circumambulation of farewell, is a ‘Wajib
Mustakill,’ or particular requisite, which may, however, be omitted
without prejudice to pilgrimage.
“Finally, the Sunnat of pilgrimage are many in number. Of these I
enumerate but a few. ‘Hajj’ should precede ‘Umrah.’ The ‘Talbiyat’ should be
frequently ejaculated. The ‘Tawaf al-Kudum’ must be performed on arrival at
Meccah, before proceeding to Mount Arafat.[FN#11] The two-bow prayer
[p.284] Tawaf. A whole night should be passed at Muzdalifah and
Muna.[FN#12] The circumambulation of farewell must not be
forgotten,[FN#13] and the pilgrim should avoid all sewn clothes, even
Section I.—Of Ihram.
“Before doffing his laical garment, the pilgrim performs a total
ablution, shaves, and perfumes himself. He then puts on a ‘Rida’ and an
‘Izar,[FN#14]’ both new, clean, and of a white colour: after which he
performs a two-bow prayer (the ‘Sunnat’ of Al-Ihram), with a sotto-voce
Niyat, specifying which rite he intends.[FN#15]
“When Muhrim (i.e. in Ihram), the Moslem is forbidden (unless in case of
sickness, necessity, over-heat, or unendurable cold, when a victim must
expiate the transgression),—
“1. To cover his head with aught which may be deemed a covering, as a cap
or turband; but he may carry an umbrella, dive under water, stand in
the shade, and even place his hands upon his head. A woman may wear
sewn clothes, white or light blue (not black), but her face-veil should
be kept at a distance from her face.
“2. To wear anything sewn or with seams, as shirt, trowsers, or slippers;
anything knotted or woven, as chain-armour; but the pilgrim may use,
for instance, a torn-up shirt or trowsers bound round his loins or
thrown over his shoulders, he may knot his ‘Izar,’ and tie it with a cord,
and he may gird his waist.
“3. To knot the Rida, or shoulder-cloth.[FN#16]
“4. To deviate from absolute chastity, even kissing being forbidden to
the Muhrim. Marriage cannot be contracted during the pilgrimage season.
“5. To use perfumes, oil, curling the locks, or removing the nails and
hair by paring, cutting, plucking, or burning. The nails may be
employed to remove pediculi from the hair and clothes, but with care,
that no pile fall off.
“6. To hunt wild animals, or to kill those which were such originally.
But he may destroy the ‘five noxious,’—a kite, a crow, a rat, a scorpion, and
a dog given to biting. He must not cut down a tree,[FN#17] or pluck up
a self-growing plant; but he is permitted to reap and to cut grass.
“It is meritorious for the pilgrim often to raise the ‘Talbiyat’ cry (for
which see p. 140 ante).
“‘Labbayk’ Allahumma Labbayk’!
La Sharika laka Labbayk’!
Inna ’l hamda wa ’l ni’amata laka w’al mulk!
La Sharika laka, Labbayk.’[FN#18]
“When assuming the pilgrim-garb, and before entering Meccah, ‘Ghusl,’ or
total ablution, should be performed; but if water be not procurable,
the Tayammum, or sand ablution, suffices. The pilgrim should enter the
Holy City by day and on foot. When his glance falls upon the Ka’abah he
should say, ‘O Allah, increase this (Thy) house in degree, and greatness,
and honour, and awfulness, and increase all those who have honoured it
and glorified it, the Hajis and the Mutamirs (Umrah-performers), with
degree, and greatness, and honour, and dignity!’ Entering the outer Bab
al-Salam, he must exclaim, “O Allah, Thou art the Safety, and from Thee
is the Safety!” And then passing into the Mosque, he should repair to the
‘Black Stone,’ touch it with his right hand, kiss it, and commence his
[p.286]“Now, the victims of Al-Ihram are five in number, viz.:—
“1. The ‘Victim of Requisites,’ when a pilgrim accidentally or willingly
omits to perform a requisite, such as the assumption of the pilgrim
garb at the proper place. This victim is a sheep, sacrificed at the id
al-Kurban (in addition to the usual offering),[FN#20] or, in lieu of
it, ten days’ fast—three of them in the Hajj season (viz. on the 6th, 7th,
and 8th days of Zu’l Hijjah) and seven after returning home.
“2. The ‘Victim of Luxuries,’ (Turfah), such as shaving the head or using
perfumes. This is a sheep, or a three days’ fast, or alms, consisting of
three sa’a measures of grain, distributed among six paupers.
“3. The ‘Victim of suddenly returning to Laical Life’; that is to say, before
the proper time. It is also a sheep, after the sacrifice of which the
pilgrim shaves his head.
“4. The ‘Victim of killing Game.’ If the animal slain be one for which the
tame equivalents be procurable (a camel for an ostrich, a cow for a
wild ass or cow, and a goat for a gazelle), the pilgrim should
sacrifice it, or distribute its value, or purchase with it grain for
the poor, or fast one day for each ‘Mudd’ measure. If the equivalent be not
procurable, the offender must buy its value of grain for alms-deeds, or
fast a day for every measure.
“5. The ‘Victim of Incontinence.’ This offering is either a male or a female
camel[FN#21]; these failing, a cow or seven sheep, or the value of a
camel in grain distributed to the poor, or a day’s fast for each measure.”
