Page images

sion and a rigid adherence to outward forms of worship, however, did not save him from suspicion. He was accused of preaching philosophy and the ancient sciences to the detriment of religion. He was deprived of his honours and banished by the Khalíf Al-Mansúr to Lucena, near Cordova. In his disgrace he had to suffer many insults from the orthodox. One day on entering the mosque with his son he was forcibly expelled by the people. He died at Morocco in 1198 A.D. Thus passed away in disgrace the last of the Muslim Philosophers worthy of the name. In Spain a strict prohibition was issued against the study of Greek philosophy, and many valuable works were committed to the flames. Soon after the rule of the Moors in Spain began to decline. The study of philosophy came to an end, and liberal culture sank under the pressure of the hard and fast dogmatic system of Islám. In Spain, 2 as in Baghdad, orthodoxy gained the day. There was much of doubtful value in the speculations of the Muslim Philosophers, but they were Muslims, and if they went too far in their efforts to rationalize Islám, they also tried to cast off what to them seemed accretions, added on by the Traditionalists and the Canonical Legists. They failed because like the earlier scholastics they had no gospel to proclaim to men, no tidings to give of a new life which could enable wearied humanity to bear the ills to which it was subject. Another strong reason was that the orthodoxy against which they strove was a logical development of the foundations of Islám, and these foundations are too strongly laid for any power other than a spiritual one to uproot. They were men of good position in life, voluminous writers, profound admirers of Aristotle, and “ more or less devoted to science, especially to medicine." Yet they did not advance philosophy, and science they left much as they found it. They preserved something of what Grecian thought had achiered, and so far their labour is not lost.

Thus Islám has, as a religion, no right to claim any of the glory which Muslim philosophers are supposed to have shed around it. The founders of Islám, the Arabs, produced but one philosopher of note. The first impetus to the study was given by heretical Khalífs employing Christians at Baghdad to translate Greek books ; whilst in Spain, where philosophy most flourished, it was due largely to the contact of intelligent Muslims with learned Jews. Even there, the philosophers were, as a rule, the objects of bitter persecution. Now and again, a liberal minded Khalíf arose, but a system such as Islám survives the liberal tendencies of a generation. From the close of the twelfth century (A.D.) downwards it would be difficult to point to any Muslim Phi. losopher, much more to an Arab one, whose work is of any real value to the human race. For four hundred years the contest raged, a contest such as Islám has never since seen. This great effort to bring it into accordance with the main stream of human thought, to introduce into it some element of progress utterly failed. The lesson is plain. Any project of reform in Islam which admits in any degree its fundamental principles must fail. Revolution, not reform, is the only hope for the permanence of an independent Muslim state when it enters into the circle of civilized nations.

1. Aprés lui, nous ne trouvons plus chez les Arabes aucun philosophe véritablement digne de ce nom.”. Mélanges de Philosophie Juive et Arabe, par S. Munk, p. 458.

2. Muslim rule in Spain is often referred to as an instance of the height of culture and the liberality of sentiment which may exist in a Muhammadan state. I have shown that the culture was not due to the teaching of the Arab Prophet and his Companions, and with regard to the liberality it is well to remember the words of G. H. Lewes. He says: “ The Arabs, though they conquered Spain, were too weak in numbers to hold that country in subjection otherwise than by politic concessions to the opinion and customs of the people.” History of Philosophy, vol. i. p. 36. 1. “There never was any Arabian science, strictly speaking. In the first place, all the Philosophy and Science of the Muhammadans was Greek, Jewish, and Persian.. It really designates a reaction against Islám. ism, which arose in the distant parts of the Empire, in Samarcand, Bokhara, Morocco, and Cordova. The Arabian language having become the language of the Empire, this Philosophy is written in that language ; but the ideas are not Arabian; the spirit is not Arabian.” History of Philosophy, by G. H. Lewes, vol. ii. p. 34.




THE portion of the creed considered in the last chapter was connected with Imán (faith); the remaining portion is connected with Dín (practical religion). The five principal acts are called Irkán-i-Dín, pillars of religion. They are : (1) The recital of the Kalima, or short confession of faith ; (2) Slát, the five stated periods of prayer; (3) Roza, the thirty days' fast of Ramazán; (4) Zakát, legal alms; (5) Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. These are all farz duties, being based on a Nass-i-Záhir, or “obvious,” sentence of the Qurán, a proof derived from which is called dalil-iqata’í. This is the strongest of all kinds of proofs.

