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fortunes by art magic to the people ; upon which the devil laughed again. When, therefore, they brought him to Solomon, they informed the latter of the devil's laughter; and he demanding the cause, he replied, I passed a man who was buying the disease with the remedy; and I passed
woman telling fortunes, whilst beneath her was a treasure, of which she knew nothing. He informed this devil, therefore, of the business of the building, who thereupon ordered a caldron of brass to be brought, which none had ever breathed upon; which they having brought, he said, Cast it over the young of a vulture. This they did. When, therefore, the vulture came to her young, and could not approach them, she soared up, and went aloft into the breezes of heaven; then she descended, bringing a tortoise in her beak, which she placed upon the caldron, and thus broke it. They, therefore, making up to this tortoise, took it, and cut the stones therewith. Now, the number of men who co-operated with Solomon in building the Sacred Abode was thirty thousand : ten thousand of these were occupied in cutting wood. Those also who worked in stone were in number seventy thousand men : of these, three hundred were clerks of the works. All these, in addition to the genii and the devils, pressed for the work. Solomon moreover raised pillars
therein, which no one can describe, and at the, number of which no one can arrive: these he adorned with gold and silver, and pearls, and jacinth, and coral, and various precious stones. In like manner he adorned the roofs, and the pavement, the gates, the skirting-boards, and the cornices; so that nothing was ever beheld like unto it. He placed herein also one hundred bolts of gold; each bolt (or lock) weighing ten pounds. Herein also he hid the ark of Moses and Aaron.
Again, we learn that when Solomon had finished building this Temple, God caused two trees to bud forth, and bear fruit, at the Gate of Mercy, for Solomon. One tree produced gold, and the other silver: from each tree he gathered, every day, one hundred pounds of gold and silver. Also, the floor of the Mosque was paved with a pavement of gold and silver. Again, there is a tradition from the prophet, that Solomon, son of David, whilst he was building the Temple, asked of God three wise men to be his friends, whose wisdom should be unrivalled ; and God granted them to him. Also, he prayed for a kingdom which should be of unapproachable splendour : this also God gave him. And when he had finished the building of the Mosque, he asked that no one should come to pray in that Mosque, but should depart as free from sin as he was the day his mother bare him.
To proceed—When therefore Solomon (peace be with him !) stayed his hand from the work, having accomplished the building, and having provided for its permanent security, he assembled a public meeting, and informed them that this was a Temple for God, which he had commanded to be constructed, and that every thing therein belonged to God, which if any one diminished, in any way, he was a traitor to God. After this, Solomon began to prepare a great feast, and assembled all the people together. Never was such an assembly, or so great a feast seen before. Then he gave orders about the offerings to be offered to God: and he carried this oblation of sacrifices into effect, in the great area of the Mosque : selecting two bulls, he placed them near the Rock: then, standing upon the Rock, he directed an introductory prayer to be offered before he began his commemorative sacrificial prayer, which he did by adding to the first prayer the following additional words :-0. God! thou gavest to me this kingdom as a gracious gift, long to remain with me: thou hadst already given it to him who was before me: thou hast granted both to me and to him the first-fruits of thy grace and bounty: thou didst make him supreme judge between thy servants and the creatures of thy land; and thou hast appointed me his heir after him, and the successor to his dignity : thou also art he who
didst set me apart for the supreme government of this Mosque; for thine is the superabundant (majesty); and thou didst appoint me to receive thy bounty before thou didst create me. Praise be to thee for this! Thine is the benevolent bounty; thine the perpetuity. O God! I now beseech of thee, on behalf of all who enter the House of Adoration, five pledges of thy mercy:—That no sinner shall enter this Mosque, relying upon its efficiency, and beseeching repentance, but thou shalt receive him graciously, and grant him repentance, and forgive him :-That no one, suffering from drought, shall enter and lean upon this column, entreating a copious shower of rain, but thou shalt send rain upon
his land :-That no one, dreading injury, shall enter this Mosque, in full reliance, and entreat safety, but thou shall grant him full relief from all his fear, and pardon him:- That thou shalt never turn away thy sight from any who shall enter it, until he departs therefrom:---And, O God! that thou shalt love my prayer, and give me my request :-And, to crown all, that thou should graciously accept my sacrifice, and receive with favour my oblation. It is also traditionally said that the heads of the people made the same supplications as were mentioned in Solomon's prayer. There is also an account that the prophet of God, Solomon, when he had concluded the building,
sacrificed three thousand cows and seven thousand sheep; and then was formed that place, on the lowest part of the Mosque, near the gate of Sabát, which is called the Throne of Solomon (peace be with him!). Also we have another story:-Solomon said, O God! if anyone, possessed by sin, come here, pardon him, or, afflicted with injury, relieve him of his affliction. And this is the place known by the name of Solomon's Throne; being one of the places especially endowed with the gift of a favourable hearing of prayer, when prayed therein. Again, by another tradition, Solomon, when he had built the Consecrated House, and finished it, closed up the gates, and fastened them, lest they should open : nor were they ever opened until he said, after the words of the prayer of his father David, “Open ye the gates! let the gates be opened !” Also, Solomon constituted ten thousand companies of Readers of the children of Israël; five thousand for the day, and five thousand for the night; that there might not be one moment, by night or by day, wherein God was not adored.
By a tradition we learn, that, with respect to opening the gate of the Consecrated House, there was not one of Solomon's attendants who could trust himself to do it. Then came the Spirits of the night to do it; but it was too hard a matter for them. Then he called in the aid of men; but it was