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Travels In Arabia by John Lewis Burckhardt

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power of the Sherifs, and established rigid justice in the town.
Previous to his reign, every Sherif had in his house at Mekka an
establishment of thirty or forty armed slaves, servants, and relations,
besides having powerful friends among the Bedouins. Ignorant of every
occupation but that of arms, they lived upon the cattle which they kept
among the Bedouins, and in different parts of the Hedjaz; the surra
which they were entitled to receive from the Hadj; and the presents
which they exacted from the pilgrims, and from their dependents in the
town. Some of them, in addition to these general sources of income, had
extorted from former chief Sherifs lucrative sinecures, such as duties
on ships, or on certain articles of merchandize; tolls collected at one
of the gates of Djidda; the capitation-tax levied upon the Persian
pilgrims, &c. &c. Their behaviour in the town was wild and disorderly;
the orders of the chief Sherif were disregarded; every one made use of
his personal authority to increase his wealth; family quarrels
frequently occurred; and, in the time of the Hadj, they often waylaid
small parties of pilgrims in their route from Medina or Djidda to Mekka,
plundering those who made no defence, and killing those who resisted.

After a long struggle, Serour succeeded at length in reducing

[p.224] the Sherifs to obedience, chiefly by cultivating the goodwill of
the common class of Mekkawys, and of the Bedouins, by his great
simplicity of manners, personal frugality, and generosity towards his
friends, together with a reputation for excessive bravery and sagacity.
He had often made peace with his enemies; but fresh wars as repeatedly
broke forth. It is said that he once discovered a conspiracy to murder
him in one of his nightly walks round the Kaaba; and that he generously
spared the lives of the conspirators, and only banished them. He
strengthened the great castle of Mekka; kept a large body of armed
slaves and Bedouins constantly in his service, the expenses of which he
defrayed by his commercial profits, being an active trader with Yemen;
and, finally, he obliged the most powerful Sherif families to expatriate
themselves, and seek for refuge in Yemen, while many Sherifs were killed
in battle, and others fell by the hands of the executioner. After this,
Serour applied himself to re-establish the administration of justice;
and numerous acts are related of him, which reflect equal honour upon
his love of equity and his sagacity. He drove the Jews from Djidda,
where they had acquired considerable riches by their brokerage and
fraudulent dealings; protected the pilgrims in their progress through
the Hedjaz; and regulated the receipt of customs and taxes, which had
previously been levied in a very arbitrary manner. When he died, the
whole population of Mekka followed his remains to the grave. He is still
considered by the Mekkawys as a kind of saint, and his name is venerated
even by the Wahabys.

1785, or 86. After the death of Serour, Abd el Mayn, one of his
brothers, succeeded for four or five days, when his younger brother
Ghaleb, by his superior skill in intrigue, and by the great popularity
which his valour, understanding, and engaging address had acquired for
him in the time of Serour, dispossessed Abd el Mayn, and suffered him
quietly to retire. During the first years of his reign, Ghaleb was the
tool of Serour's powerful slaves and eunuchs, who were completely
masters of the town, and indulged in the same disorderly behaviour,
injustice, and oppression which had formerly characterized the Sherifs.
Ghaleb, however, soon freed himself from their influence, and acquired
at length a firmer authority over the Hedjaz than any of his

[p.225] had possessed, and which he retained till the wars of the
Wahabys, and the treachery of Mohammed Aly put an end to his reign.
Ghaleb's government was milder than that of Serour, though far from
being so just. Very few individuals were put to death by his orders; but
he became avaricious, and culprits were often permitted to purchase
their lives by large fines. To accomplish this extortion, he filled his
prisons with the refractory; but blood only flowed in his transactions
with the Wahabys. During his wars with these invaders, the younger sons
of Serour Abdulla ibn Serour, and Seyd ibn Serour, attempted to wrest
the government from their uncle, but without success; when reconciled
with Ghaleb, they were permitted to return quietly to Mekka, and here
they resided when Mohammed Aly arrived. He sent Abdulla to Cairo
together with Ghaleb, but was ordered by the Porte to set the former at
liberty. Abdulla had been once at Constantinople to obtain the Sultan's
assistance against Ghaleb. The great temerity of Abdulla has gained him
more admirers than friends at Mekka; but it seems probable that, should
the Turks be again obliged to abandon the Hedjaz, he would replace his
brother Yahia, the present chief, who received the appointment from
Mohammed Aly in 1813, and whose reputation and influence at Mekka are
only suited to this honorary situation. The Pasha having seized the
revenues of the government of Mekka, has assigned to the Sherif a
monthly allowance of only fifty purses, or about eight hundred pounds,
to support both his troops and his household. The latter is nominally
the same it was before the Turkish conquest, and consists of a few
Sherifs, some Mekkawys, and Abyssinian or black slaves, who are
indiscriminately appointed to the several employments about his person,
the pompous titles of which are borrowed from the red book of the
Turkish court. At Yembo, Tayf, Mekka, and Djidda, Ghaleb kept his
vizier, who was called El Hakem at Mekka and Tayf. He had, besides, his
khasnadar, or treasurer; his selahdar, or sword-bearer; moherdar, or
keeper of the seal; and a few other officers, who, however, were far
from keeping up so strict an etiquette, or being persons of as much
consequence, as those officers are in the Turkish court. The whole of
the private establishment of Ghaleb consisted of fifty or sixty servants
and officers,

[p.226] and as many slaves and eunuchs. Besides his wives, he kept about
two dozen of Abyssinian slaves, and double that number of females to
attend upon them and to nurse his children. In his stables were from
thirty to forty horses of the best Arabian breed; half a dozen mules,
upon which he sometimes rode; and as many dromedaries. I learned from
one of his old servants, that an erdeb (about fifteen bushels) was
issued daily from the store for the use of the household; this, with
perhaps half a hundred weight of butter, and two sheep, formed the
principal expenditure of provision. It was partly consumed by the
Bedouins, who came to Mekka upon business, and who were in the habit of
repairing to the Sherif's house, to claim his hospitality, just as they
would alight at the tent of a Sheikh in an encampment in the Desert.
When they departed, their sacks were filled with provisions for the
road, such being the Arab custom, and the Sherifs of Mekka having always
shown an anxious desire to treat the Bedouins with kindness and

The dress of the Sherif is the same as that of all the heads of Sherif
families at Mekka; consisting, usually, of an Indian silk gown, over
which is thrown a white abba, of the finest manufacture of El Ahsa, in
the Persian Gulf; a Cashmere shawl, for the head; and yellow slippers,
or sometimes sandals, for the feet. I saw no Mekkawy Sherifs with green
turbans. Such of them as enter into the service of government, or are
brought up to arms, and who are called by the Mekkawys exclusively
"Sherifs," generally wear coloured Cashmere shawls; the others, who lead
a private life, or are employed in the law and the mosque, tie a small
white muslin shawl round their caps. The Sherifs, however, possess one
distinguishing mark of dress--a high woollen cap of a green colour, round
which they tie the white muslin or the Cashmere shawl; beyond which the
cap projects, so as to screen the wearer's face from the rays of the
sun: for its convenience in this respect, it is sometimes used also by
elderly persons; but this is far from being a common fashion.

When the Sherif rides out, he carries in his hand a short, slender
stick, called metrek, such as the Bedouins sometimes use in driving
their camels; a horseman, who rides close by him, carries in his hand

[p.227] an umbrella or canopy, of Chinese design, adorned with silk
tassels, which he holds over the Sherif's head when the sun incommodes
him. This is the only sign of royalty by which the Sherif is
distinguished when he appears in public; and even this is not used when
he walks in the street. The Wahabys compelled him to lay aside the
canopy, and to go on foot to the mosque, alleging as a reason, that it
was inconsistent with the requisite humility, to come into the presence
of the Kaaba on horseback. But when Ghaleb was in full power al Mekka,
he obliged the Pashas who accompanied the pilgrim caravan, to
acknowledge his right of precedency on all occasions; and he
disseminated throughout the Hedjaz a belief that his rank was superior
to that of any officer of the Porte; and that even at Constantinople the
Sultan himself ought, in strictness of etiquette, to rise and salute
him. I have already mentioned the annual investiture of the Sherif by
the Kaftandjy Bashy. According to the ceremonial practised on the
arrival of the caravan, the Sherif pays the first visit to the Pasha, or
Emir el Hadj. The latter, on returning the visit, receives a horse,
richly caparisoned, from the Sherif. After the return of the Hadj from
Wady Muna, the Pasha presents him, on the first day, with a similar
horse; and they both exchange visits in their tents at Muna. When the
caravan is ready to leave Mekka, on its return home, the Sherif visits
the Pasha a second time, in his camp outside the town, and is there
presented with another horse.

The Sherif is supposed to have under his jurisdiction all the Bedouin
tribes of the Hedjaz; at least they are named in his own and the Porte's
registers, as the dutiful subjects of the Sultan and of the Sherif. When
in the full enjoyment of his power, Ghaleb possessed a considerable
influence over these tribes, but without any direct authority. They
looked upon the Sherif, with his soldiers and friends, in the same light
as one of their own Sheikhs, with his adherents; and all the laws of war
current in the Desert, were strictly observed by the Sherif. In his late
expeditions against the Wahabys, he was accompanied by six or eight
thousand Bedouins, who joined him, as they would have joined another
Sheikh, without receiving any regular pay

[p.228] for their services, but following their own chiefs, whose
interest and attachment Ghaleb purchased by presents.

To those who are unacquainted with the politics of the Desert, the
government of Mekka will present some singularities; but every thing is
easily explained, if the Sherif be considered as a Bedouin chief, whom
wealth and power have led to assume arbitrary sway; who has adopted the
exterior form of an Osmanly governor, but who strictly adheres to all
the ancient usages of his nation. In former times, the heads of the
Sherif families at Mekka exercised the same influence as the fathers of
families in the Bedouin encampments; the authority of the great chief
afterwards prevailed, and the others were obliged to submit; but they
still retain, in many cases, the rights of their forefathers. The rest
of the Mekkawys were considered by the contending parties, not as their
equals, but as settlers under their domination; in the same way as
Bedouin tribes fight for villages which pay to them certain assessments,
and whose inhabitants are considered to be on a much lower level than
themselves. The Mekkawys, however, were not to be dealt with like
inhabitants of the towns in the northern provinces of Turkey; they took
a part in the feuds of the Sherifs, and shared in the influence and
power obtained by their respective patrons. When Serour and Ghaleb
successively possessed themselves of a more uncontrolled authority than
any of their predecessors had enjoyed, the remaining Sherifs united more
closely with the Mekkawys, and, till the most recent period, formed with
them a body respectable for its warlike character, as was evinced in
frequent quarrels among themselves; and a resistance against the
government, when its measures affected their lives, although they were
so far reduced as never to revolt when their purses only were assailed.

The government of Ghaleb, notwithstanding his pecuniary extortion, was
lenient and cautious: he respected the pride of the Mekkawys, and seldom
made any attempts against the personal safety or even fortunes of
individuals, although they smarted under those regulations which
affected them collectively. He permitted his avowed enemies to live
peaceably in the bosom of their families, and the people

[p.229] to indulge in bloody affrays among themselves, which frequently
happened either in consequence of blood-revenge, or the jealousies which
the inhabitants of different quarters of the town entertained against
each other; sometimes fighting for weeks together, but generally with
sticks, lances, and daggers, and not with fire-arms.

The Sherifs, or descendants of Mohammed, resident at Mekka and in the
neighbourhood, who delight in arms, and are so often engaged in civil
broils, have a practice of sending every male child, eight days after
its birth, to some tent of the neighbouring Bedouins, where it is
brought up with the children of the tent, and educated like a true
Bedouin for eight or ten years, or till the boy is able to mount a mare,
when his father takes him back to his home. During the whole of the
above period, the boy never visits his parents, nor enters the town,
except when in his sixth month; his foster-mother then carries him on a
short visit to his family, and immediately returns with him to her
tribe. The child is, in no instance, left longer than thirty days after
his birth in the hands of his mother; and his stay among the Bedouins is
sometimes protracted till his thirteenth or fifteenth year. By this
means, he becomes familiar with all the perils and vicissitudes of a
Bedouin life; his body is inured to fatigue and privation; and he
acquires a knowledge of the pure language of the Bedouins, and an
influence among them that becomes afterwards of much importance to him.
There is no sherif, from the chief down to the poorest among them, who
has not been brought up among the Bedouins; and many of them are also
married to Bedouin girls. The sons of the reigning Sherif family were
usually educated among the tribe of Adouan, celebrated for the prowess
and hospitality of its members; but it has been so much reduced by the
intestine wars of the Sherifs, in which they always took part, and by
the late invasion of Mohammed Aly, that they found it expedient to
abandon the territory of the Hedjaz, and seek refuge in the encampments
of the tribes of the Eastern plain. Othman el Medhayfe, the famous
Wahaby chief, a principal instrument employed by Saoud in the
subjugation of the Hedjaz, was himself a Sheikh of Adouan; and Sherif
Ghaleb had married his sister. The other Sherifs

[p.230] sent their children to the encampments of Hodheyl, Thekyf, Beni
Sad, and others; some few to the Koreysh, or Harb.