Section II.—Of Tawaf, or Circumambulation.
“Of this ceremony there are five Wajibat, or requisites, viz.:—Concealing
‘the shame,[FN#22]’ as in prayer. Ceremonial purity of body, garments, and
place. Circumambulation inside the Mosque. Seven circuits of the house.
Commencement of circuit from the Black Stone. Circumambulating the
house with the left shoulder presented to it. Circuiting the house
outside its Shazarwan, or marble basement.[FN#23] And, lastly, the
[p.287] Niyat, or intention of Tawaf, specifying whether it be for Hajj
or for Umrah.
“Of the same ceremony the principal Sunnat, or practices, are to walk on
foot; to touch, kiss, and place his forehead upon the Black Stone, if
possible after each circuit to place the hand upon the Rukn al-Yamani
(South corner), but not to kiss it; to pray during each circuit for
what is best for man (pardon of sins); to quote lengthily from the
Koran,[FN#24] and to often say, ‘Subhan Allah!’ and to mention none but
Allah; to walk slowly, during the first three circuits, and trotting
the last four,[FN#25] all the while maintaining a humble and contrite
demeanour, with downcast eyes.
“The following are the prayers which have descended to us by tradition:—
“When touching the Black Stone the pilgrim says,[FN#26] after Niyat, ‘In
the name of Allah, and Allah is omnipotent! O Allah (I do this) in Thy
belief and in verification of Thy book, and in faithfulness to Thy
covenant, and in pursuance of the example of Thy Prophet Mohammed—may
Allah bless Him and preserve!’
“Opposite the door of the house: ‘O Allah, verily the House is Thy House,
and the Sanctuary thy Sanctuary, and the Safeguard Thy Safeguard, and
this is the place of the Fugitive to flee from Hell-fire!’
“Arrived at the Rukn al-Iraki (North corner): ‘O Allah, verily I take
refuge with Thee from Polytheism (Shirk), and Disobedience, and
Hypocrisy, and Evil Conversation, and Evil Thoughts concerning Family
(Ahl, ‘a wife’), and Property, and Progeny!’
“Parallel with the Mizab, or rain-spout: ‘O Allah, shadow me in Thy Shadow
that day when there is no shade but Thy Shadow, and cause me to drink
from the Cup of Thy Prophet Mohammed—may Allah bless Him and preserve!—that
pleasant Draught after which is no thirst to all eternity, O Lord of
Honour and Glory!’
[p.288]“At the corners Al-Shami and Al-Yamani (West and South angles): ‘O
Allah, make it an Acceptable Pilgrimage, and the Forgiveness of Sins,
and a Laudable Endeavour, and a Pleasant Action in Thy Sight, and a
Store that perisheth not, O Thou Glorious! O Thou Pardoner!’[FN#27]
“And between the Southern and Eastern corners: ‘O Lord, grant to us in this
World Prosperity, and in the next World Prosperity, and save us from
the Punishment of Fire!’
“After the sevenfold circumambulation the pilgrim should recite a two-bow
prayer, the ‘Sunnat of Tawaf,’ behind the Makam Ibrahim. If unable to pray
there, he may take any other part of the Mosque. These devotions are
performed silently by day and aloud by night. And after prayer the
pilgrim should return to the Black Stone, and kiss it.”
Section III.—Of Sai, or Course between Mounts Safa and Marwah.
“After performing Tawaf, the pilgrim should issue from the gate ‘Al-Safa’ (or
another, if necessary), and ascend the steps of Mount Safa, about a man’s
height from the street.[FN#28] There he raises the cry Takbir, and
implores pardon for his sins. He then descends, and turns towards Mount
Marwah at a slow pace. Arrived within six cubits of the Mil al-Akhzar
(the ‘green pillar,’ planted in the corner of the temple on the left hand),
he runs swiftly till he reaches the ‘two green pillars,’ the left one of
which is fixed in the corner of the temple, and the other close to the
Dar al-Abbas.[FN#29] Thence he again walks slowly up to Marwah, and
ascends it as he did Safa. This concludes a single course. The pilgrim
then starts from Marwah, and walks, runs, and walks again through the
same limits, till the seventh course is concluded.
“There are four requisites of Sai. The pilgrim must pass over all the
space between Safa and Marwah; he must begin with Safa, and end with
Marwah; he must traverse the distance seven times; and he must perform
the rite after some important Tawaf, as that of arrival, or that of
return from Arafat.
“The practices of Sai are, briefly, to walk, if possible, to
[p.289] be in a state of ceremonial purity, to quote lengthily from the
Koran, and to be abundant in praise of Allah.
“The prayer of Sai is, ‘O my Lord, Pardon and Pity, and pass over that
(Sin) which Thou knowest. Verily Thou knowest what is not known, and
verily Thou art the most Glorious, the most Generous! O, our Lord,
grant us in this World Prosperity, and in the Future Prosperity, and
save us from the Punishment of Fire!
“When Sai is concluded, the pilgrim, if performing only Umrah, shaves his
head, or clips his hair, and becomes ‘Muhill,’ returning to the Moslem’s
normal state. If he purpose Hajj, or pilgrimage after Umrah, he
re-assumes the Ihram. And if he be engaged in pilgrimage, he continues
‘Muhrim,’ i.e., in Ihram, as before.”
