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was changed after design, resolution after resolution, desire after desire ; So I thought in my soul, that there would be some bar, some repelling power, some prohibitory force; and I feared that I should die, and never accomplish the pilgrimage in full, and that my time would come to an end. Then I said, If I die, surely events and power belong to God Almighty and Supreme, who will never change any thing of his plighted covenant. (Relying) upon the (supporting) bough of this opinion, I trusted in God's aid, until I should enter the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, and accomplish my eager wish to visit it; and until I should arrive, together with the other pilgrims, at the last terminating object, and acquire a footing in the broad road of the Way (of truth), and thus also be enabled to arrange all the remarkable matters of the Temple, and all its marvels, and all those ancient descriptions and portraitures therein comprised, the beautiful narratives of which I might meet with, in an harmonious, digested order : and this, on the whole, would constitute a very clever compilation ; a work for which I might cull among the native and the exotic, and in which might be found the most ingenious information regarding the matters relating to the Baitu-lMukaddas, which is the most important of the
abodes (of the divinity), one of the three mosques,
, -to arrive at which is to perform to the uttermost the divine commandment of the Pilgrimage, and wherein are to be found in great abundance philosophers skilled in marvels.
skilled in marvels. I also felt inclined (to describe) all the venerable places—great, blessed, eminent, noble-hoping that I might find for this work (in itself of no account) some recompence from that Sovereign, God, who thereby might double the merits of his servant, and forgive him his sins. For this is the perfect Pilgrimage incapable of any addition ; and God is the Lord ever to be praised. Thus, therefore, on the third of Shaban, in which lights begin to be dispersed (or divided), I set off from Syria the Begirt, to the low-lying country; and, for the sake of refreshment, I went to visit Moaz-IbnJabil, Bishrahil-Ibn-Hassan, and Abu-UbaidahIbn-Aljirah, i. e. to visit their sepulchres, (may God rest satisfied with them, and make them well satisfied !) and so it was, that I set out upon my determined expedition, (truly wise is the prosperous Guardian, and mighty is thy Lord in all things); For so it came to pass, by the decree of God, he who arranges no events for good but according to his own disposing power, nor strings event after event, both on
earth and in heaven, but as the pen of destiny runs ;-that destiny which reduces to a just compass my power of free-will, and binds us with fetters in a narrow-bounded orbit of prohibition, or the foresight of every free-agent, (i. e. circumscribes the extent of free-agency.) Thus therefore did I enter the glorious and holy city, encompassed with glorious rarities and rare glories, upon the day of the blessed Sabbath, the 28th of the month Ramadán, great in power and veneration, the year 874 of the prophetical Hijra; and in the very first place, for the ten remaining days of Ramadán, I obtained those benefits which all good people (if God please) obtain, abundant favours, and liberal kindnesses; and I was present all that blessed feast, in that meetinghouse which is unique in its desk for preaching and its pulpit, and where the Happy one of all Happy ones displays his prospering favour upon his sacred tower, and hath here founded his broad extent of space, or firmament, and hath spread from hence the greatness of his mighty kingdom, unto the utmost point of the horizon. Here it is that he hath decked out (as it were) his visible form, and here constituted the key-stone of the supporting columns of his external glory. Here arises the chapel of the Holy Rock, near to Soha, and the dawning light of the morning brightens in the heaven of its holiness. But the Rock stands by itself; for that God raised it up who supporteth the Heavens and the sun's course (path) without columns. (Verse.) “ The goal towards which I have bent my steps hath been attained, and my heart receives from you the terminating object of desire. Oh, by your benefactions make my condition a contented state ; For this is the eagerly-longing aim of my wishes; For this have I taken up my abiding-place in your land, to refresh myself under your shade, to beseech you to rain upon me from the clouds (of your abundance). O may the big clouds (of your favours) pour upon me reiterated streams! O
the showers (of your beneficence) gently soothe me! the showers of your comforts and your magnificence, the showers of your valuable gifts, renowned for their splendour.”—Then I said, Now hath my journey been attained, my request is perfected (I am now at leisure from the business in hand); nor is there any thing more as respects my pilgrimage to be sought, or to cause hesitation (perplexity). From this time, therefore, I hastened to fulfil the engagement into which I had previously entered. I therefore looked into such books already published (or those writers still existing) as suited the design in which I was occupied ; For then the Shaikh, the very learned Star of the Faith, Abu-Mahmúd, Ahmad-IbnMuhammad Ibn-Ibrahim-Ibn-Hallál, Ibn-Tamina-Ibn-Sarúr-Almukaddisí, a Sháfí, author of the book entitled Al-Muthir-Alfarán ("The Minute Text-sifter'), was engaged in a pilgrimage to the holy place and to Syria, (may. God have mercy upon him for the excellent compositions, all proceeding upon the wide right road (of truth) which he hath compiled, arranged, and been delivered of in great abundance !) As also the Shaikh, the very learned man, the Ocean of the Ocean of Intelligence, the noble lord, the very centre of the knot of those whose illustrious genealogy is referred to Ibn-Aled-Manah-Shaikh-ul-Islám, the
learned man, the doctor, Crown of faith, Abu-Nassar, Al-Waháb-Al-Hussain, a Shafi of Damascus, (may God illustrate his existence by the outpouring of his beneficence, and make the star of his prosperity to glitter in the loftiest horizon!) author of the Gardens of Exercise,' upon the • Marvels of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas,' (I referred to these,) together with every one who had arrived at the real facts in their works), and plucked the fruits (of knowledge), and ascended to the source of things, and searched into the marrow of matters, and probed causes, and weighed examples, and fixed proper bounds, and followed the good path in their volumes. I reduced to a