« AnteriorContinuar »
turned me my bhaik; and I went home completely wet.'-vol. ii. pp. 58, 59.
After another interval of five days that part of the black cloth cover, or Shirt of the Kaaba, which surrounds the door and bottom of the building, was cut off, and the officers of the temple presented it in shreds to the pilgrims, for which they received
sweet remuneration;' in return I received so much of it,' says Ali Bey, that—God be thanked.' The new shirt is put on every year upon Easter day, and is made at Cairo, where, as has been already said, this traveller had the honour of setting a few stitches in that upon which the tailors were then employed. The old one is then cut up and sold at four francs a cubit: the measure is very short, but as the pilgrims are cooling in their zeal as well as diminishing in number, few purchasers are found, and the market is overstocked with these rags of Mahommedan superstition. On the same day when the purification of the House of God was completed by cutting away part of the cloth, a body of Wahabees entered Mecca for the double purpose of taking possession of the holy city, and performing their pilgrimage. Some few wore a napkin which passed over the left shoulder and under the right -a small piece of cloth round the waist was all the rest of their clothing, and all which was worn by far the greater number. Their matchlocks were upon their shoulders, and their large knives in their girdles. The people fled; but the Spanish Mussulman, apprehending no danger, chose a station from whence he could observe them nearly. A column of 5 or 6000 men defiled before him, so pressed together in the whole width of the street, that it would not have been possible to have moved a hand. They were preceded by three or four horsemen, and followed by fifteen or twenty mounted upon horses, camels, and dromedaries, all these carrying lances twelve feet long. They had no kind of music or military ensign; some uttered cries of joy, and others recited prayers aloud. They were a copper coloured race, well made,well proportioned, but short, and some of them so handsome, that the traveller compares their heads to those of the Apollo, the Antinous, or the Gladiator. The House of God, the Prohibited, had never before been visited by such turbulent devotees. Their chiefs endeavoured in vain to en. force order; in their zeal to kiss the Black Stone some of them made way to it with their sticks, and in hurrying round the Kaaba the guns upon their shoulders broke all the lamps which surrounded it. Ropes, pullies, and buckets at the well were broken to pieces in a few minutes,--the Poisoner and his people abandoned their post, and the Wahabees, giving each other their hands, are said thus to have formed a chain and descended to the bottom, Money they had none for the customary offerings, but paid for every thing with a few grains of coffee, or of coarse powder, or some bits of lead. The scherif meantime hid himself; his fortresses were provisioned and prepared for defence; but no act of hostilitý was offered.
The presence of these embodied reformers increased the inte. yest of the remaining ceremonies in which Ali Bey participated. A visit to Mount Arafat was the next duty. Leaving Mecca on the afternoon previous to the grand day of the pilgrimage, he pitched his camp on a plain on the eastern side of Mina, a town which, like Mecca, is supported by superstition. The road was a long and sandy valley between bare mountains of granite; at the foot of one of these mountains the sultan of the Wahabees pitched his tent, and in a short time the place was covered. Caravans from Tripoli in Barbary, from Yemen, and from Bassora ; pilgrims from Soudan and the opposite part of Africa; Turks from Suez; Mogrebins who came by sea; Arabs from Egypt; believers from the east; Wahabees and people of the country, were assembled and encamped together, or rather, says Ali Bey, one upon the other in this little plain, where they are obliged to encamp because there is a tradition that the prophet always encamped there when he went to Arafat. The prints which represent the different scenes upon this part of the pilgrimage are exceedingly striking :-the author is a wretched artist, but his hard and dry manneris singularly welladapted to these hard and sterile landscapes. At six on the following morning the whole multitude were in motion, and in three hours the Spanish pilgrim reached the foot of Mount Arafat. This mount is the principal object of the pilgrimage, and several doctors assert, that if the Kaaba should cease to exist, a pilgrimage to Arafat would be completely meritorious, and produce the same degree of satisfaction. This, Ali Bey adds, is my opinion.
