Page images
PDF
EPUB

when his bucket, or pitcher, fell into the well. Descending to bring it up, he found a gate in the well, opening to the Angel-land, by which he walked into the said land, and took some leaves of the trees thereof. This took place after the summons to prayer. He then returned to the well and climbed up. This story being told to the governor of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, he sent for the man, and with several others went down himself into the well; but they found no gate, nor any angels or genii. This being communicated to Omar, he replied that this was the verification of Muhammad's assertion. He also desired them to remark the leaves. If they dried up and changed, , they were not the leaves of Paradise, which wither not. It is said that they neither dried up nor changed. Some say that the man was in the mountain of the Holy Abode, and that, having descended into the well, to bring up his bucket, a personage appeared unto him, and said, Come along with me. So, taking him by the hand, he brought him into Paradise, whence Shark having plucked the leaves, he replaced him on the same spot where he had before stood. A certain Imám and Muezzin of Solma, in Canaan, asserts positively, that having heard that the man was still living, he caused him to be brought before him; who informed him of his visit unto Paradise, and of the leaves he brought thence. He said that he had reserved only one leaf for himself, which he did not greatly regard. The Muezzin begging to see it, he called for a certain large volume, and took it from between two leaves. It was still green. He took it up, and presented it to the said Muezzin, who restoring it unto him, he first placed it between his eyes, and thence removing it, put it between the two leaves of the volume. Also, when he died, he desired that it should be placed between his bosom and his shroud. I was subsequently assured, says the. Muezzin, that this was done. Some one asked this Muezzin, Did they describe it? What was it like? He replied, It was like the leaf of the Durrákin (Persian apple), about a hand's length, sharp at the top. Another story says, That there was a certain Temamite, named Abul-Mushin. This man was very strong; and men would speak of his personal advantages. One day, they lost him; and, after long search, hearing nothing of him, they began to despair, and to think he had been suddenly cut off, or carried away; but whilst they were sitting, he suddenly appeared amongst them, holding two leaves, of most surpassing size, surprising fragrance, and brilliant green. His companions asking him whence he came, He said that he had fallen down the well, and, walking

[ocr errors]

along, had arrived at a great abode, such as my eyes, said he, never beheld, nor any other mortal eyes,

I think. Here I dwelt many days in a most blessed state, which no other blessedness can resemble, amidst sights and scents of surpassing splendour and fragrance. Whilst in this state, a certain Spirit took me by the hands and brought me back to you. I had however plucked these two leaves from the tree-the lotus-tree-under which I was sitting, which remained in my hands. Then the men came forward, and, taking the leaves, found them to be of surpassing fragrance and sweetness. Another account states, that the leaves are preserved in the Khalif's Treasury, and that the man, being sent to Omar, was by him placed among other men, and, all turning away their faces, he was immediately pointed out by Kaab as the man described by Muhammad, who should enter Paradise. This Well of the Leaves is situated at the entrance of the Mosque Al Aksá, or the left of the Gate of the Court-yard of the Towers.

CHAPTER VIII.

Account of the fountain of Siloam, and the fountain hard by,

and the fountain which can be traced to the time of our lord Job. Account also of the blessings and miracles which have taken place in the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, and all that happened upon occasion of the murder of the Imám Ali-IbnAbú-Tálib, and his son Al-Hussain, (the satisfying favour of God be with them !) Also, the character of the inhabitants of the Holy Abode. Also, the account of the Talisman of the Serpent. Also, the account of the Mount of Olives, and the scene of the General Judgment thereon. Also, the Holy Mountains, and the account of Sion, and its especial blessing.

First, a tradition from Muhammad, as follows :God hath chosen four capital cities—Mecca, capital of his own province; Medina, the Palm city; the Holy City, which is the Olive city; and Damascus, which is the Fig city: also four bordertowns, Alexandria in Egypt; Kaswin in Khorassán; Abádán in Irak; and Ascalon in Syria : also four fountains, according to the sentence of the Korán, “There shall be fountains, which shall leap up abundantly and flow together.” These fountains are Bísán and Siloam (which two communicate together), the fountain of Akka, and the fountain of Zimzim. Also he hath chosen four rivers—Sihon and Gihon, the Nile and the Euphrates. Another tradition says, Whoso shall pray in the Tower of David, praise God by the fountain of Siloam (which is from Paradise), never enter a church, never buy and never sell in Jerusalem, shall do well; for good and bad is there multiplied.

Again, another tradition says, In the time of the children of Israël, there was a fountain, hard by the Well of Siloam, in the Holy City. When a woman was accused of adultery, they brought her thither, and she drank thereof. If she was innocent, it hurt her not; but if she were guilty, she became accursed, and died. Also, when Maria (upon whom be peace !) was with child, they brought her hither. Now, they brought her upon a mule, which stumbled with her. Upon this she prayed God that the she mule might ever be barren ; and so she is, unto this day. When Maria arrived at the fountain, she drank of it, and found nothing but good effects therefrom. Then she prayed God that no believing woman

« PreviousContinue »