Page images

branches of trees. Again, Sulaiman-Ibn-Kaisán said, I met in Egypt with Abu-Izzá of Khorassán, and said, Do you dislike then the Holy City ? Who replied, I dislike not the Holy City, but I cannot endure the people of the Holy City. Another commentator has said, It is written in the Law of Moses, The Holy City is a goblet of gold filled with scorpions. The meaning of this word “scorpions," observes a commentator, must be the children of Israël, who rebelled against God until he grieved them with trials. The word cannot allude to the people (of Muhammad), for the expression “scorpions” evidently points to rebellious people, not to obedient people.

Now for the unexampled Miracles which took place in the Holy City. These were wrought by Al-Dhahák-Ibn-Kais. People of science and intelligence assert, that when Alexander the Great was marching on towards the Holy Abode, having received the submission of the people of the country, the princes of the Holy Abode invited him to consider the miracles wrought by Dhahák in former times. How that he produced a blazing light of fire, and whosoever was not obedient to God was that night burnt by the light. How that, when the Holy City was shot at by arrows, he made them to return against the enemy. How that he placed a wooden dog at the gate of the

Holy House. Whosoever endued with the power of enchantment came near, and commanded the dog to move off, at him the dog began to bark; and when he barked, the person in question forgot all his witchcraft. How that he set up a Gate, by which gate if any Jewish or Christian evil-doer entered, this gate shut upon him, and held him fast until he confessed his offence. How that he placed a staff in the Tower of the Holy Abode, on which staff no one could lay hands unless he were one of the descendants of the Prophet' (peace be with him !): as to any one else, his hand was burnt. How that the princes and others of the royal family being imprisoned in the Tower of the Holy City, lo! one morning the fingers of their hands were smeared and covered with gold. To this was conjoined, the miracles wrought by Solo

How he made (a pond) below the ground, and therein constructed upon the surface of the water a flat pavement, of sufficient space to allow a seat for a great man ; of which seat the stuffing would burst open. Then, whosoever was a worker of vanity, falling into the water, was drowned ; but whosoever was a follower of truth, was not drowned. When, then, Alexander the Great arrived at the Holy City, and saw the wonders which Al Dhahák had effected, he declared to him, Thou art a dead man: thy last hour hath now arrived. Also, a great serpent arrived at the Holy City and would have destroyed it, but for the supreme goodness of God unto his servants. In the Mosque which overlooks the road which OmarAl-Khattáb took, in marching from the Church of the Resurrection, are two columns of stone, on the top of which stands an image of a serpent, said to be a talisman. If any man, stung by a serpent, runs up to this serpent, he receives no injury; but if he departs from the territory of the Holy Abode, by the least space, he dies upon the spot.


Now from Awf-Ibn-Málik. He says, I went to see the Prophet, who was in an upper chamber. I saluted him; when he said, Is that Awf-IbnMálik? I replied, Certainly. Then he said, Enter. Sir, I said, shall I come quite in, or only partly? He replied, Come quite within. Then he said, O Awf-Ibn-Málik! count upon your fingers ; number the spaces between your fingers, waiting a moment between each ; for after that will be

my death. Then I began to utter lamentations; but he silenced me. Then he said unto me, Say One, (then pausing a moment) Two-The Holy House shall be captured.-Say Two. Now ThreeGreat slaughter and deaths shall happen amongst my people, which shall seize them as a deathstriking lion seizes upon the sheep, or a deadly

[ocr errors]

disease strikes them down upon the spot. Say Three ; (which I did). Now Four— Temptations, trials, and strifes shall come amongst my people, and greatly distress them ;-Say Four. Now, Five-Money and wealth shall be so abundant amongst you, that if one hundred dinars be presented to a man, he shall feel indignant contempt at so small a gift.-Say Five. Now Six-There shall be a broad road between you and the yellowhaired sons: they shall pass over and march upon you under eighty standards, each standard comprising twelve thousand men. At that day the metropolis of the Moslem shall be in the land called Al Fútat, (the well-watered,) in the city called Damascus. (Another commentator makes him add, Another village of Islám shall go to war with this city.) Another commentator makes Muhammad say, Between the great slaughter and the capture of Constantinople shall intervene sir years. In the seventh, the Messiah, the Antichrist, Dijjal shall come forth. months for years. Also, according to tradition, he said, The black standards shall be advanced from before Khorassán, but shall not be beheld until they be lifted up on high in Elia.

Now, for all that is said about the Prophet's Fish-pond.-I shall have (said Muhammad) a pond, or lake, extending in length from the Kaaba

Others put

to the Holy City, whiter than the milk of vessels, more numerous than the stars of heaven. Every Prophet shall also stir up and summon his followers, and every prophet shall have a pond. Out of these prophets, unto some shall come plebeians; unto some, noblemen; unto some shall come a great crowd; unto some, two men ; unto some, one man; unto some, no one at all; then, at last, I will come, and will add or augment the honour and number of no prophet but he who has some follower. He moreover said, My people shall have none of the earth remaining, except a space as large as the sun, wherein to pray the afternoon prayer; and my pond shall be full of believers, as bright and numerous as the stars of heaven, or as goblets of gold and silver.

Now for the Mount of Olives, and the scene of the General Judgment, how it is to take place in the Holy Abode. Thus said Abú Horaira :Thy Lord shall apportion, and shall judge, and shall swear (his irrevocable oath), upon the Figs and the Olives. Now, the olives mean Mount Olivet. Again, Thy Lord hath set apart four mountains,--the Olives and the Figs, and the Mounts of Sinai (this means the Faithful Land ; for the word Figs alludes to the Mosque of Damascus, and the word Olives to Mount Olivet, the Mosque of the Holy City, and

« PreviousContinue »