According to the Mahommedan writers Adam and Eve were separated after their fall; to amuse them in their solitude Gabriel gave to the husband some parrots and some turtle doves, and to the wife some poultry and a brood of swallows. The swallows, roving over land and sea, found out Adam in the island of Ceylon,--they brought a hair from his beard to Eve, who was then at Djedda, and carried back to him one from those golden tresses which she
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendtils.' So the swallows,” says Evlia Effendi, ' became the mediators of reconciliation between Adam and Eve after their exile from Paradise. He set out in search of her, and met her on Mount Arafat, so called, because upon beholding her here he exclaimed Arafat, I know her! And upon this spot they built the first house which was built upon earth. The very curious writer* whom we have quoted concludes some of his paragraphs with My compliments to you!-a genuine Turkish formula which might have accorded better with Ali Bey's üsst ned manner, than certain devotional expressions which are irreverently appended to his grave irony.
Mount Arafat is a small mountain, or rather hill, of granite rock, about 150 feet high, situated at the foot of a higher mountain, in a plain about three quarters of a league in diameter, surrounded by barren heights. It is enclosed by a wall
, and there are steps to the summit, partly cut in the rock, partly composed of masonry. On the summit is a chapel, the very building which Adam is believed to have erected, though the tradition which asserts this has forgotten to explain in what manner it escaped destruction by the deluge. The Wahabees were in the act of pulling it to pieces in the interior when Ali Bey was there. Near the mountain are fourteen large basins or pits, which afford abundance of excellent water both for drinking and for the necessary ablutions.
It is here that the grand spectacle of the pilgrimage of the Mussulmen must be seen-an inumerable crowd of men from all nations, and of all colours, coming from the extremities of the earth, through a thousand dangers, and encountering fatigues of every description, to adore together the same God, the God of nature. The native of Circassia presents bis hand in a friendly manner to the Ethiopian, or the Negro of Guinea ; the Indian and the Persian embrace the inhabitant of Barbary and Morocco ; all looking upon each other as brothers, or individuals of the same family united by the bands of religion ; and the greater part speaking or understanding more or less the same language, the language of Arabia. No, there is not any religion that presents to the senses a spectacle more simple, affecting, and majestic! Philosophers of the earth! permit me, Ali Bey, to defend my religion, as you defend spiritual things from those which are material, the plenum against a vacuum, and the necessary existence of the creation.
• Here, as I remarked in the narrative of my voyage to Morocco, is no intermediary between man and the Divinity; all individuals are equal before their Creator; all are intimately persuaded that their works alone reconcile them to, or separate them from, the Supreme Being, without any foreign hand being able to change the order of immutable justice! What a curb to sin! What an encouragement, to virtue! But what a misfortune that, with so many advantages, we should not be better than the Calvinists!'pol. ii. 65, 6.
* Evlia Effendi was a Turk who lived in the middle of the 17th century, and in that most interesting age of the Turkish history,lived about the court, conversed with the sultan and vizirs, was conversant in the affairs of state, and travelled over the whole Ottoman empire. His travels were translated into English by a German orientalist ; they are truly Turkish, as well as highly valuable for the information which they contain, and it is very desirable that they should be published; but the sale of such a work, which is more calculated for the historian, the geographer, and the philosopher, than for general readers, would not remunerate the translator, or even defray its expenses unless it were printed by subscription,
VOL. XV, ŅO. XXX.