The Bedouins in whose tent a Sherif has been educated, were ever after
treated by him with the same respect as his own parents and brethren; he
called them respectively, father, mother, brother; and received from
them corresponding appellations. Whenever they came to Mekka, they
lodged at the house of their pupil, and never left it without receiving
presents. During his pupilage, the Sherif gave the name of Erham to the
more distant relatives of the Bedouin family, who were also entitled to
his friendship and attention; and he considered himself, during his
life, as belonging to the encampment in which he had passed his early
years: he termed its inhabitants "our people," or, "our family;" took
the liveliest interest in their various fortunes; and, when at leisure,
often paid them a visit during the spring months, and sometimes
accompanied them in their wanderings and their wars.

Sherif Ghaleb always showed himself extremely attentive to his Bedouin
foster-parents; whenever they visited him, he used to rise from his
seat, and embrace them, though in no way distinguished from any meanly-
dressed inhabitant of the Desert. Of course, it often happened that
Sherif boys could not easily be induced to acknowledge their real
parents at home; and they sometimes escaped, and rejoined the friends of
their infancy, the Bedouins in the Desert.

The custom which I have just described is very ancient in Arabia.
Mohammed was educated among foreigners, in the tribe of Beni Sad; and
his example is continually quoted by the Mekkawys, when speaking of the
practice still usual among the Sherifs. But they are almost the only
people in Arabia by whom it is now followed. The Bedouins called
Mowalys, [This tribe is originally from the Hedjaz: it lived in the
neighbourhood of Medina, and is often mentioned by the historians of
that town, during the first century after Mohammed.] once a potent
tribe, but now reduced to a small number, and pasturing their flocks in
the vicinity of Aleppo, are the only Arabs among whom I met with any
thing similar. With them it is an established

[p.231] usage, that the son of the chief of that tribe should be
educated in the family of another individual of the same tribe, but
generally of a different encampment, until he is sufficiently old to be
able to shift for himself. The pupil calls his tutor Morabby, and
displays the greatest regard for him during the rest of his life.

The Sherifs derive considerable advantages from their Bedouin education;
acquiring not only strength and activity of body, but some part of that
energy, freedom of manners, and boldness, which characterize the
inhabitant of the Desert; together with a greater regard to the virtues
of good faith and hospitality, than if they had been brought up in

I did not see many Sherifs. Of the small number now remaining, some were
employed, during my residence at Mekka, either as guides with the army
of Mohammed Aly, or were incorporated by him in a small corps of
Bedouins, commanded by Sherif Radjeh, one of their most distinguished
members; or in the service of Sherif Yahya, who sent them on duty to the
advanced posts towards Yemen. Some of them had retired, after Ghaleb was
taken, to the Wahabys, or to Yemen, where a few of them still remained.
Those whom I had an opportunity of seeing, were distinguished by fine
manly countenances, strongly expressive of noble extraction; and they
had all the exterior manners of Bedouins; free, bold, frank, warm
friends; bitter enemies; seeking for popularity, and endowed with an
innate pride, which, in their own estimation, sets them far above the
Sultan of Constantinople. I never beheld a handsomer man than Sherif
Radjeh, whose heroism I have mentioned in my history of Mohammed Aly's
campaign, and the dignity of whose deportment would make him remarked
among thousands; nor can a more spirited and intelligent face be easily
imagined, than was that of Sherif Ghaleb. Yahya, the present Sherif, is
of a very dark complexion, like that of his father; his mother was a
dark brown Abyssinian slave.

The Mekkawys give the Sherifs little credit for honesty, and they have
constantly shown great versatility of character and conduct; but this
could hardly be otherwise, considering the sphere and the times in which
they moved: their Bedouin education has certainly

[p.232] made them preferable, in many respects, to the common class of

It is a rule among the Sherifs, that the daughters of the reigning chief
can never marry; and while their brothers are often playing in the
streets with their comrades, from whom they are in no way distinguished,
either in dress or dignity of appearance, the unfortunate girls remain
shut up in the father's house. I have seen a son of Sherif Ghaleb, whose
father was then in exile at Salonica, play before the door of his house.
But I have heard that, when the boys of the reigning Sherif return from
the Desert, and are not yet sufficiently grown up to appear with a manly
air in public, they are kept within their father's house or court-yard,
and seen only by the inmates of the family, appearing for the first time
in public, on horseback, by the side of their father; from which period
they are considered to be of age, soon after marry, and take a share in
public affairs.

The greater part of the Sherifs of Mekka, and those especially of the
reigning tribe of Dwy Zeyd, are strongly suspected to be Muselman
sectaries, belonging to the Zyoud, or followers of Zeyd, a sect which
has numerous proselytes in Yemen, and especially in the mountains about
Sada. This, however, the Sherifs do not acknowledge, but comply with the
doctrines of the orthodox sect of Shafeys, to which most of the Mekkawys
belong; but the Sherifs residing abroad do not deny it; and whenever
points of law are discussing upon which the Zyoud are at variance with
the Sunnys, the Sherifs always decline taking an active part in the

I believe that the Zeyds are divided into different sects. Those of
Yemen and Mekka acknowledge as the founder of their creed El Imam el
Hady ill el Hak Yahyn ibn el Hosseyn, who traces his pedigree to
Hassan, the son of Aly. He was born at Rass, in the province of Kasym,
in A.H. 245, and first rose as a sectary at Sada, in Yemen, in 280. He
fought with the Abassides, took Sana, out of which he was driven,
afterwards attacked the Karmates, and died of poison at Sada in A.H.
298. Others trace the origin of this sect higher, to Zeyd ibn Aly Zeyn
el Aabedyn ibn el Hosseyn ibn Aly ibn Aby Taleb, who was killed at Koufa
in A.H. 121, by the party of the Khalif Hesham. The

[p.233] Zeydites appear, generally, to entertain a great veneration for
Aly; at the same time that they do not, as the Persians, curse Abou
Beker and Omar. They entertain notions different from those of the
Sunnys respecting the succession of the twelve Imams, but agree, in
other respects, much more with them than with the Persians. The Zeydites
of Yemen, to whom the Imam of Sana himself belongs, designate their
creeds as the fifth of the orthodox Mohammedan creeds, next to the
Hanefys, Shafeys, Malekys, and Hanbalys, and for that reason they are
called Ahl el Khams Mezaheb. In Yemen they publicly avow their
doctrines; at Mekka they conceal them. I heard that one of their
principal tenets is, that in praying, whether in the mosque, or at home,
no other expressions should be used than those contained in the Koran,
or such as are formed from passages of that book.

The Mekkawys regard the Zyoud as heretics; and assert that, like
Persians, they hold in disrespect the immediate successors of Mohammed.
Stories are related of the Zyoud in Yemen writing the name of Mawya over
the most unclean part of their houses, to show their contempt of him;
but such tenets are not avowed, and the Sherifs agree outwardly in every
point with the Sunnys, whatever may be their private opinions.

I have already stated that the Kadhy of Mekka is sent annually from
Constantinople, according to the usual practice of the Turkish
government with respect to the great cities of the empire. This system
began with the early emperors, who thought that, by depriving the
provincial governors of the administration of justice, and placing it in
the hands of a learned man sent periodically from Constantinople, and
quite independent of the governors, they might prevent the latter from
exercising any undue influence over the courts of law, at the same time
that the consequences likely to result from the same judge remaining in
office for any length of time were avoided. But manners are very
different throughout the empire from what they were three hundred years
ago. In every town the Kadhy is now under the immediate influence of the
governor, who is left to tyrannize at pleasure, provided he sends his
regular subsidies to the Porte. No person can gain a suit at law unless
he enjoys credit with the government, or

[p.234] gives a bribe to the judge, which the governor shares or
connives at, in return for the Kadhy's compliance with his interests in
other cases. The fees of court are enormous, and generally swallow up
one fourth of the sum in litigation; while the court is deaf to the
clearest right, if not supported by largesses to the Kadhy and the swarm
of officers and servants who surround his seat. These disorders are
countenanced by the Porte: the office of Kadhy is there publicly sold to
the best bidder, with the understanding that he is to remunerate himself
by the perquisites of his administration.

In those countries where Arabs flock to his court, the Kadhy, who
generally knows but little of the Arabic language, is in the hands of
his interpreter, whose office is usually permanent, and who instructs
every new Kadhy in the modes of bribery current in the place, and takes
a full share of the harvest. The barefaced acts of injustice and
shameless briberies daily occurring in the Mehkames, or halls of
justice, would seem almost incredible to an European, and especially an

The Kadhy of Mekka has shared the fate of his brother judges in other
parts of the empire, and has been for many years so completely under the
influence of the Sherif, that all suits were carried directly before his
tribunal, and the Kadhy was thus reduced to spend his time in
unprofitable leisure. I was informed by the Kadhy himself, that the
Grand Signior, in consideration of the trifling emoluments of the
situation, had, for some time back, been in the habit of paying to the
Kadhy of Mekka one hundred purses per annum out of his treasury. Since
the conquest of Mohammed Aly, the Kadhy has recovered his importance, in
the same proportion as the influence of the Sherif has been diminished.
When I was at Mekka, all law-suits were decided in the Mehkame. Mohammed
Aly seldom interposed his authority, as he wished to conciliate the
good-will of the Arabs, and the Kadhy himself seems to have received
from him very strict orders to act with circumspection; for justice was,
at this time, tolerably well administered, at least in comparison with
other tribunals; and the inhabitants were not averse to the new order of
things. The Kadhy of Mekka appoints to the law-offices of Djidda and
Tayf, which are filled

[p.235] by Arabs, not Turks. In law-suits of importance, the Muftis of
the four orthodox sects have considerable influence on the decision.

The income of the Sherif is derived principally from the customs paid at
Djidda, which, as I have already mentioned, instead of being, according
to the intention of the Turkish government, divided between himself and
the Pasha of Djidda, were seized wholly by the late Sherifs, and are now
in the hands of Mohammed Aly. The customs of Djidda, properly the same
as those levied in every other part of the Turkish empire, were much
increased by Ghaleb, which was the principal reason why the whole body
of merchants opposes him. He had also engrossed too large a share of the
commerce to himself. Eight dows belonging to him were constantly
employed in the coffee-trade between Yemen, Djidda, and Egypt; and when
the sale of that article was slow, he obliged the merchants to purchase
his cargoes for ready money at the market-price, in order to send off
the sooner his returns of dollars to Yemen. Two of the largest of his
vessels (one an English-built ship of three or four hundred tons,
purchased at Bombay,) made a voyage annually to the East Indies, and the
cargoes which they brought home were either sold to the Hadj at Mekka,
or were divided among the merchants of Djidda, who were forced to
purchase them.

Besides the port of Djidda, that of Yembo, where the Sherif kept a
governor, was subjected to similar duties. He also levied a tax as well
upon all cattle and provisions carried from the interior of the country
into Djidda, as upon those carried into Mekka, Tayf, and Yembo, except
what came with the two great hadj-caravans from the north, which passed
every where duty-free. The inhabitants of Mekka and Djidda pay no other
taxes than those just mentioned, their houses, persons, and property
being free from all other imposts; an advantage which they have never
sufficiently acknowledged, though they might have readily drawn a
comparison between themselves and their neighbours of Syria and Egypt.
The other branches of the Sherif's revenues were the profits derived
from the sale of provisions at Mekka, of which, although he did not
monopolize them like Mohammed Aly, yet he had always such a considerable
stock on hand, as enabled him to

[p.236] influence the daily prices; the capitation-tax on all Persian
hadjys, whether coming by land from Baghdad, or by the way of the Red
Sea and Yemen; and presents to a considerable amount, either offered to
him gratuitously, or extorted from the rich hadjys of all
countries. [Formerly, when the Sherifs of Mekka were more powerful, they
levied a tribute upon the two great pilgrim-caravans, similar to that
exacted by the Bedouins on the road. Abou Nima, in A.H. 654, took from
every camel of the Yemen caravan thirty dirhems, and fifty upon every
one in the Egyptian caravan.]

Of the money sent from Constantinople to the holy city, temple, &c. a
large portion was appropriated by the Sherif to his own treasury; and it
is said that he regularly shared in all the presents which were made to
the mosque. Ghaleb possessed considerable landed property; many of the
gardens round Tayf, and of the plantations in the valley of Hosseynye,
Wady Fatme, Wady Lymoun, and Wady Medyk, belonged to him. At Djidda he
had many houses and caravansaries, which he let out to foreigners; and
so far resembled his successor Mohammed Aly, that the most trifling
profit became a matter of consideration with him, his attention being
constantly directed towards the acquiring of wealth. The annual revenue
of Ghaleb, during the plenitude of his power, may have amounted to about
three hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling; but, since the
occupation of the Hedjaz by the Wahabys, it has probably not exceeded
half that sum.

As Ghaleb was a merchant and land-owner, and procured all the articles
of consumption at the first hand, the maintenance of his household, with
his women and slaves, did not, I should imagine, require above twenty
thousand pounds sterling per annum. In time of peace the Sherif kept a
small permanent force, not exceeding five hundred men, of whom about one
hundred were in garrison at Djidda, fifty at Tayf, as many at Yembo, and
the rest at Mekka: of this body about eight hundred were cavalry, in
addition to his own mounted household. Many of the soldiers were his
domestic slaves; but the greater part were Bedouins from different parts
of Arabia; those from Yemen, the mountains of Asyr, and Nedjed, being
the most numerous. Their pay was from eight to twelve dollars per month;

[p.237] and they were commanded by Sherifs, whom they obeyed as Bedouins
obey their leader during war, that is to say, that, trained to no
regular exercise, they accompanied the Sherif whenever he took a ride
out of the town, and on returning fired off their guns, according to the
Arabian custom, in leaping wildly about. The arms of the infantry were a
matchlock and crooked knife; the horsemen had a lance.