Section IV.—Of Wukuf, or standing upon Mount Arafat.
“The days of pilgrimage are three in number: namely, the 8th, the 9th,
and the 10th of the month Zu’l Hijjah.[FN#30]
“On the first day (8th), called Yaum al-Tarwiyah, the pilgrim should
start from Meccah after the dawn-prayer and sunrise, perform his
noontide, afternoon, and evening devotions at Muna, where it is a
Sunnat that he should sleep.[FN#31]
[p.290]“On the second day (9th), the ‘Yaum Arafat,’ after performing the
early prayer at ‘Ghalas’ (i.e. when a man cannot see his neighbour’s face) on
Mount Sabir, near Muna, the pilgrim should start when the sun is risen,
proceed to the ‘Mountain of Mercy,’ encamp there, and after performing the
noontide and afternoon devotions at Masjid Ibrahim,[FN#32] joining and
shortening them,[FN#33] he should take his station upon the mountain,
which is all standing ground. But the best position is that preferred
by the Prophet, near the great rocks lying at the lower slope of
Arafat. He must be present at the sermon,[FN#34] and be abundant in
Talbiyat (supplication), Tahlil (recitations of the chapter ‘Say he is
the one God!’[FN#35]), and weeping, for that is the place for the
outpouring of tears. There he should stay till sunset, and then decamp
and return hastily to Muzdalifah, where he should pass a portion of the
night.[FN#36] After a visit to the Mosque ‘Mashr al-Harim,’ he should
collect seven pebbles and proceed to Muna.[FN#37]
“Yaum al-Nahr, the third day of the pilgrimage (10th Zu’l Hijjah), is the
great festival of the Moslem year. Amongst
[p.291] its many names,[FN#38] ‘id al-Kurban’ is the best known, as
expressive of Ibrahim’s sacrifice in lieu of Ismail. Most pilgrims, after
casting stones at the Akabah, or ‘Great Devil,’ hurry to Meccah. Some enter
the Ka’abah, whilst others content themselves with performing the Tawaf
al-Ifazah, or circumambulation of impetuosity, round the house.[FN#39]
The pilgrim should then return to Muna, sacrifice a sheep, and sleep
there. Strictly speaking, this day concludes the pilgrimage.
‘The second set of ‘trois jours,’ namely, the 11th,[FN#40] the 12th, and the
13th of Zu’l Hijjah, are called Ayyam al-Tashrik, or the ‘days of drying
flesh in the sun.’ The pilgrim should spend that time at Muna,[FN#41] and
each day throw seven pebbles at each of the three pillars.[FN#42]
“When throwing the stones, it is desirable that the pilgrim should cast
them far from himself, although he is allowed to place them upon the
pillar. The act also should be performed after the Zawal, or declension
of the sun. The pilgrim should begin with the pillar near the Masjid
al-Khayf, proceed to the Wusta, or central column, and end with the
Akabah. If unable to cast the stones during the daytime, he is allowed
to do it at night.
“The ‘throwing’ over:—The pilgrim returns to Meccah, and when his journey is
fixed, performs the Tawaf al-Wida’a (‘of farewell’). On this occasion it is a
Sunnat to drink the waters of Zemzem, to enter the temple with more
[p.292] respect and reverence, and bidding it adieu, to depart from the
“The Moslem is especially forbidden to take with him cakes made of the
earth or dust of the Harim, and similar mementoes, as they savour of
CHAPTER II.—OF UMRAH, OR THE LITTLE PILGRIMAGE.
“The word ‘Umrah,’ denotes a pilgrimage performed at any time except the
pilgrim season (the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Zu’l Hijjah).
“The Arkan or pillars upon which the Umrah rite rests, are five in
“3. Al-Sai (between Safa and Marwah).
“4. Al-Halk (tonsure), or Al-Taksir (cutting the hair).
“5. Al-Tartib, or the due order of ceremonies, as above enumerated.[FN#43]
“The Wajibat, or requisites of Umrah, are but two in number:—
“1. Al-Ihram, or assuming the pilgrim garb, from the Mikat, or fixed
“2. The avoiding of all things forbidden to the pilgrim when in state of
“In the Sunnat and Mustahabb portions of the ceremony there is no
difference between Umrah and Hajj.”
CHAPTER III.—OF ZIYARAT, OR THE VISIT TO THE PROPHET’S TOMB.
“Al-Ziyarat is a practice of the faith, and the most effectual way of
drawing near to Allah through his Prophet Mohammed.
“As the Zair arrives at Al-Madinah, when his eyes fall upon the trees of
the city, he must bless the Prophet with a loud voice. Then he should
enter the Mosque, and sit in the Holy Garden, which is between the
pulpit and the tomb, and pray a two-bow prayer in honour of the Masjid.
After this he should supplicate pardon for his sins. Then, approaching
[p.293] the sepulchre, and standing four cubits away from it, recite
“‘Peace be with Thee, O Thou T.H. and Y.S.,[FN#44] Peace be with Thee, and
upon Thy Descendants, and Thy Companions, one and all, and upon all the
Prophets, and those inspired to instruct Mankind. And I bear witness
that Thou hast delivered thy Message, and performed Thy Trust, and
advised Thy followers, and swept away Darkness, and fought in Allah’s
Path the good Fight: may Allah requite Thee from us the Best with which
he ever requited Prophet from his Followers!’
