Page images
PDF
EPUB

sídún. First, Muhammad, being requested to enumerate the blessed relics of Damascus, said, On the western declivity of the mountain Kásidún, was Adam's son killed, and Abraham born. Here God entertained Jesus; here Jesus bathed, and prayed and supplicated God not to cast him off frustrated of his desire. Being requested to describe the place, he said, It is in a moist watery plain, where is the city called Damascus. God hath spoken of this mountain, that the supplication of him who prayeth here shall never be invalidated. Being asked if this place was the asylum of John son of Zacharias, he replied that it was, and that it was set apart for any one who should justifiably slay a man, who should remain. in the cave which is beneath the blood of Adam's

Here Elias the Prophet found a hidingplace from the king of his people. Here prayed Abraham, Lot, Moses, Jesus, and Job; and all their prayers were granted. Here is the place, or open plain, Biraz, of which the following tradition is told :-The king of this country attacked Lot and his household, and took them prisoners. Abraham came forward to reclaim him with 320 of the people of Bedr, and came up with the enemy by the Rock of the Covenant. Here he arranged his right, and left, and centre, being the first who ever fought in this battle order.

son.

They fought; and Abraham routed the enemy, and brought Lot and his household back again. Also, coming unto the spot where the open place now is, he prayed there, and built a mosque. Some say, however, that Abraham was born in Kútha of Babylon. Whosoever shall pray four Rakás in the cave of this plain, shall be cleansed from all sin as completely as he was the day he was born ; nor shall he ever be frustrated in any desire. Of this several proofs are given. Upon several occasions of drought, the people prayed in this cave, when God caused great quantities of rain to fall. The earth being saturated, they prayed again that the rain might cease, which ceased accordingly. Kaab the scribe visited the cave, and prayed very earnestly upon the spot where the blood of Adam's son fell. Being asked what supplication he had so earnestly offered, he said, I prayed that God would cause peace between Moawiyah and Ali; that he would grant me sufficient sustenance, and give me a son. Soon after this Moáwiyah sent Kaab 1000 dirhems and a gown, and wrote to Ali, offering peace; the terms of which they agreed upon.' Upon the high ground of the monastery of Marwán is seen a great quantity of parched dry herbage. This marks the spot stained by the blood of Adam's son, and is most propitious for prayer. Again,–

Without the “ Gate of the Awful Moments" is a Rock, whereon offerings are to be placed. If the oblations be acceptable, fire comes and burns them up; if they be rejected, they remain as they were before. Now, Abél was the owner of sheep; and his abode was in a village ; and Kabíl (Cain) was, among his people, a tiller and sower. Now, Adam being in his chamber, where he passed the night, and Eve being in her own chamber, Abél came with a fat ram of his flock; which, being placed upon the stone, was consumed by the fire. Then came Cain with some barley mingled with wheat, and laid it on the stone; but it remained as it was. This inflamed Cain against his brother; so he followed him to the mountain, and resolved to kill him. Here, then, he did kill him; whereupon Eve cried out with a loud voice, and Adam said, “Be it upon thee and upon thy daughters ! not upon me, or upon my sons !” The same divine, who mentions the above traditions, says, I mounted up the mountain Kásíún, to the spot marked by the blood of Adam's son. Here I beseeched God that I might perform the Pilgrimage: I have performed the Pilgrimage. I besought him to grant me, that I might have the honour of providing a horse for the sacred Border warfare (against the Infidels): I have done so. I besought him to grant me the blessed privilege of

praying in the holy Baitu-l-Mukaddas : I have prayed there. I besought him to grant me good profit in buying and selling: he hath now made me rich, and granted me competence. Also, I saw (says that divine), in a vision, whilst I was standing in prayer upon this spot, the Prophet, Abú Bekr, Omar, and Abél. Whereupon I said, I beseech thee, in the name of the one unchangeable God, in the name of thy father Adam, in the name of thy mother, and in the name of this Prophet, to tell me if this is thy blood. He said, By the one unchangeable God, this is my blood. This blood hath been appointed by God for a sign to the universe ; for I beseeched of the Lord of my father. Adam, and my mother Eve, and this Prophet, that my blood might be the asylum for every prophet and sincere believer; and that whosoever should pray there, his requests should be granted unto him. So God granted this, and sent as many angels as there are stars, to be guardians here; and allowed that no prayer, here offered, should fail of acceptance. To this the Prophet added, that it was true that God, of his generous grace, had so ordained; and that he and his comrade, Abú Bekr and Abél, come, from time to time, to pray there. If men (says the same author) knew the supreme merits of this cave of the blood, they would neither eat nor

drink but within it. Again, it is said that in this cave, beneath Abél's blood, the prophet Elias sought refuge from the king of his people for ten years, until God cut off the king, and another ruled. Here Elias arrived at full perfection, and was converted to Islámism, and made a great number of his people Moslems. Again, it is said, Here in this cave dwelt John son of Zacharias, and his mother, for forty years. Here prayed Jesus son of Maria, and the apostles. The prayer and supplication of him who cometh here never shall be fruitless. It is the spot of Acceptable Audience. Whoso would arrive at the Hill of Firmness and Distinction, let him come unto the lofty Nairah (place of offence,-great misfortune), and mount up to the cave of the mountain Kásiún. There let him pray; for it is the house of Jesus and his mother,—their asylum and strong. hold from the attacks of the Jews. If he wish to behold Iram of the Columns, then let him come to the river in the trench of Damascus—the river named Baradún--to the spot in Kasiyán known by the name of the Caverns : for a Shaikh of Baalbec asserts, that a distinguished Shaikh of Damascus told him, that he, in company with other Shaikhs, went to see the Cavern: that, having heard that it contained something worth inquiry, they resolved to dig therein. After per

« PreviousContinue »