When Ghaleb engaged in war, this force was increased by the accession of
many Sherifs and their retinues, who received no pay, but occasional
presents, and a share in the booty acquired; these wars being generally
directed against some Bedouin tribes, whose cattle was the sole object
of invasion. Upon these occasions, the Sherif was joined also by other
Bedouins, who returned with their Sheikhs to their homes, as soon as the
expedition was terminated. On the breaking out of the Wahaby war, and
when the Wahabys began to make successful attacks upon the Hedjaz,
Ghaleb found it necessary to increase his standing force; he therefore
added to it a number of black slaves, thereby augmenting it to eight
hundred, following, in this respect, the practice of his predecessors,
who always considered their own purchased slaves as the most faithful
men under their command; [During the last century, the Sherifs of Mekka
constantly kept a small corps of Georgian Mamelouks as their body
guard.] he also enlisted additional numbers of Bedouins, and had, during
the whole of the contest, generally from two to three thousand men; a
number thought fully sufficient to guard his cities. Whenever he planned
an attack on the Wahabys, he collected his allies among the Bedouins,
and advanced several times towards Nedjed with an united force of ten
thousand men. When those allies were obliged, successively, to yield to
the invaders, and the southern Bedouins, on whom Ghaleb always
principally depended, were conquered by the great exertions and activity
of Othman el Medhayfe, Ghaleb found himself alone, with his few troops,
unable to prolong the contest, and was soon driven to extremities and
obliged to submit, though he still kept a corps of troops in his pay,
after Saoud had obtained firm possession of the Hedjaz, and conducted
his affairs with such consummate

[p.238] skill, as to maintain his authority, and command the respect of
the Wahabys.

The expenses attending the increased forces of the Sherif during the
Wahaby war, were considerable; it was necessary to make donations to the
Sherif and the Bedouins, to keep them in his interest; but it happened,
for once, that his interests were equally their own; and Bedouins,
though never tired of asking for presents, are generally content with
small sums. It may hence be easily conceived that Ghaleb never, during
any period of his reign, lived up to the amount of his income; and it
was a general, and, I believe, well-founded opinion in the Hedjaz, that
during the twenty-seven years of his official life, he had amassed a
large treasure in money. When Mohammed Aly seized his person, the amount
of the whole of his disposable property found at Mekka and Djidda, was
calculated at about two hundred thousand or two hundred and fifty
thousand pounds sterling; and it was presumed that he had either
secreted his treasure in the castle of Mekka, or sent it to his friends
in India, while Mohammed Aly was making preparations for his attack. It
is most probable that he employed both modes of secreting his wealth,
and thus made another addition to the large sums daily buried in the
East, by persons in authority, as well as by private individuals. But
such is the bad use to which Eastern rulers apply their riches, that the
public prosperity of the country suffers little by the loss. [The
prevalence of the practice of concealing riches in Turkey, and the cause
of it, will at once appear from the following account of a circumstance
which happened in 1813, at Cairo. Mohammed Aly having demanded 15,000
purses from the Copts employed in the finances of Egypt, they divided
the sum among themselves; and Moallem Felteos, an old man, who had been
in former times a chief financier, was assessed at twelve hundred
purses, or about 18,000l. sterling: this he refused to pay, alleging his
poverty; but, after long parleys, at last offered to give two hundred
purses. The Pasha sent for him, threatened, and, seeing him obstinate,
ordered him to be beaten: after receiving five hundred strokes with the
stick, and being nearly half dead, be swore that he could pay no more
than two hundred purses. Mohammed Aly thought he was telling the truth;
but his son, Ibrahim Pasha, who happened to be present, said that he was
sure the man had more money. Felteos, therefore, received three hundred
additional strokes, after which he confessed that he was possessed of
the sum demanded, and promised to pay it. He was then permitted to
[p.239] return home; and at the end of a fortnight, being so much
recovered from the effects of his beating that he could walk about,
commissioners were sent to his house from the Pasha, labourers were
called, and Felteos descended with them into the privy of his house, at
the bottom of which they removed a large stone which closed up a small
passage containing a vaulted niche, where two iron chests were
deposited. On opening these, two thousand purses in sequins were found,
twelve hundred of which the Pasha took, and left the remainder to the
owner, who died three months after, not in consequence of the blows he
had received, but of grief for the loss of his money. Had he been able
secretly to remove the treasure, he would probably have done so, had not
a guard been posted in his house immediately on his promising to pay;
the Pasha suspecting that the money was concealed in some secret spot,
according to a practice general in the East.]


THE climate of Mekka is sultry and unwholesome; the rocks which enclose
its narrow valley, intercept the wind, especially that from the north,
and reflect the rays of the sun with redoubled heat. In the months of
August, September, and October, the heat is excessive: during my
residence at Mekka a suffocating hot wind pervaded the atmosphere for
five successive days in September. The rainy season usually begins in
December; but the rains are not uninterrupted, as in other tropical
countries falling only at intervals of five or six days but then with
great violence. Showers are not unfrequent, even in summer: the Mekkawys
say that the clouds coming from the sea-side are those which copiously
irrigate the ground; while those which come from the East, or the high
mountains, produce only mere showers, or gushes. The want of rain is
very frequently felt here: I was told that four successive years of
copious rains are seldom experienced; which is, probably, the main
reason why all the Bedouins in this neighbourhood are poor, the greater
part of their cattle dying in years of drought, from want of pasturage.

The air of Mekka is generally very dry. Dews begin to fall in the month
of January, after a few heavy showers of rain: the contrary is the case
at Djidda, where the atmosphere, even during the greatest heat, is damp,
arising from the sea vapours, and the numerous marshes on that low
coast. The dampness of the air is there so great, that in the month of
September, in a hot and perfectly clear day, I found my

[p.241] upper gown wet completely through, from being two hours in the
open air. There are heavy dews also by night, during that month and in
October; thick fogs appeared on the coast, in the evening and morning.
During the summer months, the wind blows generally between east and
south, seldom veering to the west, but sometimes to the north. In
September, the regular northerly winds set in, and continue during the
whole winter. In the Hedjaz, as on the sea-coast of Egypt, the north-
east wind is more damp than any other; and during its prevalence, the
stone pavement in the interior of the houses always appeared as if
covered with moisture.

The diseases prevalent in both towns are much the same; and the coast of
the Hedjaz is perhaps among the most unhealthy countries of the East.
Intermittent fevers are extremely common, as are likewise dysenteries,
which usually terminate in swellings of the abdomen, and often prove
fatal. Few persons pass a whole year without a slight attack of these
disorders; and no stranger settles at Mekka or Djidda, without being
obliged to submit, during the first months of his residence, to one of
these distempers; a fact, of which ample proof was afforded in the
Turkish army, under Mohammed Aly Pacha. Inflammatory fevers are less
frequent at Djidda than at Mekka; but the former place is often visited
with a putrid fever, which, as the inhabitants told me, sometimes
appeared to be contagious; fifty persons having been known to die of it
in one day. Asamy and Fasy mention frequent epidemical diseases at
Mekka: in A.H. 671, a pestilence broke out, which carried off fifty
persons a day; and in 749, 793, and 829, others also infected the town:
in the latter year two thousand persons died. These authors, however,
never mention the plague; nor had it made its appearance in the Hedjaz
within the memory of the oldest inhabitants; whence a belief was
entertained, that the Almighty protected this holy province from its
ravages; but, in the spring of 1815, it broke out with great violence,
as I shall mention in another place, and Mekka and Djidda lost, perhaps,
one-sixth of their population.

Ophthalmia is very little known in the Hedjaz. I saw a single

[p.242] instance of leprosy, in a Bedouin at Tayf. The elephantiasis and
Guinea-worm are not uncommon, especially the former, of which I have
seen many frightful cases. It is said that stone in the bladder is
frequent at Mekka, caused, perhaps, by the peculiar quality of the
water; to the badness of which many other diseases also may be ascribed
in this hot country, where such quantities of it are daily drunk. I
heard that the only surgeons who knew how to perform the operation of
extracting the stone from the bladder, are Bedouins of the tribe of Beni
Sad, who live in the mountains, about thirty miles south of Tayf. In
time of peace, some of them repair annually to Mekka, to perform this
operation, the knowledge of which they consider as a secret hereditary
in some families of their tribe. They are said to use a common razor,
and, in general, with success.

Sores on the legs, especially on the shin-bone, are extremely common
both at Mekka and Djidda; but more so at the latter place, where the
dampness of the atmosphere renders their cure much more difficult;
indeed, in that damp climate, the smallest scratch, or bite of any
insect, if neglected, becomes a sore, and soon after an open wound:
nothing is more common than to see persons walking in the streets,
having on their legs sores of this kind, which, if neglected, often
corrode the bone. As their cure demands patience, and, above all,
repose, the lower classes seldom apply the proper remedies in time; and
when they have increased to such a state as to render their application
indispensably necessary, no good surgeons are to be found; fever ensues,
and many of the patients die. I believe that one-fourth of the
population of Djidda is constantly afflicted with ulcers on their legs;
the bad nature of these sores is further aggravated by the use of
seawater for ablutions.

During my stay at Mekka, I seldom enjoyed perfect good health. I was
twice attacked by fever; and, after the departure of the Syrian Hadj, by
a violent diarrhoea, from which I had scarcely recovered when I set out
for Medina. In those days, even when I was free from disease, I felt
great lassitude, a depression of spirits, and a total want of appetite.
During the five days of the Hadj, I was luckily in good

[p.243] health, though I was under great apprehensions from the
consequences of taking the ihram. My strength was greatly diminished,
and it required much effort, whenever I left my room, to walk about.

I attributed my illness chiefly to bad water, previous experience having
taught me that my constitution is very susceptible of the want of good
light water, that prime article of life in eastern countries. Brackish
water in the Desert is perhaps salutary to travellers: heated as they
are by the journey, and often labouring under obstructions from the
quality of their food on the road, it acts as a gentle aperient, and
thus supplies the place of medicinal draughts; but the contrary is the
case when the same water is used during a continued sedentary residence,
when long habit only can accustom the stomach to receive it. Had I found
myself in better health and spirits, I should probably have visited some
of the neighbouring valleys to the south, or passed a few months among
the Bedouins of the Hedjaz; but the worst effect of ill health upon a
traveller, is the pusillanimity which accompanies it, and the
apprehensions with which it fills the mind, of fatigues and dangers,
that, under other circumstances, would be thought undeserving of notice.

The current price of provisions at Mekka in December, 1814, was as

Piastres. Paras.
1 lb. of beef .......................... 2 10
1 lb. of mutton ........................ 20
1 lb. of camel's flesh ................. 10
1 lb. of butter ........................ 5
1 lb. of fresh unsalted cheese ......... 3
A fowl ................................. 6
An egg ................................. 0 8
1 lb. of milk .......................... 2
1 lb. of vegetables, viz. leek, spinach,
turnips, radishes, calabashes, egg-
plants, green onions, petrosiles, &c.... 0 30


Piastres. Paras.
A small, round, flat loaf of bread ..... 0 20
1 lb. of dry biscuits .................. 0 32
1 lb. of raisins from Tayf ............. 1 20
1 lb. of dates ......................... 0 25
1 lb. of sugar (Indian) ................ 2 10
1 lb. of coffee ........................ 2 20
A pomegranate .......................... 0 15
An orange .............................. 0 15
A lemon, (the size of a walnut, the
Same species as the Egyptian lemon) 0 10
1 lb. of good Syrian tobacco ........... 6
1 lb. of common tobacco ................ 1 30
1 lb. of tombac, or tobacco for the
Persian pipe ........................ 3
1 keyle of wheat ....................... 3
1 do. of flour ......................... 3 20
1 do. of Indian rice ................... 3
1 do. Of lentils from Egypt ............ 2 30
1 do. Of dried locusts ................. 1
A skin of water ........................ 1 20
As much wood as will cook two dishes ... 0 20
A labourer for the day ................. 3
A porter for going in town the distance
Of half a mile ...................... 1
Common wages of servants,[FN#1] besides
Clothes and food, per month ........ 30
Wages of craftsmen, as smiths, carpen-
ters, &c. per day, besides food ..........5

N.B. The Spanish dollar was worth from nine to twelve piastres during my
residence at Mekka, changing its value almost daily.

[p.245] One piastre equal to forty paras or diwanys, as they are called
in the Hedjaz. The pound, or rotolo, of Mekka, has a hundred and forty-
four drams. The Egyptian erdeb, equivalent to about fifteen English
bushels, is divided here into fifty keyles or measures. At Medina the
erdeb is divided into ninety-six keyles. The pound of Djidda is nearly
double that of Mekka.
[The Mekkawys have only slaves; but many Egyptians are ready to
enter into the service of hadjys. The most common servants in the
families of Mekka are the younger sons or some poor relations.]