“Let the visitor stand the while before the tomb with respect, and
reverence, and singleness of mind, and fear, and awe. After which, let
him retreat one cubit, and salute Abu Bakr the Truthful in these words:—
“‘Peace be with Thee, O Caliph of Allah’s Prophet over his People, and Aider
in the Defence of His Faith!’
“After this, again retreating another cubit, let him bless in the same
way Omar the Just. After which, returning to his former station
opposite the Prophet’s tomb, he should implore intercession for himself
and for all dearest to him. He should not neglect to visit the Bakia
Cemetery and the Kuba Mosque, where he should pray for himself and for
his brethren of the Muslimin, and the Muslimat, the Muminin and the
Muminat,[FN#45] the quick of them and the dead. When ready to depart,
let the Zair take leave of the Mosque with a two-bow prayer, and visit
the tomb, and salute it, and again beg intercession for himself and for
those he loves. And the Zair is forbidden to circumambulate the tomb,
or to carry away the cakes of clay made by the ignorant with the earth
and dust of the Harim.”
[FN#1] M. Huc’s “Travels in Tartary.”
[FN#2] The two extremes, between which lie many gradations, are these.
Abu Hanifah directs every Moslem and Moslemah to perform the pilgrimage
if they have health and money for the road and for the support of their
families; moreover, he allows a deputy-pilgrim, whose expenses must be
paid by the principal. Ibn Malik, on the contrary, enjoins every
follower to visit Meccah, if able to walk, and to earn his bread on the
way. As a general rule, in Al-Islam there are four Shurut al-Wujub, or
necessary conditions, viz.:—
1. Islam, the being a Moslem.
2. Bulugh, adolescence.
3. Hurriyat, the being a free man.
4. Akl, or mental sanity.
Other authorities increase the conditions to eight, viz.:—
5. Wujud al-Zad, sufficiency of provision.
6. Al-Rahlah, having a beast of burthen, if living two days’ journey from
7. Takhliyat al-Tarik, the road being open; and
8. Imkan al-Masir, the being able to walk two stages, if the pilgrim
hath no beast.
Others, again, include all conditions under two heads:—
1. Sihhat, health.
2. Istita’at, ability.
These subjects have exercised not a little the casuistic talents of the
Arab doctors: a folio volume might be filled with differences of
opinion on the subject, “Is a blind man sound?”
[FN#3] The technical meaning of these words will be explained below.
[FN#4] At any other time of the year Ihram is considered Makruh, or
objectionable, without being absolutely sinful.
[FN#5] In other books the following directions are given to the
intended pilgrim:—Before leaving home he must pray two prostrations,
concluding the orisons with a long supplication and blessings upon
relatives, friends, and neighbours, and he must distribute not fewer
than seven silver pieces to the poor. The day should be either a
Thursday or a Saturday; some, however, say
“Allah hath honoured the Monday and the Thursday.”
If possible, the first of the month should be chosen, and the hour
early dawn. Moreover, the pilgrim should not start without a Rafik, or
companion, who should be a pious as well as a travelled man. The other
Mukaddamat al-Safar, or preambles to journeying, are the following.
Istikharah, consulting the rosary and friends. Khulus al-Niyat, vowing
pilgrimage to the Lord (not for lucre or revenge). Settling worldly
affairs, paying debts, drawing up a will, and making arrangements for
the support of one’s family. Hiring animals from a pious person. The best
monture is a camel, because preferred by the Prophet; an ass is not
commendable; a man should not walk if he can afford to ride; and the
palanquin or litter is, according to some doctors, limited to invalids.
Reciting long prayers when mounting, halting, dismounting, and at
nightfall. On hills the Takbir should be used: the Tasbih is properest
for vales and plains; and Meccah should be blessed when first sighted.
Avoiding abuse, curses, or quarrels. Sleeping like the Prophet, namely,
in early night (when prayer-hour is distant), with “Iftirash,” or lying at
length with the right cheek on the palm of the dexter hand; and near
dawn with “Ittaka,” i.e. propping the head upon the hand, with the arm
resting upon the elbow. And, lastly, travelling with collyrium-pot,
looking-glass and comb, needle and thread for sewing, scissors and
tooth-stick, staff and razor.
[FN#6] In the Shafe’i school there is little difference between Al-Farz
and Al-Wajib. In the Hanafi the former is a superior obligation to the
[FN#7] The Hanafi, Maliki, and even some Shafe’i doctors, reduce the
number from six to four, viz.:—
1. Ihram, with “Niyat.”
[FN#8] The Ifazah is the impetuous descent from Mount Arafat. Its
Tawaf, generally called Tawaf al-Ziyarat, less commonly Tawaf al-Sadr
or Tawaf al-Nuzul, is that performed immediately after throwing the
stones and resuming the laical dress on the victim-day at Mount Muna.
[FN#9] Shaving is better for men, cutting for women. A razor must be
passed over the bald head; but it is sufficient to burn, pluck, shave,
or clip three hairs when the chevelure is long.
