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time a translation, it is well known that he afterwards recalled that opinion. The statement made by the person complained of regarding Sulmán-i-Farsí is not correct. In the Niháyáh (commentary on the Hidáyah) it is written that some Persians wrote to Sulmán, and requested him to send them a Persian translation of Surat-ulFátiha. He complied with their request and they used it in the Namáz, until they could pronounce Arabic properly. The Prophet on hearing of this circumstance made no remark. This account, however, is not trustworthy; but granting that it is true, all that it proves is that, until some Arabic words can be remembered, a translation may be used. No Imám has ever allowed that to read a translation is farz or wájib. So if the person referred to says that it is farz to read his own translation, then it follows that to read the original Arabic will not be farz, but will be unlawful. Now such an opinion is infidelity. The person is a Káfir, for he tries to make out that the 'Ulamá of all preceding ages who have instructed the people, from the days of the Prophet till now, to read Arabic in the Namaz are sinners. Further, he rejects the statement made by learned canonists and listens now to no advice. He reads his translation in the Namáz and causes others to read it. He boasts that his translation is equal in style to the original. He has translated the Du'á-i-qunút, Saná, and the Tasbíhat of the Rukú' and Sujúd, and has said that these translations should be used in the Namáz. Thus, it is plain that he wants to abolish the use of Arabic in the prayers. The result of such a course would be that soon a number of different translations would be circulated, and the text like that of the Taurait, and the Injil would be corrupted. In the Fatáwá-i-'Alamgirí it is written : Whosoever considers that the unlawful is lawful or vice versâ is a Káfir." If any one without apparent cause has enmity with one of the 'Ulamá, his orthodoxy is doubtful.” “ A man who after committing a fault declines to repent, though requested to do so, is an infidel.”

In the Tahqiq-i-Sharh-i-Husainí it is written; "To translate the Qurán into Persian and to read that is unlawful.” In the Fatáwá-i-Matlúb-ul-Múminín it is said: “Whosoever intends to write the Quran in Persian must be strictly forbidden.” In the Itqan it is written: "According to Ijma', it is wrong to speak of the Qurán as having rhymes."1 In the Fatáwá-i-Tátár Kháníа it is said : “To translate the Arabic into Persian is an act of infidelity.”

Our decision then is that the usual salutations should not be made to this person. If he dies he must not be buried in a Musalmán

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1. This is because by so doing it would seem to ascribe to it similarity to human compositions.

cemetery. His marriages are void and his wives are at liberty, according to the rule laid down in the Miftah-us-S’ádat. To doubt of the infidelity of such a person is itself infidelity. As by the proofs of the law here adduced, the 'Ulamá have declared such a person to be an infidel, it follows that all those who assist him or who con. sider his claim just, or who circulate his opinions, or who consider him to be a religious person and a fit guide for men, are also infidels. To send children to be taught by him, to purchase newspapers which advocate his views, and to continue to read his translation is unlawful. In the Fatáwá-i-'Alamgirí in the chapter entitled Murtad it is written: “Whosoever has doubts of the present infidelity and of the future punishment of such an one is an infidel.” God says in the Qurán: “Be helpful to one another according to goodness and piety, but be not helpful for evil and malice; and fear ye God.” (Súra v.

3). In another place God says: “Whosoever acts not according to God's order is an infidel.” Now, what greater disobedience can there be than this, that a person should say that the recital of the Arabic Qurán in the Namáz is not lawful, and that the recital of his own Hindustani translation of it is incumbent (farz).

“Our duty is to give information to Musalmáns, and God is the best Knower.”

This was written by a learned Moulvie, and signed by twenty-four other leading Moulvies of the city of Madras.

This Fatvá, an authentic copy of which is in my possession, is of very considerable importance as showing how unyielding the law of Islám is to the varied circumstances of the countries in which it exists. The law enjoining the Arabic language as a medium of worship was suited for the Arab people, and the principle involved would seem to be that the vernacular language of a country should be used by the Muslims of that country for the purposes

of devotion; but, as I have repeatedly shown, precepts, not principles are the ruling power in Islám. It further demonstrates that all such matters must be regulated, not by the needs of the age or country, but by an antiquated law which, to say the least, is an anachronism in the world's history. The authority paid to the statements made by the four chief Imams, and the fact that the Fatvá is based on their decisions, and on previous Fatvás in which their authority has been adduced, show how even to the present day they are regarded as the Mujtahidín of Islám. The Fatvá is thus manifestly orthodox, and corroborates most fully all I have said in the first chapter on the “Foundations of Islám."

CHAPTER VI.

THE FEASTS AND FASTS OF ISLÁM.