THE time has passed (and, probably for ever,) when hadjys or pilgrims,
from all regions of the Muselman world, came every year in multitudes,
that they might visit devotionally the sacred places of the Hedjaz. An
increasing indifference to their religion, and an increase of expense
attending the journey, now deter the greater part of the Mohammedans
from complying with that law of the Koran, which enjoins to every Moslim
who can afford it, the performance of a pilgrimage to Mekka, once at
least in his life. To those whom indispensable occupations confine to
their homes, the law permits a substitution of prayers; but even with
this injunction few people now comply, or it is evaded by giving a few
dollars to some hadjy, who, taking from several persons commissions of
the same kind, includes all their names in the addition consequently
made to the prayers recited by him at the places of holy visit. When
Muselman zeal was more ardent, the difficulties of the journey being
held to increase the merit of it, became with many an additional
incitement to join the caravans, and to perform the whole journey by
land; but at present, most of the pilgrims do not join any regular Hadj
caravan, but reach Djidda by sea from Egypt, or the Persian Gulf;
commercial and lucrative speculations being the chief inducements to
this journey.

In 1814, many hadjys had arrived at Mekka, three or four months previous
to the prescribed time of the pilgrimage. To pass the Ramadhan in this
holy city, is a great inducement with such as can afford the expense, to
hasten their arrival, and prolong their residence in it.

[p.247] About the time when the regular caravans were expected, at least
four thousand pilgrims from Turkey, who had come by sea, were already
assembled at Mekka, and perhaps half that number from other distant
quarters of the Mohammedan world. Of the five or six regular caravans
which, formerly, always arrived at Mekka a few days before the Hadj, two
only made their appearance this year; these were from Syria and Egypt;
the latter composed entirely of people belonging to the retinue of the
commander of the Hadj, and his troops; no pilgrims having come by land
from Cairo, though the road was safe.

The Syrian caravan has always been the strongest, since the time when
the Khalifes, in person, accompanied the pilgrims from Baghdad. It. sets
out from Constantinople, and collects the pilgrims of Northern Asia in
its passage through Anatolia and Syria, until it reaches Damascus, where
it remains for several weeks. During the whole of the route from
Constantinople to Damascus, every care is taken for the safety and
convenience of the caravan; it is accompanied from town to town by the
armed forces of the governors; at every station caravansaries and public
fountains have been constructed by former Sultans, to accommodate it on
its passage, which is attended so far with continual festivities and
rejoicings. At Damascus, it is necessary to prepare for a journey of
thirty days, across the Desert to Medina; and the camels which had
transported it thus far, must be changed, the Anatolian camel not being
able to bear the fatigues of such a journey. Almost every town in the
eastern part of Syria furnishes its beasts for the purpose; and the
great Bedouin Sheikhs of the frontiers of that country contract largely
for camels with the government of Damascus. Their number must be
supposed very great, even if the caravan be but thinly attended, when it
is considered that besides those carrying water and provisions for the
hadjys and soldiers, their horses, and the spare camels brought to
supply such as may fail on the road, daily food for the camels
themselves must be similarly transported; as well as provisions, which
are deposited in castles on the Hadj route, to form a supply for the
return. The Bedouins take good care that the camels shall not be
overloaded, that the numbers wanted may thus be increased. In 1814,
though the caravan consisted of not more than

[p.248] four or five thousand persons, including soldiers and servants,
it had fifteen thousand camels. [El Fasy relates that, when the mother of
Motasem b'Illah, the last of the Abassides, performed the pilgrimage in
A.H. 631, her caravan was composed of one hundred and twenty thousand
camels. When Solyman Ibn Abd el Melek performed the pilgrimage in A.H.
97, nine hundred camels were employed in the transport of his wardrobe
only. It is observable that none of the Othman Emperors of
Constantinople ever performed the pilgrimage in person. The Khalife El
Mohdy Abou Abdallah Mohammed expended on his pilgrimage in A.H. 160,
thirty millions of dirhems. He carried with him an immense number of
gowns to distribute as presents. He built fine houses at every station
from Baghdad to Mekka, and caused them to be splendidly furnished; he
also erected mile-stones along the whole route, and was the first
Khalife who carried snow with him, to cool sherbet on the road, in which
he was imitated by many of his successors. Haroun el Rasheid, who
performed the pilgrimage nine times, spent, in one of his visits, one
million and fifty thousand dynars in presents to the Mekkawys and the
poor hadjys. El Melek Nasir eddyn Abou el Maaly, Sultan of Egypt,
carried with him, on his pilgrimage in A.H. 719, five hundred camels,
for the transport of sweetmeats and confectionary only; and two hundred
and eighty for pomegranates, almonds, and other fruits: in his
travelling larder were one thousand geese, and three thousand fowls.
Vide Makrisi's Treatise Man Hadj myn el Kholafa.]

The Syrian caravan is very well regulated, though, as in all matters of
oriental government, the abuses and exceptions are numerous. The Pasha
of Damascus, or one of his principal officers, always accompanies this
caravan, and gives the signal for encamping and starting, by firing a
musket. On the route, a troop of horsemen ride in front, and another in
the rear, to bring up the stragglers. The different parties of hadjys,
distinguished by their provinces or towns, keep close together ; and
each knows its never-varying station in the caravan, which is determined
by the geographical proximity of the place from whence it comes. When
they encamp, the same order is constantly observed; thus the people from
Aleppo always encamp close by those of Homs, &c. This regulation is very
necessary to prevent disorder in night-marches. [In our author's Syrian
Travels, (p. 242.) the reader will find some further remarks on this
Hadj-caravan, and in the Appendix to that volume (No. 3.) an account of
the route between Damascus and Mekka.--ED.]

The hadjys usually contract for the journey with a Mekowem, one who
speculates in the furnishing of camels and provisions to the Hadj.

[p.249] From twenty to thirty pilgrims are under the care of the same
Mekowem, who has his tents and servants, and saves the hadjys from all
fatigue and trouble on the road: their tent, coffee, water, breakfast,
and dinner are prepared for them, and they need not take the slightest
trouble about packing and loading. If a camel should die, the Mekowem
must find another; and, however great may be the want of provisions on
the road, he must furnish his passengers with their daily meals. In
1814, the hire of one Mekowem, and the boarding at his table, was one
hundred and fifty dollars from Damascus to Medina, and fifty dollars
more from Medina to Mekka. Out of these two hundred dollars, sixty were
given by the Mekowem to a man who led the camel by the halter during the
night-marches; a precaution necessary in so great a caravan, when the
rider usually sleeps, and the animal might otherwise easily wander from
the path. In addition to the stipulated hire, the Mekowem always
receives some presents from his pilgrims. On the return to Syria, the
sum is something less, as many camels then go unloaded.

Few travellers choose to perform the journey at their own risk, or upon
their own camels; for if they are not particularly protected by the
soldiery, or the chief of the caravan, they find it difficult to escape
the ill-treatment of the Mekowem at watering-places, as well as on the
march; the latter endeavouring to check, by every means in their power,
the practice of traveling independent of them, so that it is rarely done
except by rich hadjys, who have the means of forming a party of their
own amounting to forty or fifty individuals.

At night, torches are lighted, and the daily distance is usually
performed between three o'clock in the afternoon, and an hour or two
after sun-rise on the following day. The Bedouins who carry provisions
for the troops, travel by day only, and in advance of the caravan, the
encampment of which they pass in the morning, and are overtaken in turn,
and passed by the caravan on the following night, at their own resting-
place. The journey with these Bedouins is less fatiguing than with the
great body of the caravan, as a regular night's rest is obtained; but
their bad character deters most pilgrims from joining them.

[p.250] At every watering-place on the route are a small castle and a
large tank, at which the camels water. The castles are garrisoned by a
few persons, who remain during the whole year to guard the provisions
deposited there. It is at these watering-places, which belong to the
Bedouins, that the Sheikhs of the tribes meet the caravan, and receive
the accustomed tribute. Water is plentiful on the route: the stations
are no where more distant than eleven or twelve hours' march; and in
winter, pools of rain-water are frequently found. Those pilgrims who can
travel with a litter, or on commodious camel-saddles, may sleep at
night, and perform the journey with little inconvenience; but of those
whom poverty, or the desire of soon acquiring a large sum of money,
induces to follow the caravan on foot, or to hire themselves as
servants, many die on the road from fatigue.

The Egyptian caravan, which starts from Cairo, is under the same
regulations as the Syrian, but seldom equals the latter in numbers,
being composed of Egyptians only, besides the military escort. Its route
is more dangerous and fatiguing than that of the Syrian caravan; the
road along the shore of the Red Sea leading through the territories of
wild and warlike tribes of Bedouins, who frequently endeavour to cut off
a part of the caravan by open force. The watering-places too are much
fewer on this route than on the other; three days frequently intervening
between the wells, which are, besides, seldom copious, and, with the
exception of two or three, are of bad brackish water. In 1814, this
caravan was composed of soldiers only with the retinue of the sacred
camel, and some public officers; all the Egyptian pilgrims having
preferred taking the route by Suez. In 1816, several grandees of Cairo
joined the Hadj, one of whom had one hundred and ten camels for the
transport of his baggage and retinue, and eight tents: his travelling
expenses in going and coming must have amounted to ten thousand pounds.
There were also about five hundred peasants, with their women, from
upper and lower Egypt, who were less afraid of the fatigues and dangers
of the Desert than of the Sea. I saw with them a party of public women
and dancing-girls, whose tents and equipage were among the most splendid
in the

[p.251] caravan. Female hadjys of a similar class accompany the Syrian
caravan also.

The Persian Hadj, which used to set out from Baghdad, and come through
Nedjed to Mekka, was discontinued about the time when the Wahabys
stopped the Syrian Hadj. After Abdullah ibn Saoud had made peace with
Tousoun Pasha in 1815, it ventured to cross the Desert, and passed by
Derayeh unmolested; but within four days' journey of Mekka, it was
attacked by the Beni Shammar, a tribe which had remained neuter during
the war between Tousoun and the Wahabys. The caravan then returned to
Derayeh; through the intercession of Saoud, the goods of which it had
been plundered were restored; and he sent a party of his own people to
escort it to the holy city.

The Persian caravan is usually escorted by the Ageyl Arabs, of Baghdad.
As its pilgrims are known to be sectaries, they are exposed to great
extortions on the road: Saoud exacted a heavy capitation-tax from them,
as did Sherif Ghaleb at Mekka, amounting in latter times to thirty
sequins per head. Persian hadjys are all persons of property, and no
pilgrims suffer so much imposition as they during the whole route. Great
numbers of them come by sea: they embark at Bassora for Mokha, and if
they fall in with the trade-wind, run straight to Djidda; if not, they
form themselves into a caravan, and come by land along the coast of
Yemen. In 1814, when I was present at the Hadj, the few Persians who
came by land, had passed through Baghdad to Syria, and had followed the
Syrian caravan, accompanied by Baghdad camel-drivers.

It deserves notice here, that the Persians were not always permitted to
come to the holy city; being notorious heretics, who conceal their
doctrines only during the Hadj, that they may not give offence to the
Sunnys. In 1634, a few years after the temple of Mekka had been rebuilt,
Sultan Murad IV. commanded that no Persian of the sect of Aly should be
allowed to perform the pilgrimage, or enter the Beittullah. This
prohibition was complied with for several years; but the money expended
by the Persians soon re-opened the way to Arafat

[p.252] and the Kaaba. We learn from Asamy, that, in 1625, a sectary of
Aly was impaled alive at Mekka, because he would not abjure his creed.

The Moggrebyn Hadj caravan has for many years ceased to be regular. It
is usually accompanied by a relative of the King of Morocco, and
proceeds from his residence by slow marches towards Tunis and Tripoly,
collecting additional pilgrims in every district through which it
passes. Its route from Tripoly is along the shores of the Syrtis to
Derne, and from thence along the coast of Egypt, passing either by
Alexandria, or taking the direction of the Natron lakes straight for
Cairo, from whence it follows the common pilgrim-route. This caravan
returning from Mekka always visits Medina, which the Egyptian Hadj never
does, and sometimes extends its route by land as far as Jerusalem. Few
troops accompany it; but its pilgrims are well armed, and ready to
defend themselves: of the two other great caravans, no body fights but
the escort.

The last Moggrebyn caravan passed through Egypt in 1811; the Wahabys
permitted them to visit Mekka, as they saw that they were free from
those scandalous practices with which they upbraided the Egyptians and
Syrians; but the caravan experienced many misfortunes on its return,
from enemies, and from a want of guides, and provisions, in consequence
of which many of its people died. The pilgrims from Barbary arrive now
usually by sea at Alexandria, and re-embark at Suez, in parties of fifty
or a hundred at a time. Although poorly dressed, they have generally
sufficient money to defray their expenses, and few of them are beggars;
of this class, however, I saw a small party, Arabs from Draa, on the
S.E. side of Mount Atlas, who had set out with the Egyptian caravan by
land in September, 1816. They told me that they had obtained a. free
passage by sea from Tunis to Alexandria. One of them was a Bedouin of
the Shilouh nation, whose encampment, when he left it, was at twenty
days' journey from Tombuctou.

