Page images
PDF
EPUB

to his village.” Thúr is the authority for the following tradition from the Prophet :-“ If any one sees or meets with any thing to terrify or alarm him, God is the unequalled, the unparalleled, the one, the mighty Conqueror.” Whosoever thus says, from him God will not be separated, although a wall of iron should be between them. This man was, one night, going along the road, when some lions met him, stopping up the path. He repeated the above words; when God put them to flight, and he went his way. Then he met an ass, all in a flame, opening his mouth wide, whence issued fire. He wished to eat up his hand; but he repeated the words. Then the ass drew near, saying, No thanks to you, Thúr, for

your deed.

The Imam Muhammad Ibn-Idris came to Jerusalem. He declared that the Prophet said, “Imitate my successors, Abú-Bekr and Omar.” Now it is said that Omar imposed the precept of the Truce. This Imám died in Egypt, the year 204. His tomb is an object of pilgrimage. Over his sepulchre a great chapel is built; and on the summit, where the Crescent is placed, is a small ship, into which the Crescent is formed. It is made of iron. Certain men assemble every night in the beginning of every month, in parties of four, to read the Korán over his resting-place, until the

[ocr errors]

whole is read through. It has been said that certain poets of that age came on pilgrimage to the tomb of the Imám, and were surprised at the size and loftiness of the structure, and at the ship placed above. So they wrote upon the wall the following verses :-“ Truly, the chapel of the Maulá is lofty : the lodging well tallies with the greatness of his reputation. Truly, unless the sea were beneath, the ship would not be above.” Also, Basar-Ibn-Al-Harith, who said, No good people are ever too merry in the Holy Abode; for there sober thoughts will enter; nor can the soul be lifted up on high. Also, I have nothing more in this world to wish for, than to prostrate myself on my side, beneath the sky, in the place where is held the public congregation in the Baitu-l-Mukaddas. He was born A. H. 226. Also, Abdallah-Al-Omarí. He said that a certain monk of the Holy City observed, when he asked him what was the first requisite for those who enter upon God's service, That hunger is so. Upon which I said, Why? He said, Because the body of creatures is made of earth, and the soul of the angels of Heaven. If the body be satiated, it is weighed down to earth ; but if it be not satiated, it is born upwards to the angels. I replied, And wherefore does hunger effect this ? He said, Because it necessitates thought and humility.

Y

Also, Rakthum-Al-Záhad. He said, I saw at the gate of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas a monk who was said never to have shed a tear. This terrified me; and I said unto him, O monk b give me some counsel which I may remember. He replied, Be ever like a man who is terrified at wild beasts or sandy places, and is terribly alarmed lest he should be overlooked or forgotten, and he should be bitten, and thus passes a night of dread. Truly, here the fearful are in safe confidence: here the morning of mercy arises : here the barterers of present for future good are rewarded with mercy. Then he turned from me and quitted me; but I said, Add something more to your exhortations,

, for me ; something which God may firmly establish to my profit. He said, Othou that thirsteth! he shall satisfy thee with the water of his joyfulness. Also, the Imám Abú-l-Fadhl, a most illustrious historian of the marvels of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas. He published his work in the year 448. He removed to Bagdad in the year 467, and subsequently returned to the Holy City, and performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. He died at Bagdad, A. H. 507. Also, Abu-Muhammad-Al-Nasarí. Of him it is said, that he related the following tradition from the Prophet:

“Whoso believeth in God and in the day of judgment, either let him speak what is good, or

[ocr errors]

remain speechless ;” and “Let the believer love his brother as he loves himself.” This theologian died in the Holy City. Abúl-Hasan-Al-Máliki wrote the book called “The Diligent Exercises, and dated it from the Mosque Al Aksá, A. H. 596, on the tenth of the middle of Ramadhan.

Thus having related all the different paths and ways whereby to honour the Holy Abode, and all the superexcellent merit of performing pilgrimage thereunto, I will use the words of the author of the Minute Text-Sifter,' with which he concludes his last chapter—“Know that this glorious and consecrated country is the place wherein all the constant adorers of God continually assemble."

6

CHAPTER XI.

Upon the supremacy of our Lord Abraham, and the merit of

performing pilgrimage unto him. Account of his parent, and the story of his Strength in the Fire. Account of Abraham's hospitality and generosity. Account of the meaning of the word Khalil, or Friend, and unto whom it is especially appropriated, &c.

Know that the great God, of his goodness and bounty, placed man above all creatures, and said, “ This pair is glorious and great; for we have honoured the sons of Adam, and made them our vicegerents by land and by sea.

We will give them abundant support from all good things, and exalt them above all that we have created.” Then he proceeded to make distinctions and divisions among them, and to exalt some, by certain degrees, above others. First, prophets were promoted above all other men. Then he added to

« PreviousContinue »