Voltaire would have reasoned just as superficially as this his, disciple, but his wit would have had more point, and his sarcasms greater force. Much, however, may be allowed to a man who has been taught the religion of the jesuits and the inquisition instead of Christianity; and something may be forgiven to him who has travelled for the purpose of setting such scenes as these before our eyes. Having repeated the afternoon prayer in their tents, the pilgrims, according to the ritual, were now to repair to the foot of the mountain and there to await the setting of the sun. The Wahabees, who were encamped at great distances, approached in obedience to the precept; and in a short time Ali Bey saw pass before him an army of five and forty thousand men, entirely naked, and almost all mounted upon camels and dromedaries. Two hundred men on horseback carried colours of different kinds fixed upon lances, and a thousand camels were loaded with water, fire-wood, tents, and dry grass. The sultan himself, a venerable old man with a long white beard, was naked like the rest ; the royal standard was borne before him, it was green, and had the profession of faith-There is no other God but God, embroidered upon it in large white characters. The Wahabees soon covered the mountain and its environs; the caravans and detached pilgrims afterwards approached. The Mussulmen affirm that 70,000 pilgrims must annually meet at the sacred spot; and if the world does not supply persons enough, angels are sent to make up the requisite number. By help of the Wahabees there was this year a considerable excess. Our countryman Pitts describes the scene, when he beheld it, as a spectacle of passionate devotion. He says, it was a sight indeed able to pierce one's heart to behold so many thousands in their garments of humility and mortification, with their naked heads and cheeks watered with tears; and to hear their grievous sighs and sobs, begging earnestly for the remission of their sins,and promising newness. of life, using a form of penitential expressions, and thus continuing for the
space of four or five hours. The century which has elapsed since Piits performed his pilgrimage has much abated the zeal of the Mahommedans.
The mogareb, or prayer of the setting sun, is on this day to be said by the pilgrims at the same time as the ascha, or pight prayer, at the last moment of twilight, which is an hour and a half after sunset, and at a place called Mosdelifa, something more than two hours from Mount Arafat, at the ordinary pace of travelling. They must not, however, start till the moment the sun disappears. That instant, says Ali Bey, what a tremendous noise! Imagine an assemblage of 80,000 men, 2000 women, and 1000 little children, with sixty or seventy thousand camels, asses, and horses, which at ihe commencement of night began to move in a quick pace along a narrow valley, according to the ritual, marching one after another in a cloud of dust, and delayed by a forest of lances, guns, swords, &c. in short, forcing their passage as they could. Is it possible that such a movement should be effected without some of the immense multitude being trampled to death?. At Mosdėlifa another ceremony was to be performed, every pilgrim picking up seven Šmall stones for an extraordinary purpose. Pitts tells us they were seven times seven. They are used on the following day to throw at the house of the Devil, an ancient edifice which Satan is believed to have built for himself opposite the fountain at Mina. The stones are not larger than a small nut, so that they are intended rather to annoy the tenant, than to injure the habitation; indeed Pitts understood that they were throwing with the hope of striking Satán, for ås he was about to discharge his small shot, a jesting pilgrim met him and said, You may save yourself the trouble, for I have beat out the devil's eyes already? Stone the devil and those that please him!' was the formula which our countryman pronounced; Massulmen, of the saine rite with Ali Bey, exclaim, "In the name of God, very great God! It became a service of danger to make the attack tipon the foul fiend, when eighty thousand persons were engaged in it, and he would not accommodate them by being in more places than one at the same time. As the devil," says Ali Bey, 'has had the malice to build his house in a very narrow place, not above thirty-four feet broad, occupied also in part by rocks which it was requisite to climb to make sure of our aim when we threw the stones over the wall that surrounded it; and as the pilgrims all desired to perform this ceremony immediately upon their arrival, there was a mnost terrible confusion.' He seems to reckon himself fortunate in coming off with only two wounds on his leg.-Yet he praises the moderation and good order of this huge multitude, when the presence of two thousand women occasioned no disorder, and when among forty or fifty thousand muskets only one was discharged. Here the Paschal sacrifice was offered.
In the night Ali Bey was robbed of his writing desk, books, papers, and some clothes; the thieves threw away the books and papers, which were thus recovered, but they carried off his chronometer, some jewels, and a book of logarithms which he supposes they'inistook for a koran. The next day they pelted two pillars at Mina, which were also erected by the devil; and on the following, which was the third day of Easter, after repeating the ceremony of the seven stones, they returned to Mecca; there the same ceremonies were performed as at the beginning of the pilgrimage, and thus the sanctification was completed. That nothing, however, might