[FN#10] The known Mikat are: North, Zu’l Halifah; North-East, Karn
al-Manazil; North-West, Al-Juhfah ([Arabic]) South, Yalamlam; East, Zat
[FN#11] This Tawaf is described in chapter v.
[FN#12] Generally speaking, as will afterwards be shown, the pilgrims
pass straight through Muzdalifah, and spend the night at Muna.
[FN#13] The “Tawaf al-Wida’a” is considered a solemn occasion. The pilgrim
first performs circumambulation. He drinks the waters of Zemzem, kisses
the Ka’abah threshold, and stands for some time with his face and body
pressed against the Multazem. There, on clinging to the curtain of the
Ka’abah, he performs Takbir, Tahlil, Tahmid, and blesses the Prophet,
weeping, if possible, but certainly groaning. He then leaves the
Mosque, backing out of it with tears and lamentations, till he reaches
the “Bab al-Wida’a,” whence, with a parting glance at the Bayt Ullah, he
wends his way home.
[FN#14] See chapter v.
[FN#15] Many pronounce this Niyat. If intending to perform pilgrimage,
the devotee, standing, before prayer says, “I vow this intention of Hajj
to Allah the most High.”
[FN#16] In spite of this interdiction, pilgrims generally, for
convenience, knot their shoulder-clothes under the right arm.
[FN#17] Hunting, killing, or maiming beasts in Sanctuary land and
cutting down trees, are acts equally forbidden to the Muhrim and the
Muhill (the Moslem in his normal state). For a large tree a camel, for
a small one a sheep, must be sacrificed.
[FN#18] See chapter v. After the “Talbiyat” the pilgrim should bless the
Prophet, and beg from Allah paradise and protection from hell, saying, “O
Allah, by thy mercy spare us from the pains of hell-fire!”
[FN#19] Most of these injunctions are “meritorious,” and may therefore [be]
omitted without prejudice to the ceremony.
[FN#20] Namely, the victim sacrificed on the great festival day at Muna.
[FN#21] So the commentators explain “Badanah.”
[FN#22] A man’s “Aurat” is from the navel to the knee; in the case of a free
woman the whole of her face and person are “shame.”
[FN#23] If the pilgrim place but his hand upon the Shazarwan, or on the
Hijr, the Tawaf is nullified.
[FN#24] This is a purely Shafe’i practice; the Hanafi school rejects it
on the grounds that the Word of God should not be repeated when walking
[FN#25] The reader will observe (chapter v.), that the Mutawwif made me
reverse this order of things.
[FN#26] It is better to recite these prayers mentally; but as few
pilgrims know them by heart, they are obliged to repeat the words of
[FN#27] This portion is to be recited twice.
[FN#28] A woman, or a hermaphrodite, is enjoined to stand below the
steps and in the street.
[FN#29] Women and hermaphrodites should not run here, but walk the
whole way. I have frequently, however, seen the former imitating the
[FN#30] The Arab legend is, that the angels asking the Almighty why
Ibrahim was called Al-Khalil (or God’s friend); they were told that all
his thoughts were fixed on heaven; and when they called to mind that he
had a wife and child, Allah convinced them of the Patriarch’s sanctity by
a trial. One night Ibrahim saw, in a vision, a speaker, who said to
him, “Allah orders thee to draw near him with a victim!” He awoke, and not
comprehending the scope of the dream, took especial notice of it
([Arabic]); hence the first day of pilgrimage is called Yaum
al-Tarwiyah. The same speaker visited him on the next night, saying,
“Sacrifice what is dearest to thee!” From the Patriarch’s knowing ([Arabic])
what the first vision meant, the second day is called Yaum Arafat. On
the third night he was ordered to sacrifice Ismail; hence that day is
called Yaum Nahr (of “throat-cutting”). The English reader will bear in
mind that the Moslem day begins at sunset. I believe that the origin of
“Tarwiyat” (which may mean “carrying water”) dates from the time of pagan
Arabs, who spent that day in providing themselves with the necessary.
Yaum Arafat derives its name from the hill, and Yaum al-Nahr from the
victims offered to the idols in the Muna valley.
[FN#31] The present generation of pilgrims, finding the delay
inconvenient, always pass on to Arafat without halting, and generally
arrive at the mountain late in the afternoon of the 8th, that is to
say, the first day of pilgrimage. Consequently, they pray the morning
prayer of the 9th at Arafat.
[FN#32] This place will be described afterwards.
[FN#33] The Shafe’i when engaged on a journey which takes up a night and
day, is allowed to shorten his prayers, and to “join” the noon with the
afternoon, and the evening with the night devotions; thus reducing the
number of times from five to three per diem. The Hanafi school allows
this on one day and on one occasion only, namely, on the ninth of Zu’l
Hijjah (arriving at Muzdalifah), when at the “Isha” hour it prays the
Magh[r]ib and the Isha prayers together.
[FN#34] If the pilgrim be too late for the sermon, his labour is
irretrievably lost.—M. Caussin de Perceval (vol. iii. pp. 301-305) makes
the Prophet to have preached from his camel Al-Kaswa on a platform at
Mount Arafat before noon, and to have again addressed the people after
the post-meridian prayers at the station Al-Sakharat. Mohammed’s last
pilgrimage, called by Moslems Hajjat al-Bilagh (“of perfection,” as
completing the faith), Hajjat al-Islam, or Hajjat al-Wida’a (“of farewell”),
is minutely described by historians as the type and pattern of
pilgrimage to all generations.