In the Moggrebyn caravan also are generally found some natives of the
island of Djerba, or Girba, who are strongly suspected of being
sectaries of Aly; and some of whom are often stationary at Cairo,

[p.253] inhabiting the quarter called Teyloun, and keeping themselves
wholly separate from all other Moggrebyns established in the town. But
the far greater part of the caravan is from the kingdom of Marocco.

I believe that two thousand is the largest yearly number of Barbary
pilgrims. The last caravans comprised altogether from six to eight
thousand men.

Two Yemen pilgrim caravans used to arrive at Mekka, in former times, by
land. The one called Hadj el Kebsy, started from Sada, in Yemen, and
took its course along the mountains to Tayf and to Mekka. Two
itineraries of this caravan, with some notices on it, will be found in
the Appendix. The other, which was formed of natives of Yemen, and of
Persians and Indians who had arrived in the harbours of that country,
came along the coast. This caravan was discontinued about 1803, and has
not yet been re-established. It was once considerable, and rich in
merchandize and coffee; and sometimes enjoyed the honour of being
accompanied by the Imams of Yemen. Like the Syrian and Egyptian
caravans, it had a particular place assigned for its camp near Mekka,
where a large stone tank was built to supply it with water.

I have seen the route of an Indian pilgrim caravan, laid down in several
maps as starting from Maskat, and coming by Nedjed to Mekka; but I could
obtain no information respecting it; that such, however, existed
formerly, appears from the frequent mention of it made by the historian
Asamy. Those persons whom I questioned assured me that no such caravan
had arrived within their memory; but I believe that, in the time of
peace, Indian, Persian, and Arab beggars, in small parties, sometimes
arrive in the Hedjaz by the above route.

Before the power of the Sherifs was broken by the chief Sherif Serour,
the former extorted from every caravan that came to Mekka considerable
sums, besides the surra to which they were entitled. As soon as they
heard of the near approach of a caravan, they issued from Mekka with all
their armed retinue and their Bedouin friends, and often disputed with
the leaders of the caravan for several days before the amount of the
tribute was settled.

To the regular caravans above mentioned, must be added large bodies of
Bedouins, which resort to Mekka, during peace, from every part of the
Desert; for even among the least religious Bedouins, the title of hadjy
is respected: Nedjed sends its pilgrims, as do also the Southern
Bedouins. When the Wahabys were in possession of Mekka, hosts of these
sectaries came to Arafat, as much, perhaps, for the purpose of paying
their court to the chief, who, it was known, liked to see his Arabs
collected there, as from religious motives. The last time the Wahabys
performed the Hadj was in 1811, shortly after the first defeat of
Tousoun Pasha at Djedeyde: they were accompanied by large bodies of
Bedouins of Kahtan, Asyr, with others from the most interior part of the
Desert. The plunder taken from the Turkish army was sold to the Mekkawys
in the market at Arafat. I shall here observe that Aly Bey el Abassy has
made a strange mistake with respect to the host of Wahabys, whom he saw
entering Mekka at the time of the pilgrimage; for he fancied that they
came to take possession of the town, and flattered himself that he was
present at the first conquest of Mekka by the Wahabys, while every child
in the place could have informed him that this event happened three
years before his arrival in the Hedjaz.

At present, as I have already mentioned, most of the hadjys arrive by
sea at Djidda: those who come from the north embark at Suez or Cosseir,
and among them are a large proportion of the Barbary pilgrims, many
Turks from Anatolia and European Turkey, Syrians, and numerous dervishes
from Persia, Tartary, and the realms watered by the Indus. The want of
shipping on the Red Sea, occasioned by the increased demand for ships to
accommodate the Turkish army of the Hedjaz, renders the passage
precarious; and they sometimes lose the opportunity, and arrive too late
for the pilgrimage, as happened to a party in 1814, who reached Mekka
three days after the Hadj, having been long detained at Suez. From the
bad quality of the vessels, and their crowded state, the passage is very
disagreeable, and often dangerous. Nothing has yet been done by Mohammed
Aly Pasha to make this voyage more commodious to the pilgrims; but, on
the contrary, be has laid a tax upon them, by forcing a contract for
their passage to Djidda

[p.255] at a high price, (it was eighteen dollars a head in 1814), with
his governor at Suez, who distributed them on board the Arab ships, and
paid to the masters of the vessels only six dollars per head. Formerly
hadjys were permitted to carry with them from Suez as great a quantity
of provisions as they chose, part of which they afterwards sold in the
Hedjaz to some profit; but at present none can embark with more than
what is barely sufficient for his own consumption during the pilgrimage.
The advantage of carrying along with them their provisions, chiefly
butter, flour, biscuits, and dried flesh, purchased at cheap prices in
Egypt, for the whole journey, was a principal reason for preferring a
sea voyage; for those who go by land must purchase all their provisions
at Mekka, where the prices are high.

If the foreign pilgrims, on their arrival at Cairo, cannot hear of any
ships lying in the harbour of Suez, they often pursue their way up the
Nile as far as Genne, and from thence cross the Desert to Cosseir, from
whence it is but a short voyage to Djidda. In returning from the Hedjaz,
this Cosseir route is preferred by the greater part of the Turkish
hadjys. The natives of Upper Egypt go by Cosseir; likewise many negro
pilgrims, after having followed the banks of the Nile from Sennar down
to Genne. The usual fare for hadjys from Cosseir to Djidda, is from six
to eight dollars.

In the last days of the Mamelouks, when they held possession of Upper
Egypt, while the lower was conquered by Mohammed Aly, many Turkish
hadjys who repaired to the Hedjaz in small parties, though it was then
in the hands of the Wahabys, suffered much illtreatment from the
Mamelouks, on their return to Egypt; many of them were stripped and
slain in their passage down the Nile. The sanguinary Greek, Hassan Beg
el Yahoudy, boasted of having himself killed five hundred of them. These
massacres of inoffensive pilgrims furnished Mohammed Aly with an excuse
for his treachery in putting the Mamelouks to death at the castle of

Other pilgrims arrive by sea from Yemen and the East India, namely,
Mohammedan Hindous, and Malays; Cashmerians, and people from Guzerat;
Persians, from the Persian Gulf; Arabians, from Bassora, Maskat, Oman,
Hadramaut; and those from the coasts

[p.256] of Melinda and Mombaza, who are comprised under the generic name
of the people of the Sowahel, i.e. the level coast; Abyssinian Moslims,
and many negro pilgrims, who come by the same route. All Moslims
dwelling on the coasts of the ocean are certain of finding, towards the
period of the Hadj, some ship departing from a neighbouring harbour for
the Red Sea; but the greater number arrive with the regular Indian fleet
in May, and remain at Mekka or Medina till the time of the Hadj; soon
after which, they embark on board country ships at Djidda for Yemen,
where they wait till the period of the trade-winds to pass the Bab el
Mandeb. Multitudes of beggars come to Mekka from the above-mentioned
countries; they get a free passage from charitable individuals in their
own country, or the cost of it is defrayed by those who employ them as
their proxies in performing the Hadj; but when they land, they are
thrown entirely upon the charity of other hadjys; and the alms they
collect, must serve to carry them back to their homes.

Few pilgrims, except the mendicants, arrive without bringing some
productions of their respective countries for sale; and this remark is
applicable as well to the merchants, with whom commercial pursuits are
the main object, as to those who are actuated by religious zeal for to
the latter, the profits derived from selling a few native articles at
Mekka, diminish, in some degree, the heavy expenses of the journey. The
Moggrebyns, for example, bring their red bonnets and woollen cloaks; the
European Turks, shoes and slippers, hardware, embroidered stuffs,
sweetmeats, amber, trinkets of European manufacture, knit silk purses,
&c.; the Turks of Anatolia bring carpets, silks, and Angora shawls; the
Persians, cashmere shawls and large silk handkerchiefs; the Afghans,
tooth-brushes, called Mesouak Kattary, made of the spongy boughs of a
tree growing in Bokhara, beads of a yellow soap-stone, and plain, coarse
shawls, manufactured in their own country; the Indians, the numerous
productions of their rich and extensive region; the people of Yemen,
snakes for the Persian pipes, sandals, and various other works in
leather; and the Africans bring various articles adapted to the slave-
trade. The hadjys are, however, often disappointed in their expectations
of gain; want of money makes

[p.257] them hastily sell their little adventures at the public
auctions, and often obliges them to accept very low prices.

Of all the poor pilgrims who arrive in the Hedjaz, none bear a more
respectable character for industry than the Negroes, or Tekrourys, as
they are called here. All the poorer class of Indians turn beggars as
soon as they are landed at Djidda. Many Syrians and Egyptians follow the
same trade; but not so the Negroes. I have already stated in a former
journal, that the latter reach the Hedjaz by the three harbours of
Massouah, Souakin, and Cosseir. Those who come by Sennar and Abyssinia
to Massoua, are all paupers. The small sum of one dollar carries them
from Massoua to the opposite coast of Yemen; and they usually land at
Hodeyda. Here they wait for the arrival of a sufficient number of their
countrymen, to form a small caravan, and then ascend the mountains of
Yemen, along the fertile valleys of which, inhabited by hospitable
Arabs, they beg their way to Djidda or to Mekka. [In 1813, a party of
Tekrourys, about sixty in number, having taken that road, the Arabs of
those mountains, who are Wahabys, and who had often seen black slaves
among the Turkish soldiers, conceived that the negro hadjys were in the
habit of entering into the service of the Turks. To prevent the party
then passing from being ever opposed to them, they waylaid the poor
Tekrourys on the road, and killed many of them.] If rich enough to spare
two dollars, they obtain, perhaps, a passage from Massoua direct to
Djidda, where they meet with such of their countrymen as may have landed
there from Souakin or Cosseir. Immediately on their arrival at Djidda or
Mekka, they apply themselves to labour: some serve as porters, for the
transport of goods and corn from the ships to the warehouses; others
hire themselves to clean the court-yards, fetch wood from the
neighbouring mountains, for the supply of which the inhabitants of
Djidda and Mekka are exclusively indebted to them, as none of their own
lazy poor will undertake that labour, although four piastres a day may
be gained by it. At Mekka, they make small hearths of clay, (kanoun,)
which they paint with yellow and red; these are bought by the hadjys,
who boil their coffee-pots upon them. Some manufacture small baskets and
mats of date-leaves, or prepare the intoxicating drink called bouza; and
others serve as water-carriers: in short, when any occasion requires

[p.258] labour, a Tekroury from the market is always employed. If any of
them is attacked by disease, his companions attend upon him, and defray
his expenses. I have seen very few of them ask for charity, except on
the first days after their arrival, before they have been able to obtain
employment. From Mekka, they either travel by land, or sometimes make a
sea voyage by way of Yembo to Medina, where they again supply the town
with fire-wood. Indeed, the hadjys would be much at a loss in the
Hedjaz, if they could not command the laborious services of these
blacks. During the Wahaby conquest, they continued to perform the
pilgrimage; and it is said that Saoud expressed a particular esteem for
them. [Makrisi states, in his treatise on the Khalifes who performed the
Hadj, that in A.H. 724, a negro king called Mousa arrived at Cairo on
his way to Mekka, and was splendidly entertained by Kalaoun, then Sultan
of Egypt. He had with him, according to Makrisi, fourteen thousand
chosen female slaves.]

When these negroes have completed the Hadj, and the visit to Mekka, they
repair to Djidda, where they continue to work till an opportunity offers
of sailing to Souakin; for very few, if any, return by way of Abyssinia.
On leaving the Hedjaz, they all possess a sufficient sum of money, saved
from the profits of their industry, to purchase some small adventure,
or, at least, to provide, on their reaching Souakin, for a more
comfortable passage through the Desert than that which they experienced
on their outward journey, and then proceed homewards by Shendy and
Cordofan. Many of them, however, instead of returning on the completion
of the pilgrimage, disperse over Arabia, visit the mosque at Jerusalem,
or Ibrahim's (Abraham' s) tomb at Hebron, and thus remain absent from
their home for many years, subsisting always upon the product of their
own labour.

The benefactors to the Kaaba have enriched the temple of Mekka, and the
idle persons employed in it; but no one has thought of forming any
establishment for facilitating the pilgrimage of the poor negroes and
Indians, or of procuring for them a free passage across the gulf to the
Hedjaz; the expense of which, amounting to a dollar or two, is that
which they feel most heavily. They often arrive in the harbours of the
African side of the gulf, after having spent the

[p.259] little they had taken with them from home, or having been robbed
of it on the journey; and finding, perhaps, no means there of earning as
much as will pay their passage across the Red Sea, are obliged to wait
till the return of their richer companions from the Hedjaz, who
charitably pay for their passage.

The poor Indians afford a complete contrast, both in appearance and
character, to the negroes: more wretched countenances can hardly be
imagined; they seem to have lost not only all energy, but even hope.
With bodies which appear scarcely capable of withstanding a gust of
wind, and voices equally feeble, they would be worthy objects of
commiseration, did not daily experience prove that they delight to
appear in this plight, because it secures to them the alms of the
charitable, and exempts them from labour. The streets of Mekka are
crowded with them; the most decrepid make their doleful appeals to the
passenger, lying at full length on their backs in the middle of the
street; the gates of the mosque are always beset with them; every
coffee-house and water-stand is a station for some of them; and no hadjy
can purchase provisions in the markets, without being importuned by
Indians soliciting a portion of them. I saw among them one of those
devotees who are so common in the north of India and in Persia: one of
his arms was held up straight over his head, and so fixed by long habit,
that it could not be placed in any other situation. From the curiosity
which he excited, I was led to suppose that such characters seldom find
their way to the Hedjaz.

