Page images
[ocr errors]

discredit this. As to the Baitu-l-Harám, although it existed in external form, yet it was not made an object of pilgrimage and visitation (long may peace be with it!), nor did any one go in pilgrimage thereto, or perform the sacred circuit around it; yet, in the book of our Imam-ál-Shafi, (God's satisfaction be with him!) we find, that Adam, whilst performing the Sacred Pilgrimage to the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, met with angels, who said, O Adam ! you act a pious part in performing the pilgrimage. We have performed the pilgrimage to this house two thousand years before thee. In the 'Chronicle' also of Ibn-Jarír, in his ‘Derivations from Ibn-Abbás, it is said, From this time Adam went on pilgrimage to the Holy Abode, on foot, forty pilgrimages. In the ‘Chronicle' of AlIzrak, that he dwelt in Mecca until he died, and made the sacred procession around the Temple, using seven prayers of praise every night, and five every day. These traditions will not be rejected by any, except those who think that the Kaaba was not in being before Abraham, and that he himself was the person who sought it out; and that it was created from a previous state of nonexistence. This last opinion, however, is the free-will assumption of some later writers. Nevertheless, most people are opposed to this ; and I would say, Was not the form of prayer divinely

enjoined in the time of Adam? Yes, we all say ; the world never was left void of a divine institution respecting prayer. Another tradition asserts that Adam, when it had happened to him to desire the grapes of the vineyards of Paradise, then made use of traditionary prayers, which he made use of until he took his noontide repose in the other world. Then they washed him, and embalmed him, and put him in a coffin, and Gabriel prayed over him ; so they buried him. Others say that angels carried him to the gate of the Kaaba, where Gabriel prayed over him. Others assert that Muhammad said, that Gabriel pronounced over Adam the exclamation “God is great!” four times. Others say that Seth said unto Gabriel, Pray over Adam. But Gabriel said, Thou art the higher in rank : pray, therefore, over thy father, and pronounce the prayer “God is great thirty times. Five of these were the ordinary prayers, and five-and-twenty supererogatory prayers in honour of Adam. This tradition seems to aim at the authorization of the Burial Prayer, as of divine injunction, and as being established long before any similar prayer was ordained. .

By another author it is said, that the morning-dawn prayer was Adam's prayer; the noontide


David's ; the afternoon prayer, Solomon's; the twilight prayer, Jacob's; and the night-overshadowing

prayer, Joseph's. Now, herein are found many unconnected yet faithful traditions. Yet, to this time, not one of these establishes an argument that can give even the least smoke or sign whereby positively to point out the place of their Kiblah. There is therefore good ground for supposing that they used the Kaaba for their Kiblah ; for God says, “ (This house is) for all religions : this is the chief.” Another quotes the verse as follows :

This house is for all people,”—all the people of the faith, and for every nation. There is no doubt that Adam was the first who entered it in these cycles of time; and that he had a peculiar and visible Kiblah, that is, the Kaaba : for is not this the great place whereunto pilgrimage tends ? the pilgrimage whose evident origin, the origin of its establishment, must be referred to God. Have we not received of old the injunction respecting going on pilgrimage thereunto, and making procession around it? Then it is by no means so far from probability, that he should have prayed towards that place.

With regard to the prophets who succeeded Adam and his sons until the time of Abraham, the Friend, (prayer and peace be with him!) we have arrived at no information as to their Kiblah. It is notorious, however, that they greatly honoured the Kaaba; performing the pilgrimage, the pro

cession, the prayers and supplications there. We may also refer to the traditions about Noah, and Hud, and Saleh, and Shirib; and the story of Ad, about sending some one to draw water from the venerable well, is well known. Also, the assertion of the sons of Halik, about some of them coming to Mecca, and remaining there to adore God until their death, and how that their tombs are all around the house. So that we may finally arrive at the conclusion, that it is not unlikely that they prayed there. Abu-Al-Alíat tells us, that he saw the Mosque of Saleh, which was full of carving, and that the Kiblah was towards the Masjidu-lHaram. In like manner was the Kiblah of Daniel placed : who said, I assert that although this house now exists, yet shall its precincts be devastated and demolished, and its divine sanction cease. Another prophet also said, The spot of the Kaaba shall be hidden, and it shall be obliterated by being overwhelmed : its site shall become a dismal desert of red sand. No paths shall there be trodden, except by those who know the site of the House, where it stood. The unjust tyrant shall come thereunto from the utmost parts of the earth, and shall demand that it be ploughed up, which shall be granted him. Now this agrees with a tradition from Harík, that this House shall be removed, and between Noah and Abraham nonę

should perform pilgrimage thereunto. Yet further, with regard to our father Abraham, how he was sent by God to Nimrod, who was in the land of Babel, and in what condition he there was brought. God hath described all this in his Book. How also he saved him and delivered him from Nimrod's hatred and Nimrod's fetters, and how he fled thence unto Syria; and there they remained in the Holy Land, all solitary in their worship of God, after their arrival. The people of the Book are of opinion that he founded the eastern chapel of the House. During this period also, Hagar became pregnant, and brought forth Ishmaël. Her adventures with Sarah are well known. Abraham then transported her to the wilderness behind Mecca, (may God glorify her !) and visited them from time to time, mounted upon Al Burák, subsequently returning unto the Holy Land. What Kiblah he used at this period, hath not reached us; nevertheless, when God commanded the Kaaba to be built, he built it; and his sons after him used that as a Kiblah until the time of Moses (peace be with him!). I am not aware of any difference of opinion among the • Musalmáns upon this point; nevertheless, there is some difference of opinion among the Jews : for it is commonly reported that they possessed a jealous desire of singularity, upon the authority of Ibn-Abbás, in expounding the following verses :

« PreviousContinue »