[FN#35] Ibn Abbas relates a tradition, that whoever recites this short
chapter 11,000 times on the Arafat day, shall obtain from Allah all he
[FN#36] Most schools prefer to sleep, as the Prophet did, at
Muzdalifah, pray the night devotions there, and when the yellowness of
the next dawn appears, collect the seven pebbles and proceed to Muna.
The Shafe’i, however, generally leave Muzdalifah about midnight.
[FN#37] These places will be minutely described in a future chapter.
[FN#38] id al-Kurban, or the Festival of Victims (known to the Turks as
Kurban Bayram, to the Indians as Bakar-id, the Kine Fete), id al-Zuha,
“of forenoon,” or id al-Azha, “of serene night.” The day is called Yaum
al-Nahr, “of throat-cutting.”
[FN#39] If the ceremony of “Sai” has not been performed by the pilgrim
after the circuit of arrival, he generally proceeds to it on this
[FN#40] This day is known in books as “Yaum al-Karr,” because the pilgrims
pass it in repose at Muna.
[FN#41] “The days of drying flesh,” because at this period pilgrims prepare
provisions for their return, by cutting up their victims, and exposing
to the sun large slices slung upon long lines of cord. The schools have
introduced many modifications into the ceremonies of these three days.
Some spend the whole time at Muna, and return to Meccah on the morning
of the 13th. Others return on the 12th, especially when that day
happens to fall upon a Friday.
[FN#42] As will afterwards appear, the number of stones and the way of
throwing them vary greatly in the various schools.
[FN#43] The difference in the pillars of Umrah and Hajj, is that in the
former the standing on Arafat and the Tawaf al-Ifazah are necessarily
[FN#44] The 20th and 36th chapters of the Koran.
[FN#45] These second words are the feminines of the first; they prove
that the Moslem is not above praying for what Europe supposed he did
not believe in, namely, the souls of women.
[p.294] APPENDIX II.
THE BAYT ULLAH.
THE House of Allah[FN#1] has been so fully described by my
predecessors, that there is little inducement to attempt a new
portrait. Readers, however, may desire a view of the great sanctuary,
and, indeed, without a plan and its explanation, the ceremonies of the
Harim would be scarcely intelligible. I will do homage to the memory of
the accurate Burckhardt, and extract from his pages a description which
shall be illustrated by a few notes.
“The Kaabah stands in an oblong square (enclosed by a great wall) 250
paces long, and 200 broad,[FN#2] none of the sides of which runs quite
in a straight line, though at first sight the whole appears to be of a
regular shape. This open square is enclosed on the eastern side by a
colonnade. The pillars stand in a quadruple row; they are three deep on
the other sides, and are united by pointed arches, every four of which
support a small dome plastered and whitened on the outside. These
domes, according to Kotobeddyn, are 152 in number.[FN#3] The
[p.295] pillars are above twenty feet in height, and generally from one
foot and a half to one foot and three quarters in diameter; but little
regularity has been observed in regard to them. Some are of white
marble, granite or porphyry; but the greater number are of common stone
of the Meccah mountains.[FN#4] El Fasy states the whole at 589, and
says they are all of marble excepting 126, which are of common stone,
and three of composition. Kotobeddyn reckons 555, of which, according
to him, 311 are of marble, and the rest of the stone taken from the
neighbouring mountains; but neither of these authors lived to see the
latest repairs of the Mosque, after the destruction occasioned by a
torrent in A.D. 1626.[FN#5] Between every three or four column stands
an octagonal one, about four feet in thickness. On the east side are
two shafts of reddish grey granite in one piece, and one fine grey
porphyry with slabs of white feldspath. On the north side is one red
granite column, and one of fine-grained red porphyry; these are
probably the columns which Kotobeddyn states to have been brought from
[p.296] principally from Akhmim (Panopolis), when the chief (Caliph) El
Mohdy enlarged the Mosque in A.H. 163. Among the 450 or 500 columns
which form the enclosure I found not any two capitals or bases exactly
alike. The capitals are of coarse Saracen workmanship; some of them,
which had served for former buildings, by the ignorance of the workmen,
have been placed upside down upon the shafts. I observed about half a
dozen marble bases of good Grecian workmanship. A few of the marble
columns bear Arabic or Cufic inscriptions, in which I read the dates
863 and 762 (A.H.).[FN#6] A column on the east side exhibits a very
ancient Cufic inscription, somewhat defaced, which I could neither read
nor copy. Some of the columns are strengthened with broad iron rings or
bands,[FN#7] as in many other Saracen buildings of the East. They were
first employed by Ibn Dhaher Berkouk, king of Egypt, in rebuilding the
Mosque, which had been destroyed by fire in A.H. 802.[FN#8]”
“Some parts of the walls and arches are gaudily painted in stripes of
yellow, red, and blue, as are also the minarets. Paintings of flowers,
in the usual Muselman
[p.297] style, are nowhere seen; the floors of the colonnades are paved
with large stones badly cemented together.”