Dervishes of every sect and order in the Turkish empire are found among
the pilgrims; many of them madmen, or at least assuming the appearance
of insanity, which causes them to be much respected by the hadjys, and
fills their pockets with money. The behaviour of some of them is so
violent, and at the same time so cunning, that even the least charitably
disposed hadjys give willingly something to escape from them. They
mostly come from other countries; for among the Arabians themselves
there are fewer crazy of these people than in other parts of the east.
Egypt chiefly abounds with them; and almost every village in the valley
of the Nile furnishes some Masloub, or

[p.260] reputed madman, whom the inhabitants regard as an inspired
being, and a blessing sent to them from heaven. [In 1813, the Christian
community of Gous, in Upper Egypt, had the honour of possessing an
insane youth, who walked about the bazars quite naked. But the Moslims
of the place growing jealous, seized him one night, and converted him by
circumcision into a Mohammedan saint.]

The arrival of strangers from all parts of the Mohammedan world, from
Tombuctou to Samarkand, and from Georgia to Borneo, would render Djidda
a most desirable residence for an inquisitive European traveller, who,
by affording assistance to poor hadjys, and spending a small sum in
provisions for them, would attract large numbers to his house, and might
thus collect much information respecting the most distant and unknown
parts of Africa and Asia. All, except the higher classes of Mekkawys,
let out their houses during the Hadj, and demand from their under-
tenants as much for a few weeks or months as they pay to the proprietor
for a whole year. I paid for one room with a small kitchen and a by-
place for my slave, fifteen dollars for six weeks, which equalled the
annual rent of the whole house received by the landlord; and I should
have been obliged to pay the same price if I had taken it only during
the fortnight preceding and following the Hadj. The house in which I
hired these rooms was divided into several lodgings, and was let
altogether to different hadjys at one hundred and twenty dollars, the
owners having retired into apartments so mean that strangers would not
occupy them.

Of the numerous pilgrims who arrive at Mekka before the caravan, some
are professed merchants; many others bring a few articles for sale,
which they dispose of without trouble. They then pass the interval of
time before the Hadj very pleasantly; free from cares and apprehensions,
and enjoying that supreme happiness of an Asiatic, the dolce far
niente[.] Except those of a very high rank, the pilgrims live together
in a state of freedom and equality. They keep but few servants: many,
indeed, have none, and divide among themselves the various duties of
house-keeping, such as bringing the provisions from market and cooking
them, although accustomed at home to the

[p.261] services of an attendant. The freedom and oblivion of care which
accompany travelling, render it a period of enjoyment among the people
of the East as among Europeans; and the same kind of happiness results
from their residence at Mekka, where reading the Koran, smoking in the
streets or coffee-houses, praying or conversing in the mosque, are added
to the indulgence of their pride in being near the holy house, and to
the anticipation of the honours attached to the title of hadjy for the
remainder of their lives; besides the gratification of religious
feelings, and the hopes of futurity, which influence many of the
pilgrims. The hadjys who come by the caravans pass their time very
differently. As soon as they have finished their tedious journey, they
must undergo the fatiguing ceremonies of visiting the Kaaba and Omra;
immediately after which, they are hurried away to Arafat and Mekka, and,
still heated from the effects of the journey, are exposed to the keen
air of the Hedjaz mountains under the slight and inadequate covering of
the ihram: then returning to Mekka, they have only a few days left to
recruit their strength, and to make their repeated visits to the
Beitullah, when the caravan sets off on its return; and thus the whole
pilgrimage is a severe trial of bodily strength, and a continual series
of fatigues and privations. This mode of visiting the holy city is,
however, in accordance with the opinions of many most learned Moslim
divines, who thought that a long residence in the Hedjaz, however
meritorious the intention, is little conducive to true belief, since the
daily sight of the holy places weakened the first impressions made by
them. Notwithstanding the general decline of Muselman zeal, there are
still found Mohammedans whose devotion induces them to visit repeatedly
the holy places. I knew Turks established at Cairo, who, even while the
Wahaby faith predominated in the Hedjaz, went every year by way of
Cosseir to Mekka; and there are a few individuals who reside constantly
in that city, that they may pass the remainder of their days in pious
duties and abstraction from the world. During my stay, a Turkish grandee
arrived from Constantinople; he had been Kahwadjy Bashy to Sultan Selym;
and the present Grand Signior had permitted him to go, that he might die
in the sacred territory, where his arrival was announced by princely
donations to the mosque.

[p.262] The Syrian and Egyptian caravans always arrive at fixed periods;
generally a day or two before the departure of the Hadj for Arafat. Both
caravans usually pass by Beder, on the same day, or with an interval of
one day only. The Syrian caravan coming from Medina, and the Egyptian
from Yembo el Nakhel, prosecute their route from Beder to Mekka, at a
short distance from each other. On the 5th of the month of Zul Hadj,
A.H. 1229, or the 21st of November, 1814, the approach of the Syrian
caravan was announced by one of its Mekowem, who came galloping into the
town, to win the prize which is always awarded to the Sabbak, or him who
brings the first tidings of the safe arrival of that caravan. The loud
acclamations of the mob followed him to the governor's house, where his
horse expired the moment he dismounted. The news was the more important,
as nothing had been heard of this Hadj, and rumours had even been
circulated of the Bedouins having plundered it on the road to the north
of Medina. Two hours after, many other persons belonging to it arrived;
and in the night the whole body came up, and encamped, with the Pasha of
Damascus at their head, in the plain of Sheikh Mahmoud.

Early the next morning, the Egyptian caravan also arrived. The heavy
baggage and the camels were sent to the usual place of encampment of the
Egyptian Hadj, in the Moabede; but the Mahmal, or holy camel, remained
at Sheikh Mahmoud, that it might pass from thence in procession next day
through the town. Mohammed Aly Pasha arrived unexpectedly this morning
from Tayf, to be present at the Hadj, and to inspect the cavalry which
had come with the Egyptian caravan, a reinforcement that strongly
excited his hopes of success against the Wahabys. He was dressed in a
very handsome ihram, having two large entirely white cashmirene shawls
wrapped round his loins and shoulders: his head was bare; but an officer
held over it an umbrella to protect him from the sun, while riding
through the streets. On the same morning, all the hadjys resident at
Mekka took the ihram at their own lodgings, with the usual ceremonies,
preparatory to their setting out for Arafat; and at mid-day they
assembled in the mosque, where a short sermon was preached on the
occasion. The hadjys who had come with the caravan had already

[p.263] taken the ihram at Asfan, two stations in advance of Mekka; but
a great number of them, especially the servants and camel-drivers, did
not throw off their ordinary dresses, and even appeared in them at
Arafat, without causing either surprise or indignation. There is no
religious police or inquisition here; and every body is left to the
dictates of his conscience, either to observe or neglect the precepts of
the canonical law.

Great bustle prevailed this evening in the town. Every body was
preparing for his journey to Arafat; Syrian hadjys came to engage
lodgings, to inquire about the state of the markets, and to pay their
first visits to the Kaaba. A number of pedlars and petty shopkeepers
left the town to establish themselves at Arafat, and to be ready there
for the accommodation of the pilgrims. A number of camel-drivers from
Syria and Egypt led their unloaded camels through the streets, offering
to let them out to the hadjys going to Arafat. The rate of hire this
year was very moderate, on account of the great number of beasts of
burden: I engaged two of these camels, for the journey of four days to
Arafat and back again, for three dollars.

On the 8th of Zul Hadj, early in the morning, the Syrian Hadj passed in
procession through the town, accompanied by all its soldiers, and
carrying the Mahmal in front. All its baggage was left at Sheikh
Mahmoud, excepting the tents that were to be pitched at Arafat. Most of
the hadjys were mounted in the Shebrye, a sort of palankeen placed upon
the camel. The great people, and the Pasha of Damascus himself, rode in
takhtrouans, a kind of closed [l]itter or box carried by two camels, one
before and the other behind, and forming a very commodious conveyance,
except that it is necessary always to have a ladder, by means of which
one may mount or descend. The camels' heads were decorated with
feathers, tassels, and bells; but their heads, bent down towards the
ground, showed how much they were fatigued by their journey. While these
passed, the streets were lined by people of all classes, who greeted the
caravan with loud acclamations and praise. The martial music of the
Pasha of Damascus, a dozen of fine caparisoned horses led in front of
his litter, and the rich takhtrouans in which his women rode,
particularly attracted attention.

[p.264] Soon after the Syrians had passed, the Egyptian procession
followed, consisting of its Mahmal or sacred camel, (for each of the
caravans carries one,) and the Shebryes of the public officers, who
always accompany the Hadj; but not a single private pilgrim was to be
seen in its suite. The good appearance of the soldiers who were with
them, the splendour of the Mahmal, and of the equipage of the Emir el
Hadj, who was a commander of the Turkish horsemen called Delhis, drew
from the Mekkawys many signs of approbation, such as had been given to
those who immediately preceded them. Both caravans continued their route
to Arafat without stopping.

Before mid-day, all the hadjys who had resided for some time at Mekka,
likewise mounted their camels, and crowded the streets as they pressed
forward to follow the Hadj. They were joined by the far greater part of
the population of Mekka, who make it a rule to go every year to Arafat;
and by a similar portion of the population of Djidda, who had been
assembled here for some time. During five or six days, the gates of
Djidda, thus deserted by so many people, remain shut.

I left my lodgings on foot, after mid-day, with a companion and a slave-
boy mounted on two camels, which I had hired from a Syrian driver, a
native of Homs. It is thought meritorious to make the six hours' journey
to Arafat on foot, particularly if the pilgrim goes barefooted. Many
hadjys did so; and I preferred this mode, because I had led a very
sedentary life for some months. We were several hours before we could
reach the outskirts of the town beyond the Moabede, so great was the
crowd of camels; and many accidents happened. Of the half-naked hadjys,
all dressed in the white ihram, some sat reading the Koran upon their
camels; some ejaculated loud prayers; whilst others cursed their
drivers, and quarrelled with those near them, who were choking up the
passage. Beyond the town the road widens, and we passed on through the
valleys, at a very slow march, for two hours, to Wady Muna, in the
narrow entrance of which great confusion again occurred. The law enjoins
that the hadjys shall recite five prayers at Muna, Mohammed having
always done so; that is to say, that they shall arrive there at noon, in
time for the mid-day prayer, and remaining

[p.265] until the next morning, shall perform the prayers of the Aszer,
of Mogreb, and of Ashe, and that of the dawn on the ensuing day. The
inconvenience, however, arising from a delay on the route has led to the
neglect of this precept for some time past; and the Hadj now passes
Muna, on its way to Arafat, without halting.

In advance of Muna, we had the mosque of Mozdelife to our right, whither
many pilgrims went to recite the Salat el Aszer and Salat el Mogreb; but
the caravan continued its march. Beyond Mozdelife, we again entered the
mountains by the pass called El Mazoumeyn, on the eastern side of which
we issued towards the plain of Arafat. Here the pilgrims passed between
the two pillars called Alameyn, and, on approaching the vicinity of
Djebel Arafat, dispersed over the plain in search of their place of
encampment. I reached the camp about three hours after sun-set; but the
last stragglers did not arrive till midnight. Numberless fires were seen
lighted on an extent of ground of three or four miles in length; and
high and brilliant clusters of lamps marked the different places of
encampment of Mohammed Aly, Soleyman Pasha, and the Emir el Hadj of the
Egyptian caravan. Hadjys were seen in every direction wandering among
the tents in search of their companions, whom they had lost in the
confusion on the road; and it was several hours before the noise and
clamour had subsided. Few persons slept during that night: the devotees
sat up praying, and their loud chants were particularly distinguished on
the side of the Syrian encampment; the merry Mekkawys formed themselves
into parties, singing the jovial songs called djok, accompanied by
clapping of hands; and the coffee-houses scattered over the plain were
crowded the whole night with customers.

The night was dark and cold, and a few drops of rain fell. I had formed
a resting-place for myself by means of a large carpet tied to the back
part of a Mekkawy's tent; and having walked about for the greater part
of the night, I had just disposed myself to sleep, when two guns, fired
by the Syrian and Egyptian Hadj, announced the approaching dawn of the
day of pilgrimage, and summoned the faithful to prepare for their
morning prayers.