1. MUHARRAM.-Muharram, the name of the first month of the Muhammadan year, has now become the name by which are known the days of mourning spent by the Shía’hs in commemoration of the martyrdoms of 'Ali and of his two sons Hasan and Husain. The historical events thus referred to have been already described in the third chapter, so that it is only necessary now to give an account of the ceremonies connected with the Muharram. They differ in different countries. The following is a description of an Indian Muharram.

Some days previous to the feast, the 'Áshúr Khána (literally, ten-day house) is prepared. As soon as the new moon appears, the people gather together in the various Áshúr Khánas, and offer a Fátiha over some sherbet or some sugar

in the name of Husain. The Fátiha concludes thus : “O God, grant the reward of this to the soul of Husain.” The sherbet and sugar are then given to the poor. Then they mark a spot for the Alláwa, or hole for the bonfire which is to be lit. Every night during the festival these fires are kindled, and the people, both old and young, fence across the fire with swords or sticks, and jump about calling out: “'Alí! Noble Husain ! Noble Husain ! Dulha ! Dulha ! Bridegroom ! Bridegroom ! Friend ! &c.” These words they repeat hundreds of times.

In some parts of the country they erect an Imám Bára (Imám-house). This is often a substantial building, frequently used afterwards as a mausoleum for the founder and his family. In South India the 'Ashúr Khána only is known. This is generally a temporary structure, or some large hall fitted up for the occasion. Sometimes the walls are draped with black cloth, bordered with texts of the Quran written in a large and elegant style. The place is brilliantly illuminated. On one side stands the Táziahs or Tábúts--structures made of bamboos covered with tinsel and profusely ornamented. They are intended to represent the mausoleum erected on the plains of Karbala over the remains of Husain. Sometimes the Tázíah is constructed to represent the Prophet's tomb at Madina. Large sums of money are spent on these Tázíahs, which when lighted up have a very elegant appearance. At the back of the Tázíahs are laid the several articles similar to those supposed to have been used by Husain at Karbalá,-a turban of gold, a rich sword, a shield, a bow and arrow. The Mimbar, or pulpit is so placed that the speaker can face Mecca. The 'Alams, or standards, which are commonly made of copper and brass, though occasionally of gold or of silver, are placed against the walls. The usual standard is that of a hand placed on a pole. This is emblematic of the five members who compose the family of the Prophet, and is the special standard of the Shía'hs. These standards have many different names, such as--the standard of the palm of 'Ali, the Lady Fátima's standard, the standard of the Horse-shoe, to represent the shoe of Husain's swift horse, and others too numerous to mention. Mirrors, chandeliers and coloured lanterns add lustre to the scene.

Every evening large crowds of people assemble in these 'Ashúr Khánas. In the centre, on a slightly raised platform a band of singers chant the Marsiya, an elegiac poem in honour of the martyred Husain. It is a monotonous performance lasting about an hour; but it has a wonderful effect on the audience, who, seated on the ground, listen patiently and attentively. At each pause the hearers beat their breasts, and say Husain ! Husain! Real or stimulated grief often finds expression in groans and tears, though the more violent expression of the anguish felt is reserved for a later ceremony. This over, the Waqi'a Khán (literally, narrator of events) ascends the Mimbar, or pulpit, and seats himself on the top, or on a lower step. He proceeds to relate the historical facts, adding many curious stories gathered from the vast heap of Traditions which have cast such a halo of glory around the martyr. Sometimes he becomes very excited, and the audience is stirred up to great enthusiasm. The following account is that of an eye-witness who passed an evening in an ’Ashúr Khána. "The first Waqi'a Khán was a Persian who delivered a very eloquent oration in his own tongue. It was calm but effective. He was succeeded by an eloquent old gentleman who spoke rapidly in Hindustani at the top of his voice, then rose up, ran down the steps, and casting off his turban rushed in and out amongst the audience, vociferating vigorously all the while. The effect was marvellous, old and venerable men wept like little children, whilst from the adjoining Zanána was heard the bitter weeping of the women who, though not exposed to view, could hear all that was said. After a while, the assembly rose and formed two lines facing each other. A boy then chanted a few words and the whole assembly began, slowly at first, to sway their bodies to and fro, calling out ’Alí! ’Alí! Husain! Husain ! Each one then began to beat his breast vigorously. The excitement at last became intense and the men in the rows looked like so many wild creatures.”

In some cases blood has been known to flow from the breast, so severe is the self-inflicted beating. This continues till they are well-nigh exhausted, when the whole company goes away to repeat the performance over again in some other 'Ashúr Khána. A devout person will visit several each evening. During the day some pious Shía’hs recite the Qurán.

Duriug this season women who can read, visit the Zanánas and chant Marsiyas to the ladies of the Harem, by whom this season of Muharram is celebrated with great earnest

ness.

For the first six days, nothing else takes place, but on the

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