“Some paved causeways lead from the colonnades towards the Kaabah, or
Holy House, in the centre.[FN#9] They are of sufficient breadth to
admit four or five persons to walk abreast, and they are elevated about
nine inches above the ground. Between these causeways, which are
covered with fine gravel or sand, grass appears growing in several
places, produced by the Zem Zem water oozing out of the jars which are
placed in the ground in long rows during the day.[FN#10] There is a
descent of eight or ten steps from the gates on the north side into the
platform of the colonnade, and of three or four steps from the gates on
the south side.”
“Towards the middle of this area stands the Kaabah; it is 115 paces from
the north colonnade, and 88 from the south. For this want of symmetry
we may readily account, the Kaabah having existed prior to the Mosque,
which was built around it, and enlarged at different periods. The
Kaabah is an oblong massive structure, 18 paces in length, 14 in
breadth, and from 35 to 40 feet in height.[FN#11] It is constructed of
the grey Mekka stone, in large blocks of different sizes joined
together, in a very
[p.298] rough manner, with bad cement.[FN#12] It was entirely rebuilt,
as it now stands, in A.D. 1627. The torrent in the preceding year had
thrown down three of its sides, and, preparatory to its re-erection,
the fourth side was, according to Asamy, pulled down, after the Olemas,
or learned divines, had been consulted on the question whether mortals
might be permitted to destroy any part of the holy edifice without
incurring the charge of sacrilege and infidelity.”
“The Kaabah stands upon a base two feet in height, which presents a sharp
inclined plane.[FN#13] Its roof being flat, it has at a distance the
appearance of a perfect cube.[FN#14] The only door which affords
entrance, and which is opened but two or three times in the
year,[FN#15] is on the
[p.299] north side and about seven feet above the ground.[FN#16] In the
first periods of Islam, however, when it was rebuilt in A.H. 64 by Ibn
Zebeyr (Zubayr), chief of Mecca, it had two doors even with the ground
floor of the Mosque.[FN#17]
[p.300] The present door (which, according to Azraky, was brought
hither from Constantinople in A.D. 1633), is wholly coated with silver,
and has several gilt ornaments; upon its threshold are placed every
night various small lighted wax candles, and perfuming pans, filled
with musk, aloe-wood, &c.[FN#18]”
“At the north-east[FN#19] corner of the Kaabah, near the door, is the
famous ‘Black Stone’[FN#20]; it forms a part of the [for p.301, see
[p.302] sharp angle of the building,[FN#21] at four or five feet above
the ground.[FN#22] It is an irregular oval, about seven inches in
diameter, with an undulating surface, composed of about a dozen smaller
stones of different sizes and shapes, well joined together with a small
quantity of cement, and perfectly well smoothed: it looks as if the
whole had been broken into many pieces by a violent blow, and then
united again. It is very difficult to determine accurately the quality
of this stone, which has been worn to its present surface by the
million touches and kisses it has received. It appeared to me like a
lava, containing several small extraneous particles of a whitish and of
a yellowish substance. Its colour is now a deep reddish brown,
approaching to black. It is surrounded on all sides by a border
composed of a substance which I took to be a close cement
[p.303] of pitch and gravel of a similar, but not quite the same,
brownish colour.[FN#23] This border serves to support its detached
pieces; it is two or three inches in breadth, and rises a little above
the surface of the stone. Both the border and the stone itself are
encircled by a silver band,[FN#24] broader below than above, and on the
two sides, with a considerable swelling below, as if a part of the
stone were hidden under it. The lower part of the border is studded
with silver nails.”
“In the south-east corner of the Kaabah,[FN#25] or, as the Arab
call it, Rokn al-Yemany, there is another stone about five feet from
the ground; it is one foot and a half in length, and two inches in
breadth, placed upright, and of the common Meccah stone. This the
people walking round the Kaabah touch only with the right hand; they do
not kiss it.[FN#26]”
[p.304] “On the north side of the Kaabah, just by its door,[FN#27] and
close to the wall, is a slight hollow in the ground, lined with marble,
and sufficiently large to admit of three persons sitting. Here it is
thought meritorious to pray: the spot is called El Maajan, and supposed
to be where Abraham and his son Ismail kneaded the chalk and mud which
they used in building the Kaabah; and near this Maajan the former is
said to have placed the large stone upon which he stood while working
at the masonry. On the basis of the Kaabah, just over the Maajan, is an
ancient Cufic inscription; but this I was unable to decipher, and had
no opportunity of copying it.”
“On the west (north-west) side of the Kaabah, about two feet below its
summit, is the famous Myzab, or water-spout,[FN#28] through which the
rain-water collected on the roof of the building is discharged, so as
to fall upon the ground; it is about four feet in length, and six
inches in breadth, as well as I could judge from below, with borders
equal in height to its breadth. At the
[p.305] mouth hangs what is called the beard of the Myzab; a gilt
board, over which the water flows. This spout was sent hither from
Constantinople in A.H. 981, and is reported to be of pure gold. The
pavement round the Kaabah, below the Myzab, was laid down in A.H. 826,
and consists of various coloured stones, forming a very handsome
specimen of mosaic. There are two large slabs of fine verdi
antico[FN#29] in the centre, which, according to Makrizi, were sent
thither, as presents from Cairo, in A.H. 241. This is the spot where,
according to Mohammedan tradition, Ismayl the son of Ibrahim, and his
mother Hajirah are buried; and here it is meritorious for the pilgrim
to recite a prayer of two Rikats. On this side is a semicircular wall,
the two extremities of which are in a line with the sides of the
Kaabah, and distant from it three or four feet,[FN#30] leaving an
opening, which leads to the burial-place of Ismayl. The wall bears the
name of El Hatym[FN#31]; and the area
[p.306] which it encloses is called Hedjer or Hedjer Ismayl,[FN#32] on
account of its being separated from the Kaabah: the wall itself also is
sometimes so called.”