To illustrate the following account, a plan of Arafat is annexed;

[p.266] and the figures and marks of reference which it contains are
explained below. [not included]

At sun-rise on the 9th of Zul Hadj, every pilgrim issued from his tent,
to walk over the plains, and take a view of the busy crowds assembled
there. Long streets of tents, fitted up as bazars, furnished all kinds
of provisions. The Syrian and Egyptian cavalry were exercised by their
chiefs early in the morning, while thousands of camels were seen feeding
upon the dry shrubs of the plain all round the camp. I walked to Mount
Arafat, to enjoy from its summit a more distinct view of the whole. This
granite hill, which is also called Djebel er' Rahme, or the Mountain of
Mercy, rises on the north-east side of the plain, close to the mountains
which encompass it, but separated from them by a rocky valley; it is
about a mile, or a mile and a half in circuit; its sides are sloping,
and its summit is nearly two hundred feet above the level of the plain.
On the eastern side broad stone steps lead up to the top, and a broad
unpaved path, on the western, over rude masses of granite, with which
its declivity is covered. After mounting about forty steps, we find a
spot a little on the left, called Modaa Seydna Adam, or the place of
prayer of our Lord Adam, where, it is related, that the father of
mankind used to stand while praying; for here it was, according to
Mohammedan tradition, that the angel Gabriel first instructed Adam how
to adore his Creator. A marble slab, bearing an inscription in modern
characters, is fixed in the side of the mountain. On reaching about the
sixtieth step, we come to a

[p.267] small paved platform to our right, on a level spot of the hill,
where the preacher stands who admonishes the pilgrims on the afternoon
of this day, as I shall hereafter mention. Thus high, the steps are so
broad and easy that a horse or camel may ascend, but higher up they
become more steep and uneven. On the summit the place is shown where
Mohammed used to take his station during the Hadj; a small chapel
formerly stood over it; but this was destroyed by the Wahabys: here the
pilgrims usually pray two rikats, in salutation of Arafat. The steps and
the summit are covered with handkerchiefs to receive their pious gifts,
and each family of the Mekkawys or Bedouins of the tribe of Koreysh, in
whose territory Arafat lies, has its particular spot assigned to it for
this purpose. The summit commands a very extensive and singular
prospect. I brought my compass to take a circle of bearings; but the
crowd was so great, that I could not use it. Towards the western
extremity of the plain are seen Bir Bazan and the Aalameyn; somewhat
nearer, southwards, the mosque called Djama Nimre, or Djama Seydna
Ibrahim; and on the south-east, a small house where the Sherif used to
lodge during the pilgrimage. From thence an elevated rocky ground in the
plain extends towards Arafat. On the eastern side of the mountain, and
close to its foot, are the ruins of a small mosque, built on rocky
ground, called Djama el Szakhrat, where Mohammed was accustomed to pray,
and where the pilgrims make four prostrations in memory of the prophet.
Several large reservoirs lined with stone are dispersed over the plain;
two or three are close to the foot of Arafat, and there are some near
the house of the Sherifs: they are filled from the same fine aqueduct
which supplies Mekka, and the head of which is about one hour and a half
distant, in the eastern mountains. The canal is left open here for the
convenience of pilgrims, and is conducted round the three sides of the
mountains, passing by Modaa Seydna Adam. [At the close of the sixteenth
century, according to Kotobeddyn, the whole plain of Arafat was

From the summit of Arafat, I counted about three thousand tents
dispersed over the plain, of which two thirds belonged to the two

[p.268] Hadj caravans, and to the suite and soldiers of Mohammed Aly;
the rest to the Arabs of the Sherif, the Bedouin hadjys, and the people
of Mekka and Djidda. These assembled multitudes were for the greater
number, like myself, without tents. The two caravans were encamped
without much order, each party of pilgrims or soldiers having pitched
its tents in large circles or dowars, in the midst of which many of
their camels were reposing. The plain contained, dispersed in different
parts, from twenty to twenty-five thousand camels, twelve thousand of
which belonged to the Syrian Hadj, and from five to six thousand to the
Egyptian; besides about three thousand, purchased by Mohammed Aly from
the Bedouins in the Syrian Deserts, and brought to Mekka with the Hadj,
to convey the pilgrims to this place, previously to being used for the
transport of army-provisions to Tayf.

The Syrian Hadj was encamped on the south and south-west side of the
mountain; the Egyptian on the south-east. Around the house of the
Sherif, Yahya himself was encamped with his Bedouin troops, and in its
neighbourhood were all the Hedjaz people. Here it was that the two Yemen
caravans used formerly to take their station. Mohammed Aly, and Soleyman
Pasha of Damascus, as well as several of their officers, had very
handsome tents; but the most magnificent of all was that of the wife of
Mohammed Aly, the mother of Tousoun Pasha, and Ibrahim Pasha, who had
lately arrived from Cairo for the Hadj, with a truly royal equipage,
five hundred camels being necessary to transport her baggage from Djidda
to Mekka. Her tent was in fact an encampment consisting of a dozen tents
of different sizes, inhabited by her women; the whole enclosed by a wall
of linen cloth, eight hundred paces in circuit, the single entrance to
which was guarded by eunuchs in splendid dresses. Around this enclosure
were pitched the tents of the men who formed her numerous suite. The
beautiful embroidery on the exterior of this linen palace, with the
various colours displayed in every part of it, constituted an object
which reminded me of some descriptions in the Arabian Tales of the
Thousand and One Nights. Among the rich equipages of the other hadjys,
or of the Mekka people, none were so conspicuous as that belonging to
the family of Djeylany, the merchant, whose tents, pitched

[p.269] in a semicircle, rivalled in beauty those of the two Pashas, and
far exceeded those of Sherif Yahya. In other parts of the East, a
merchant would as soon think of buying a rope for his own neck, as of
displaying his wealth in the presence of a Pasha; but Djeylany has not
yet laid aside the customs which the Mekkawys learned under their old
government, particularly that of Sherif Ghaleb, who seldom exercised
extortion upon single individuals; and they now rely on the promises of
Mohammed Aly, that he will respect their property.

During the whole morning, there were repeated discharges of the
artillery which both Pashas had brought with them. A few pilgrims had
taken up their quarters on Djebel Arafat itself, where some small
cavern, or impending block of granite, afforded them shelter from the
sun. It is a belief generally entertained in the East, and strengthened
by many boasting hadjys on their return home, that all the pilgrims, on
this day, encamp upon Mount Arafat; and that the mountain possesses the
miraculous property of expansion, so as to admit an indefinite number of
the faithful upon its summit. The law ordains that the wakfe, or
position of the Hadj, should be on Djebel Arafat; but it wisely provides
against any impossibility, by declaring that the plain in the immediate
neighbourhood of the mountain may be regarded as comprised under the
term "mountain," or Djebel Arafat.

I estimated the number of persons assembled here at about seventy
thousand. The camp was from three to four miles long, and between one
and two in breadth. There is, perhaps, no spot on earth where, in so
small a place, such a diversity of languages are heard; I reckoned about
forty, and have no doubt that there were many more. It appeared to me as
if I were here placed in a holy temple of travellers only; and never did
I at any time feel a more ardent wish to be able to penetrate once into
the inmost recesses of the countries of many of those persons whom I now
saw before me, fondly imagining that I might have no more difficulty in
reaching their homes, than what they had experienced in their journey to
this spot.

When the attention is engrossed by such a multitude of new objects, time
passes rapidly away. I had only descended from Mount

[p.270] Arafat, and had walked for some time about the camp, here and
there entering into conversation with pilgrims; inquiring at the Syrian
camp after some of my friends; and among the Syrian Bedouins, for news
from their deserts, when mid-day had already passed. The prayers of this
period of the day ought to be performed either within, or in the
immediate neighbourhood of, the mosque of Nimre, whither the two Pashas
had repaired for that purpose. The far greater number of hadjys,
however, dispense with this observance, and many of them with the mid-
day prayers altogether; for no one concerns himself whether his
neighbour is punctual or not in the performance of the prescribed rites.
After mid-day, the pilgrims are to wash and purify the body, by means of
the entire ablution prescribed by the law, and called Ghossel, for which
purpose chiefly, the numerous tents in the plain have been constructed;
but the weather was cloudy, and rather cold, which induced nine-tenths
of the pilgrims, shivering as they were already under the thin covering
of the ihram, to omit the rite also, and to content themselves with the
ordinary ablution. The time of Aszer (or about three o'clock, P.M.)
approached, when that ceremony of the Hadj takes place, for which the
whole assembly had come hither. The pilgrims now pressed forward towards
the mountain of Arafat, and covered its sides from top to bottom. At the
precise time of Aszer, the preacher took his stand upon the platform on
the mountain, and began to address the multitude. This sermon, which
lasts till sun-set, constitutes the holy ceremony of the Hadj called
Khotbet el Wakfe; and no pilgrim, although he may have visited all the
holy places of Mekka, is entitled to the name of hadjy, unless he has
been present on this occasion. As Aszer approached, therefore, all the
tents were struck, every thing was packed up, the caravans began to
load, and the pilgrims belonging to them mounted their camels, and
crowded round the mountain, to be within sight of the preacher, which is
sufficient, as the greater part of the multitude is necessarily too
distant to hear him. The two Pashas, with their whole cavalry drawn up
in two squadrons behind them, took their post in the rear of the deep
lines of camels of the hadjys, to which those of the people of the
Hedjaz were also joined; and here they waited in solemn and respectful

[p.271] silence the conclusion of the sermon. Further removed from the
preacher, was the Sherif Yahya, with his small body of soldiers,
distinguished by several green standards carried before him. The two
Mahmals, or holy camels, which carry on their back the high structure
that serves as the banner of their respective caravans, made way with
difficulty through the ranks of camels that encircled the southern and
eastern sides of the hill, opposite to the preacher, and took their
station, surrounded by their guards, directly under the platform in
front of him. [The Mahmal (an exact representation of which is given by
D'Ohsson,) is a high, hollow, wooden frame, in the form of a cone, with
a pyramidal top, covered with a fine silk brocade adorned with ostrich
feathers, and having a small book of prayers and charms placed in the
midst of it, wrapped up in a piece of silk. (My description is taken
from the Egyptian Mahmal.) When on the road, it serves as a holy banner
to the caravan; and on the return of the Egyptian caravan, the book of
prayers is exposed in the mosque El Hassaneyn, at Cairo, where men and
women of the lower classes go to kiss it, and obtain a blessing by
rubbing their foreheads upon it. No copy of the Koran, nor any thing but
the book of prayers, is placed in the Cairo Mahmal. The Wahabys declared
this ceremony of the Hadj to be a vain pomp, of idolatrous origin, and
contrary to the spirit of true religion; and its use was one of the
principal reasons which they assigned for interdicting the caravans from
repairing to Mekka. In the first centuries of Islam, neither the
Omeyades nor the Abassides ever had a Mahmal. Makrisi, in his treatise
"On those Khalifes and Sultans who performed the pilgrimage in person,"
says that Dhaher Bybars el Bondokdary, Sultan of Egypt, was the first
who introduced the Mahmal, about A.H. 670. Since his time, all the
Sultans who sent their caravans to Mekka, have considered it as a
privilege to send one with each, as a sign of their own royalty. The
first Mahmal from Yemen came in A.H. 960; and in A.H.1049, El Moayed
Billah, king, and Imam of Yemen, who publicly professed the creed of
Zeyd, came with one to Arafat; and the caravans of Baghdad, Damascus,
and Cairo, have always carried it with them. In A.H. 730, the Baghdad
caravan brought it to Arafat upon an elephant (vide Asamy). I believe
the custom to have arisen in the battle-banner of the Bedouins, called
Merkeb and Otfe, which I have mentioned in my remarks on the Bedouins,
and which resemble the Mahmal, inasmuch as they are high wooden frames
placed upon camels.]

The preacher, or Khatyb, who is usually the Kadhy of Mekka, was mounted
upon a finely-caparisoned camel, which had been led up the steps; it
being traditionally said that Mohammed was always seated when he here
addressed his followers, a practice in which he was imitated by all the
Khalifes who came to the Hadj, and who from

[p.272] hence addressed their subjects in person. The Turkish gentleman
of Constantinople, however, unused to camel-riding, could not keep his
seat so well as the hardy Bedouin prophet; and the camel becoming
unruly, he was soon obliged to alight from it. He read his sermon from a
book in Arabic, which he held in his hands. At intervals of every four
or five minutes he paused, and stretched forth his arms to
implore blessings from above; while the assembled multitudes around and
before him, waved the skirts of their ihrams over their heads, and rent
the air with shouts of "Lebeyk, Allahuma Lebeyk," (i.e. Here we are, at
thy commands, O God!) During the wavings of the ihrams, the side of the
mountain, thickly crowded as it was by the people in their white
garments, had the appearance, of a cataract of water; while the green
umbrellas, with which several thousand hadjys, sitting on their camels
below, were provided, bore some resemblance to a verdant plain.

During his sermon, which lasted almost three hours, the Kadhy was seen
constantly to wipe his eyes with a handkerchief; for the law enjoins the
Khatyb or preacher to be moved with feeling and compunction; and adds
that, whenever tears appear on his face, it is a sign that the Almighty
enlightens him, and is ready to listen to his prayers. The pilgrims who
stood near me, upon the large blocks of granite which cover the sides of
Arafat, appeared under various aspects. Some of them, mostly foreigners,
were crying loudly and weeping, beating their breasts, and denouncing
themselves to be great sinners before the Lord; others (but by far the
smaller number,) stood in silent reflexion and adoration, with tears in
their eyes. Many natives of the Hedjaz, and many soldiers of the Turkish
army, were meanwhile conversing and joking; and whenever the others were
waving the ihram, made violent gesticulations, as if to ridicule that
ceremony. Behind, on the hill, I observed several parties of Arabs and
soldiers, who were quietly smoking their nargyles; and in a cavern just
by sat a common woman, who sold coffee, and whose visiters, by their
loud laughter and riotous conduct, often interrupted the fervent
devotions of the hadjys near them. Numbers of people were present in
their ordinary clothes. Towards the conclusion of the sermon, the far
greater part of the

[p.273] assembly seemed to be wearied, and many descended the mountain
before the preacher had finished his discourse. It must be observed,
however, that the crowds assembled on the mountain were, for the greater
part, of the lower classes; the pilgrims of respectability being mounted
upon their camels or horses in the plain.