The authorities, however, specify other religious duties which good Muslims should perform. Such are the seven duties which are wájib, or duties based on the more obscure texts of the Qurán, called Khafi, or “hidden" sentences, a proof derived from which is called dalil-i-zaní. These duties are: (1) To make the 'Umra, or Pilgrimage to Mecca in addition to the Hajj; (2) obedience to parents ; (3) the obedience of a wife to her husband ; (4) the giving of alms after a fast ; (5) the offering of sacrifice; (6) the saying of Namáz-i-witr, a term which will be explained later on ; (7) the support of relatives. The duties numbered as (4) and (5) are wájib orders to the rich; but only mustahab to the poor : that is, it is meritorious if they perform them, but not sinful if they leave them undone.

The duties next in order as regards authority are the sunnat ones. They are three in number and are based either on the practice of the Prophet, or are fitrat, that is practices of previous prophets, the continuance of which

Muhammad did not forbid. They are (1) circumcision ; (2) shaving off the hair from the head and the body ; (3) the paring of the nails. In addition to these there are actions which are mustahab. They are those which Muhammad sometimes did and sometimes omitted. There is a still lower class of action which are mubah. These are works of supererogation. If omitted there is no fear of punishment.

It may be mentioned in passing that uvlawful actions and things are (1) Harám, actions and food forbidden either in the Qurán or the Traditions ; (2) Makrúh, actions the unlawfulness of which is not absolutely certain, but which are generally considered wrong; (3) Mufsid, actions corrupting or pernicious. It is necessary to bear these terms in mind as they will now frequently occur.

1. TASHAHHUD.—This is the recital of a confession of faith. There are several forms of this. · A common one is : “I testify that there is no deity but God, I testify to His unity and that He has no partner; I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.' The shorter form is : “ There is no deity but God and Muhammad is the apostle of God.” The power contained in this latter confession is extraordinary. It embodies the very spirit of Islám. has led everywhere the march of its armies, it has rung for twelve centuries in the morning air from its minarets, it has been passed from lip to lip, as no other word has ever been passed, by thousands of millions of the human race." The power of Islám, its proclamation of the Unity, is here seen in the closest contact with what is to Muslim theologians the equally fundamental truth-the apostleship of Muhammad, a dogma which retards the healthy development, explains the narrowness, and causes the prostration of Islám, as the world around grows luminant with the light of science and truth, of faith and reason.

2. Súlát. --All the books on Fiqh (Law) which treat of

[ocr errors]

1. The Persian term for this is Namáz, a word in commoner use in India than Sulát. Both terms will henceforth be employed.


[ocr errors]

ماه محرم

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


flere Legal Purifications.

189 these Irkán-i-dín, give in connection with Sulát the rules regarding the necessary purifications. It will be convenient to follow the same order.

Tahárat or legal purification is of three kinds : (1) Wazú, the lesser lustration ; (2) Ghusl, the greater lustration ; (3) Tayammum, or purification by sand.

(1). Wazú is an ablution made before saying the appointed prayers. Those which are 'farz' are four in number, viz :—to wash (1) the face from the top of the forehead to the chin, and as far as each ear; and (2) the hands and arms up to the elbow ; (3) to rub (masah) with the wet hand a fourth part of the head; also (4) the feet to the ankles. The authority for these actions is the text: “O Believers ! when ye address yourselves to prayer, wash your hands up to the elbow, and wipe your heads, and your feet to the ankles” (Súra v. 8). The Sunnís wash the feet : the Shía’hs are apparently more correct, for they only wipe, or rather rub, (masah) them. In these ablutions, if the least portion of the specified part is left untouched, the whole act becomes useless and the prayer which follows is vain.

The act of making wazú, however, has not been allowed to remain in this simple form. The Sunnat regulations regarding it are fourteen in number. They are, (1) to make the intention of wazú, thus : I make this wazú for the purpose of putting away impurity; (2) to wash the hand up to the wrist, but care must be taken not to put the hands entirely into the water, until each has been rubbed three times with water poured on it; (3) to say one of the names of God at the commencement of the wazú thus : “In the name of the Great God,” or " Thanks be to God for the religion of Islám ;" (4) to clean the teeth ; (5) to rinse the mouth three times; (6) to put water into the


1. There is a Tradition to the effect that “the whole body of him who says. the name of God when making wazú will be clean ; whereas, if he says it not, only the part washed will be pure.”

« PreviousContinue »