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portion then recited takes the name of Ruku'. Tradition states that the Khalíf Osmán, when reciting the Qurán during the month of Ramazán, used to make twenty rak'ats each evening. In each rak'at he introduced different verses of the Qurán, beginning with the first chapter and going steadily on. In this way he recited about two hundred verses each evening; that is, about ten verses in each rak'at. Since then, it has been the custom to recite the Qurán in this way in Ramazán, and also to quote it by the rukú', e.g., "such a passage is in such a Sípára and in such a Rukú'.
The following account of a rak'at will make the matter plain. When the Faithful are assembled in the mosque, the Imám, or leader, being in front facing the Qibla, the service commences thus :-Each worshipper stands and says the Niyyat (literally "intention”), a form of words declaring his intention to say his prayers. He then says: "God is great." After this, looking downwards, he says: "Holiness to Thee, O God! and praise be to Thee, Great is Thy name, Great is Thy greatness, there is no deity but Thee." Then follows: "I seek from God refuge from cursed Satan." Then the Tasmiyah is repeated: "In the name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful." Then follows the Fátiha, that is, the short chapter at the commencement of the Qurán. After this has been recited, the Imám proceeds, on the first night of the month Ramazán, with the first verse of the second chapter. After saying a few verses, he makes a Rukú'; that is, he bends his head and body down, and places his hands on his knees. In this position he says: "God is great." Then he repeats three times the words: "I extol the holiness of my Lord, the Great." He then stands up and says: "God hears him who praises Him." To this the people respond: "O Lord, thou art praised." Again, falling on his knees, the worshipper says: "God is great." Then he puts first his nose, and then his forehead on the
1. On ordinary occasions any verses may be chosen. The 112th Súra is the one generally repeated.
ground and says three times: "I extol the holiness of my Lord, the Most High." Then sitting on his heels, he says: "God is great ;" and again repeats as before: "I extol, etc." He then rises and says: "God is great." This is one rak'at. On each night in the month of Ramazán this is gone through twenty times, the only variation being that after the Fátiha and before the first prostration, fresh verses of the Qurán are introduced. The whole is, of course, done in Arabic, in whatever country the worshippers may be. The name of the prostration (Rukú') has been transferred to the portion of the Qurán recited just before it is made. There are altogether 557 Rukúát.
(7). The other divisions are not important. They are, a Sumn, Ruba', Nisf, Suls, that is one-eighth, one-fourth, one-half, one-third of a Sípára respectively.
In reciting the Quran the worshipper must be careful to say the "Takbír," i.e. "God is great," after the several appointed places. Such a place is after the recital of the 93rd Súra. The custom arose in this way. The hypocrites came to the Prophet and asked him to relate the story of the "Seven Sleepers." He said: "I will tell you to-morrow;" but he forgot to add the words "if God will." By way of warning, God allowed no inspiration to descend upon him for some days. Then the hypocrites began to laugh and say: "God has left him." As it was not God's purpose to put his messenger to ridicule, the Súra entitled "The brightness" (xciii) was immediately brought by the ever-ready Gabriel. It begins: "By the brightness of the morning, and by the night when it groweth dark, thy Lord hath not forsaken thee, neither doth He hate thee." In remembrance of this signal interposition of Providence on his behalf, the Prophet always concluded the recital of this Súra with the words: "God is great." The practice thus became a "Sunnat" obligation; that is, it should be done because the Prophet did it.