At length the sun began to descend behind the western mountains; upon
which the Kadhy, having shut his book, received a last greeting of
"Lebeyk;" and the crowds rushed down the mountain, in order to quit
Arafat. It is thought meritorious to accelerate the pace on this
occasion; and many persons make it a complete race, called by the Arabs,
Ad'dafa min Arafat. In former times, when the strength of the Syrian and
Egyptian caravans happened to be nearly balanced, bloody affrays took
place here almost every year between them, each party endeavouring to
out-run and to carry its mahmal in advance of the other. The same
happened when the mahmals approached the platform at the commencement of
the sermon; and two hundred lives have on some occasions been lost in
supporting what was thought the honour of the respective caravans. At
present the power of Mohammed Aly preponderates, and the Syrian hadjys
display great humility.

The united caravans and the whole mass of pilgrims now moved forward
over the plain; every tent had been previously packed up, to be ready
for the occasion. The pilgrims pressed through the Aalameyn, which they
must repass on their return; and night came on before they reached the
defile called El Mazoumeyn. Innumerable torches were now lighted,
twenty-four being carried before each Pasha; and the sparks of fire from
them flew far over the plain. There were continual discharges of
artillery; the soldiers fired their muskets; the martial bands of both
the Pashas played; sky-rockets were thrown as well by the Pashas'
officers, as by many private pilgrims; while the Hadj passed at a quick
pace in the greatest disorder, amidst a deafening clamour, through the
pass of Mazoumeyn, leading towards Mezdelfe, where all alighted, after a
two hours' march. No order was observed here in encamping; and every one
lay down on the spot that first presented itself, no tents being pitched
except those of the Pashas and their

[p.274] suites; before which was an illumination of lamps in the form of
high arches, which continued to blaze the whole night, while the firing
of the artillery was kept up without intermission.

In the indescribable confusion attending the departure of the Hadj from
Arafat, many pilgrims had lost their camels, and were now heard calling
loudly for their drivers, as they sought them over the plain: I myself
was among their number. When I went to the mountain of Arafat, I ordered
my camel-driver and my slave to remain in readiness upon the spot where
they then were, till I should return to them after sun-set; but seeing,
soon after I quitted them, that the other loaded camels pressed forward
towards the mountain, they followed the example; and when I returned to
the place where I left them, they were not to be found. I was therefore
obliged to walk to Mezdelfe, where I slept on the sand, covered only by
my ihram, after having searched for my people during several hours[.]

On the 10th of the month of Zul Hadj, or the day of the feast called
Nehar el Dhahye, or Nehar el Nahher, the morning gun awoke the pilgrims
before dawn. At the first appearance of day-break, the Kadhy took his
station upon the elevated platform which encloses the mosque of
Mezdelfe, usually called Moshar el Haram, and began a sermon similar to
that which he had preached the day before. The Hadj surrounded the
mosque on all sides with lighted torches, and accompanied the sermon
with the same exclamations of "Lebeyk Allah huma Lebeyk;" but though
this sermon forms one of the principal duties of the pilgrimage, by far
the greater number of the hadjys remained with their baggage, and did
not attend it. The sermon is not very long, lasting only from the first
dawn till sun-rise; a space of time much shorter of course in this
latitude, than in our northern countries. The Salat el Ayd, or the
prayer of the feast, is performed at the same time by the whole
community according to its rites. When the first rays of the sun shot
athwart the cloudy sky, the pilgrims moved on at a slow march towards
Wady Muna, one hour distant from hence.

On arriving at Wady Muna, each nation encamped upon the spot which
custom has assigned to it, at every returning Hadj. After

[p.275] disposing of the baggage, the hadjys hastened to the ceremony of
throwing stones at the devil. It is said that, when Abraham or Ibrahim
returned from the pilgrimage to Arafat, and arrived at Wady Muna, the
devil Eblys presented himself before him at the entrance of the valley,
to obstruct his passage; when the angel Gabriel, who accompanied the
Patriarch, advised him to throw stones at him, which he did, and after
pelting him seven times, Eblys retired. When Abraham reached the middle
of the valley, he again appeared before him, and, for the last time, at
its western extremity, and was both times repulsed by the same number of
stones. According to Azraky, the Pagan Arabs, in commemoration of this
tradition, used to cast stones in this valley as they returned from the
pilgrimage; and set up seven idols at Muna, of which there was one in
each of the three spots where the devil appeared, at each of which they
cast three stones. Mohammed, who made this ceremony one of the chief
duties of the hadjys, increased the number of stones to seven. At the
entrance of the valley, towards Mezdelfe, stands a rude stone pillar, or
rather altar, between six and seven feet high, in the midst of the
street, against which the first seven stones are thrown, as the place
where the devil made his first stand: towards the middle of the valley
is a similar pillar, and at its western end a wall of stones, which is
made to serve the same purpose. The hadjys crowded in rapid succession
round the first pillar, called "Djamrat el Awla;" and every one threw
seven small stones successively upon it: they then passed to the second
and third spots, (called "Djamrat el Owsat," and "Djamrat el Sofaly," or
"el Akaba," or "el Aksa,") where the same ceremony was repeated. In
throwing the stones, they are to exclaim, "In the name of God; God is
great (we do this) to secure ourselves from the devil and his troops."
The stones used for this purpose are to be of the size of a horse-bean,
or thereabouts; and the pilgrims are advised to collect them in the
plain of Mezdelfe, but they may likewise take them from Muna; and many
people, contrary to the law, collect those that have already been

Having performed the ceremony of casting stones, the pilgrims kill the
animals which they bring with them for sacrifice; and all Mohammedans,
in whatever part of the world they may be, are bound, at this

[p.276] time, to perform the same rite. Between six and eight thousand
sheep and goats, under the care of Bedouins, (who demanded high prices
for them,) were ready on this occasion. The act of sacrifice itself is
subject to no other ceremonies than that of turning the victim's face
towards the Kebly or the Kaaba, and to say, during the act of cutting
its throat, "In the name of the most merciful God! O supreme God!"
(Bismillah! irrahman irrahhym, Allahou akbar!) Any place may be chosen
for these sacrifices, which are performed in every corner of Wady Muna;
but the favourite spot is a smooth rock on its western extremity, where
several thousand sheep were killed in the space of a quarter of an
hour. [Kotobeddyn relates that, when the Khalife Mokteder performed the
pilgrimage about A.H. 350, he sacrificed on this day forty thousand
camels and cows, and fifty thousand sheep. Even now, persons of wealth
kill camels. The slaughtering may be performed by proxy.]

As soon as the sacrifices were completed, the pilgrims sent for barbers,
or repaired to their shops, of which a row of thirty or forty had been
set up near the favourite place of sacrifice. They had their heads
shaved, except those who were of the Shafey sect, who shave only one-
fourth of the head here, reserving the other three-fourths till they
have visited the Kaaba, after returning to Mekka. They threw off the
ihram, and resumed their ordinary clothes; those who could afford it
putting on new dresses, this being now the day of the feast. So far the
Hadj was completed, and all the pilgrims joined in mutual
congratulations, and wishes that the performance of this Hadj might be
acceptable to the Deity. "Tekabbel Allah!" was heard on all sides, and
everybody appeared contented. But this was not quite the case with
myself; for all endeavours to find my camels had hitherto proved vain,
such were the immense crowds that filled the valley; and while the other
hadjys were dressed in their clothes, I was obliged to walk about in my
ihram. Fortunately, my purse, which I had hung about my neck according
to the pilgrim custom, (the ihram having no pockets,) enabled me to buy
a sheep for sacrifice, and pay a barber. It was not till after sun-set
that I found out my people, who had encamped on the northern mountain,
and had been all the while under great anxiety about me.

The pilgrims remain two days more at Muna. Exactly at mid-day,

[p.277] on the 11th of Zul Hadj, seven small stones are again thrown
against each of the three places where the devil appeared; and the same
is done on the 12th of Zul Hadj, so that by the three repeated
throwings, each time of twenty-one stones, the number of sixty-three is
cast during the three days. Many pilgrims are ignorant of the precise
tenor of the law in this respect, as they are of several other points in
the ceremonies of the pilgrimage, and either throw early in the morning
the stones they should throw at mid-day, or do not throw the number
enjoined. After the last throwing on the 12th, the Hadj returns to Mekka
in the afternoon.

Muna [This name is said to be derived from Adam, who, during his stay in
the valley, when God told him to ask a favour, replied, "I ask (ytemuna)
for paradise;" and this place received its appellation from the answer.
Others say it derived its name from the flowing of blood in the day of
sacrifice.] is a narrow valley, extending in a right line from west to
east, about fifteen hundred paces in length, and varying in breadth,
enclosed on both sides by steep and barren cliffs of granite. Along the
middle, on both sides of the way, is a row of buildings, the far greater
part in ruins: they belong to Mekkans or Bedouins of the Koreysh, by
whom they are either let out, or occupied during the three days of the
Hadj, and left empty the rest of the year, when Muna is never inhabited.
Some of these are tolerable stone buildings, two stories high; but not
more than a dozen of them are kept in complete repair. On the farthest
eastern extremity of the valley, stands a good house, belonging to the
reigning Sherif of Mekka, in which he usually lives during those days.
It was now occupied by the ladies of Mohammed Aly; Sherif Yahya, after
throwing off the ihram, having returned to Mekka, where many hadjys also
repair immediately after that ceremony; but it is their duty to revisit
Muna at noon on the 11th or 12th of this month, in order to throw the
stones, as the neglect of this ceremony would render their pilgrimage
imperfect. The remainder of those two days they may spend where they
please. In the evening of the day of sacrifice, the merchant hadjys
usually go to Mekka, that they may unpack whatever merchandize they have
brought there.

[p.278]In the open space between the Sherif's house and the habitations
of the Mekkans, is situated the mosque called Mesdjed el Kheyf; it is a
good solid building, the open square of which is surrounded by a high
and strong wall. In the midst of it is a public fountain, with a small
dome; and the west side, where the pulpit is placed, is occupied by a
colonnade with a triple row of pillars. The mosque is very ancient; it
was newly constructed in A.H. 559, by the celebrated Salaheddyn; but it
was rebuilt in its present form by Kayd Beg, Sultan of Egypt, in A.H.
874. It is reported, according to Fasy, that at the foot of the mountain
behind it, Mohammed received many revelations from heaven, and that Adam
was buried in the mosque. Close by it is a reservoir of water, also
founded, according to Kotobeddyn, by Kayd Beg; it was now completely
dry, as was a similar one where the Syrian Hadj encamped. The want of
water at Muna subjected the poorer hadjys to great hardships. Some was
brought either from Mezdelife, or from the tank situated beyond Muna, on
the road to Mekka, and the skin-full was sold for four piastres. In
Fasy's time, there were fifteen wells of brackish water at Muna: it
seems that water may be found at a certain depth in all the country
round Mekka.

The annexed ground-plan [not included] shows whatever is worthy of
notice in the town or village of Muna. [not included] The house of
Djeylany, the best that it contained, was constantly crowded by
visitors, whom he treated

[p.279] sumptuously. The houses of the Kadhy and the rich families of
Sakkat, were next to it; and, on the same side of the way, a long,
narrow hall had been lately repaired and fitted up, where about fifty
Mekkan and Turkish shopkeepers exhibited their wares. The houses of the
northern row are almost totally in ruins: the row of shops (No. 16.) on
that side were open without any doors. There were, besides, many sheds
constructed in the midst of the street, where victuals might be
purchased in great abundance, but at exorbitant prices.

On the declivity of the mountain to the north, called Djebel Thebeyr, a
place is visited by the hadjys, where Abraham, as some accounts inform
us, requested permission to offer up his son as a sacrifice. A granite
block, cleft in two, is shown here, upon which the knife of Abraham
fell, at the moment when the angel Gabriel showed him the ram close by.
At the touch of the knife the stone separated in two. It is in
commemoration of this sacrifice that the faithful, after the Hadj is
completed, slaughter their victims. The commentators on the law,
however, do not agree about the person whom Abraham intended to
sacrifice. Some state him to have been Yakoub (Jacob), but the far
greater number Ismayl. In the immediate neighbourhood of the block is a
small cavern, capable of holding four or five persons, where Hadjer (or
Hagar) is said to have given birth to Ismayl; this, however, directly
contradicts even Mohammedan tradition, which says that Ismayl was born
in Syria, and that his mother Hadjer carried him into the Hedjaz, when
an infant at her breast; but the small cavern offering itself so
conveniently, justified the substitution of Muna for Syria, as a fit
birth-place for the father of the Bedouins, more especially as it
attracts so many pious donations to the Mekkans, who sit around with
outspread handkerchiefs. Where the valley terminates towards Mekka, is a
small house of the Sherif, in which he makes his sacrifice, and throws

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