Page images


will hold in their hands their heads, which had been cut off, whilst the blood flows in streams from their jugular veins. So they will cry out, O Lord! perform unto us that which thou didst covenant with thy Apostle! Then will he say, O my faithful servants! I will wash you in the White River. So they will come forth from this river white and pure, and, with joyful merriment, enter Paradise whenever they will. Now, this tradition is not among the sound and genuine

Ibn Omar tells us, that the Prophet prayed in a certain cemetery, and, being asked the reason, said, This cemetery is in the land of Ascalon, and, on the day of judgment, shall be opened; when there shall arise therefrom seventy thousand martyrs, who shall intercede for men, by the formula Rebid, Modar, and the Spouse of Paradise-Ascalon. This is a tradition certainly to be received. In the collection of a Portion of the Wondrous Virtues of Ascalon, by the historian Ibn Asakir, the compiler notes them as genuine, unsound, hypothetical, or unconnected. Ascalon is said to be given to excess in eating, drinking, and adultery. The intelligent say that the cause of this is to be found in the fact, that Ascalon is a dépôt for sacred cavalry, a frontier town, ever guarding against the frequent attacks of the enemy. Even now, in these days, although

many sacred-cavalry-quota-contributions are to be found in other places, yet it is far from being no longer a point of attack by the enemy. As to the asseverations of two other authors, that the above tradition* is genuine, they are in the habit of producing authorities from other books.

Again, Bethlehem. This is the place where Jesus was born, and Muhammad prayed, the night of his journey.-A most genuine tradition.

Again, Emessa. In Emessa, Sufián Ibn-Omar and Sharíb-Ibn-Ubaid declare, God confirmed the law, and sent the plague, which he with difficulty removed. The historian Al Thahabí says, that this plague was, perhaps, that which took place in the time of the Companions, since our era, and in the early part thereof; yet this plague was by no means a severe one, only inasmuch as female children died therein.

Also, Kinnasrín, or Kinnissín. Of this the Prophet said, God revealed unto me as follows: Thou shalt descend, and the stages of thy flight shall be Medina, Al Bahrein, and Kinnasrín. This is a foreign tradition,-only on single authority. Two others declare it to be genuine.

Also Antioch. Yusuf-Ibn-Isbát said to his wife, When I am near death, then bring me to

* See note.

[ocr errors]

Antioch, and there place my sepulcbre. Upon the verse, “I will strike upon them as I struck the lords of the cities;” Abú Sálik asserts that allusion is here made to Antioch; but herein doubtful points arise ;--and God knows.

And now, thus says the compiler :" May God confer upon him the benignant gifts which are His alone! May he have compassion upon him, and grant him Paradise, in requital for all that hath been carefully arranged and polished in this fortunate work! May God bring him safe at last into his glorious presence, and grant him the full consummation of near approach unto him, and everlasting grace! We beseech him, of his supreme, excellence and compassion, that he would grant unto us a share in those glories, which he hath apportioned to the first believers, and the faithful doers of good works; and that he would forgive, both us and them, all our sins, all our stumblings, all our faults, all our falls. Multiply upon us, O God! thy gentleness and mercy! for long hast thou protected us; greatly hast thou forgiven us; often hast thou been moved to wrath. Thou art the Veriest Perfect One; chief of all glorious ones. Thou art the Bounteous One; all bounteous in pre-eminence and grace! We beseech thee, O God! to grant unto us the

us the performance of the Pilgrimage,

Islámism in our religion, Peace in old age, Blessing with competence, the gift of Firm Evidence, Penitence before death, and Pardon after death, Joy and Abundance in this world and the next. And this we ask of thee, O thou most Compassionate One! O Light of Heaven and Earth! 0 thou Glorious and Majestic One! 0 thou that hearest the cry of the crying ones! Thou Refuge of the seekers for succour! Thou that fulfillest the wish of the suppliant! O thou that givest gladness to the sorrowful! O thou who lovest the prayer of the poor despised! I offer unto thee the prayer of one who is weak, defenceless, and poor. With suppliant groans I offer the submissive prayer, and present the fearful and timid entreaty. I am of those who, before thee, humble the neck; in fear of thee, shed streams of tears; who maketh vile his body, and submitteth utterly unto thee. Let not, O God ! my supplication offered unto thee, my Lord, ever be miserably rejected ! but be gentle and merciful! O thou best of prayer-receivers ! thou dost direct all events that concern me by thy hand; thou dost not leave my soul to itself even for the twinkling of an eye, nor the soul of any one of thy creatures. Grant unto me, then, this one gift out of thy treasures, this merciful

share of the favours thou givest unto thy servants —that thou wouldst conduct me by the way thou willest unto thy broad path, the path of God, King of Earth and Heaven, towards whom all events converge ! Thus prays the compiler, whom may God Almighty pity and pardon! This book was finished on the second holiday, the thirteenth of Saffar, the happy morrow of the New Moon, the year 875, in the Holy City. Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe! His peace be upon our lord Muhammad ; also upon all the prophets and apostles ; also, upon their noble families, and the whole company of their comrades !

Well-pleased, I close. O Merciful and True!
Forgive the Reader, and the Writer too!”

The other, and later, MS. concludes thus:“Praise be unto God, Lord of the Universe! the First and the Last (or from first to last), internally and externally! Peace be upon our lord Muhammad, Prophet of the Merciful One, Intercessor for his people, Reliever of their cares ! Upon his family and comrades also, upon his wives and offspring, may he ever distinguish them, and grant them favours in perpetuity, unto the day of judgment! God is our Resource, our

« PreviousContinue »