The doctrine of abrogation is a very important one in
connection with the study of the Qurán. It is referred to in the verses: "Whatever verses we cancel or cause thee to forget, we give thee better in their stead, or the like thereof." (Súra ii. 100). This is a Madína Súra. "What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm; for with Him is the source of revelation." (Súra xiii. 39). Some verses which were cancelled in the Prophet's life-time are not now extant. Abdullah Ibn Masúd states that the Prophet one day recited a verse, which he immediately wrote down. The next morning he found it had vanished from the material on which it had been written. Astonished at this, he acquainted Muhammad with the fact, and was informed that the verse in question had been revoked. There are, however, many verses still in the Qurán, which have been abrogated. It was an exceedingly convenient doctrine, and one needed to explain the change of front which Muhammad made at different periods of his career. Certain rules have been laid down to regulate the practice. The verse which abrogates is called Násikh, and the abrogated verse Mansukh. Mansukh verses are of three kinds :-first, where the words and the sense have both been abrogated; secondly, where the letter only is abrogated and the sense remains; thirdly, where the sense is abrogated though the letter remains. Imám Málik gives as an instance of the first kind the verse: “If a son of Adam had two rivers of gold, he would covet yet a third; and if he had three he would covet yet a fourth. Neither shall the belly of a son of Adam be filled, but with dust. God will turn unto him who shall repent." The Imám states that originally this verse was in the Súra (ix.) called Repentance. The verse, called the "verse of stoning" is an illustration of the second kind. It reads: "Abhor not your parents for this would be ingratitude in you. If a man and woman of reputation commit adultery, ye shall stone them both; it is a punishment ordained by God; for God is mighty and wise." The Khalíf Omar says this verse was extant in Muhammad's life-time but that it
is now lost. But it is the third class which practically comes into 'Ilm-i-usúl. Authorities differ as to the number of verses abrogated. Sale states that they have been estimated at two hundred and twenty-five. The principal ones are not many in number, and are very generally agreed upon. I give a few examples. It is a fact worthy of notice that they occur chiefly, if not almost entirely, in Súras delivered at Madína. There, where Muhammad had to confront Jews and Christians, he was at first politic in his. aim to win them over to his side, and then, when he found them obstinate, the doctrine of abrogation came in conveniently. This is seen plainly in the following case. Mecca Muhammad and his followers did not stand facing any particular direction when at prayer, a fact to which the following passage refers :-" To God belongeth the east and west; therefore, whithersoever ye turn yourselves to pray there is the face of God." (Súra ii. 109). When Muhammad arrived at Madína, he entered into friendship with the Jews and tried to win them to his side. The Qibla (sanctuary) towards which the worshippers now invariably turned at prayer was Jerusalem. This went on for a while, but when Muhammad claimed to be not merely a Prophet for the Arabs, but the last and the greatest of all the Prophets, when he asserted that Moses had foretold his advent, and that his revelations were the same as those contained in their own Scriptures, they utterly refused allegiance to him. In the first half of the second year of the Hijra the breach between them was complete. It was now time to reconcile the leaders of the Quraish tribe at Mecca. So the verse quoted above was abrogated by: "We have seen thee turning thy face towards heaven, but we will have thee turn to a Qibla, which shall please thee. Turn then thy face toward the Holy Temple (of Mecca), and wherever ye be, turn your faces toward that part." (Súra ii. 139.) The Faithful were consoled by the assurance that though they had not done so hitherto, yet God would not let their
faith be fruitless, "for unto man is God merciful, gracious." (v. 138.) The doctrine of abrogation is brought in for a more personal matter in the following case: "It is not permitted to thee to take other wives hereafter, nor to change thy present wives for other women, though their beauty charm thee, except slaves, whom thy right hand shall possess." (Súra xxxiii. 52.) This is said by Beidawi, and other eminent Muslim divines, to have been abrogated by a verse which though placed before it in the arrangement of verses, was really delivered after it. The verse is: "O Prophet, we allow thee thy wives whom thou hast dowered, and the slaves which thy right hand possesseth out of the booty which God hath granted thee; and the daughters of thy uncle, and the daughters of thy aunts, both on thy father's side, and on thy mother's side, who have fled with thee (to Madína), and any other believing woman, who hath given herself up to the Prophet; if the Prophet desireth to wed her, it is a peculiar privilege for thee, above the rest of the Faithful." (Súra xxxiii. 49.)
The Moghul Emperor Akbar, wishing to discredit the 'Ulamá, in one of the meetings so frequently held for discussion during his long reign, propounded the question as to how many free born women a man might marry. The lawyers answered that four was the number fixed by the Prophet. "Of other women who seem good in your eyes marry two and two, and three and three, and four and four." (Súra iv. 3.) The Emperor said that he had not restricted himself to that number, and that Shaikh 'Abd-un-Nabi had told him that a certain Mujtahid had had nine wives. The Mujtahid in question, Ibn Abi Lailah reckoned the number allowed thus 2+3+4 9. Other learned men counted in this way 2+2, 3+3, 4+4 = 18. The Emperor wished the meeting to decide the point.
Again, the second verse of Súra lxxiii reads: "Stand up all night, except a small portion of it, for prayer.' According to a Tradition handed down by 'Ayesha the last verse