“Tradition says that the Kaabah once extended as far as the Hatym, and
that this side having fallen down just at the time of the Hadj, the
expenses of repairing it were demanded from the pilgrims, under a
pretence that the revenues of government were not acquired in a manner
sufficiently pure to admit of their application towards a purpose so
sacred. The sum, however, obtained, proved very inadequate; all that
could be done, therefore, was to raise a wall, which marked the space
formerly occupied by the Kaabah. This tradition, although current among
the Metowefs (cicerones) is at variance with history; which declares
that the Hedjer was built by the Beni Koreish, who contracted the
dimensions of the Kaabah; that it was united to the building by
Hadjadj,[FN#33] and again separated from it by Ibn Zebeyr. It is
asserted by Fasy, that a part of the Hedjer as it now stands was never
comprehended within the Kaabah. The law regards it as a portion of the
Kaabah, inasmuch as it is esteemed equally meritorious to pray in the
Hedjer as in the Kaabah itself; and the pilgrims who have not an
opportunity of entering the latter are permitted to affirm upon oath
that they have prayed in the Kaabah, although they have only prostrated
themselves within the enclosure of the Hatym. The wall is built of
solid stone, about five feet in height, and four in thickness, cased
all over with white marble, and inscribed with prayers and invocations
[p.307] neatly sculptured upon the stone in modern characters.[FN#34]
These and the casing are the work of El Ghoury, the Egyptian sultan, in
A.H. 917. The walk round the Kaabah is performed on the outside of the
wall—the nearer to it the better.”
“Round the Kaabah is a good pavement of marble[FN#35] about eight inches
below the level of the great square; it was laid in A.H. 981, by order
of the sultan, and describes an irregular oval; it is surrounded by
thirty-two slender gilt pillars, or rather poles, between every two of
which are suspended seven glass lamps, always lighted after
sunset.[FN#36] Beyond the poles is a second pavement, about eight paces
broad, somewhat elevated above the first, but of coarser work; then
another six inches higher, and eighteen paces broad, upon which stand
several small buildings; beyond this is the gravelled ground; so that
two broad steps may be said to lead from the square down to the Kaabah.
The small buildings just mentioned which surround the Kaabah are the
five Makams,[FN#37] with the well
[p.308] of Zem Zem, the arch called Bab es Salam, and the Mambar.”
“Opposite the four sides of the Kaabah stand four other small buildings,
where the Imaums of the orthodox Mohammedan sects, the Hanefy, Shafey,
Hanbaly, and Maleky take their station, and guide the congregation in
their prayers. The Makam el Maleky on the south, and that of Hanbaly
opposite the Black Stone, are small pavilions open on all sides, and
supported by four slender pillars, with a light sloping roof,
terminating in a point, exactly in the style of Indian pagodas.[FN#38]
The Makam el Hanafy, which is the largest, being fifteen paces by
eight, is open on all sides, and supported by twelve small pillars; it
has an upper story, also open, where the Mueddin who calls to prayers
takes his stand. This was built in A.H. 923, by Sultan Selim I.; it was
afterwards rebuilt by Khoshgeldy, governor of Djidda, in 947; but all
the four Makams, as they now stand, were built in A.H. 1074. The
Makam-es’-Shafey is over the well Zem Zem, to which it serves as an upper
“Near their respective Makams the adherents of the four different sects
seat themselves for prayers. During my stay at Meccah the Hanefys
always began their prayer first; but, according to Muselman custom, the
Shafeys should pray first in the Mosque; then the Hanefys, Malekys, and
Hanbalys. The prayer of the Maghreb is an exception, which they are all
enjoined to utter together.[FN#40]
[p.309] The Makam el Hanbaly is the place where the officers of
government and other great people are seated during prayers: here the
Pasha and the sheriff are placed, and in their absence the eunuchs of
the temple. These fill the space under this Makam in front, and behind
it the female Hadjys who visit the temple have their places assigned,
to which they repair principally for the two evening prayers, few of
them being seen in the Mosque at the three other daily prayers: they
also perform the Towaf, or walk round the Kaabah, but generally at
night, though it is not uncommon to see them walking in the day-time
among the men.”
“The present building which encloses Zem Zem stands close by the Makam
Hanbaly, and was erected in A.H. 1072: it is of a square shape, and of
massive construction, with an entrance to the north,[FN#41] opening
into the room which contains the well. This room is beautifully
ornamented with marbles of various colours; and adjoining to it, but
having a separate door, is a small room with a stone reservoir, which
is always full of Zem Zem water. This the Hadjys get to drink by
passing their hand with a cup through an iron grated opening, which
serves as a window, into the reservoir, without entering the room. The
mouth of the well is surrounded by a wall five feet in height and about