Page images

verses upon the Holy Place, which exist in chap. 12? Who said, Akibah-Ibn-Abu-Zainah will do so, if we sit down by him. Then he began to narrate the Virtues of the Holy House; which having related in great abundance, Al Zoheiri said to him, O thou Shaikh! thou hast not yet arrived at that which I will impart to thee--the mighty word, “Praise to him who brought his servant by night from the Venerable Mosque to the Mosque Al Aksá, whose precincts we have blessed !” as also that word revealed unto the children of Israel, “ Enter into these well-watered meadows, and eat when

ye desire of all good things :” and again, “ Enter ye the gate with praise, and say Remis, sion,” for your sins shall be pardoned you, and the hand of the good-doers shall he protect. Now God hath appropriated to no other mosque a gift equal to the privilege granted to this, in engaging to pardon the sins of those who worship there. It is above all others; for no others have so supremely excellent a privilege set apart for them. Again, I will mention the word which was revealed to Abraham and to Lot, (peace be upon them both!) We will bring him and Lot to a land wherein all the universe shall be blessed, and wherein shall the Holy House be sought:" also another word revealed, “We will give them a home on high ground, full of cool streams and rivulets."

We will now quote from some of the expoundersof questions respecting this Temple (from them we learn) a word revealed to the sons of Israel: “Enter ye the Holy Land which God hath decreed to grant you : do not turn your backs, lest your hearts be wounded, whilst straying from the way: "and God named this passage,· The Blessed and Holy Passage.' Also another word revealed, “ Thus they departed from their abode in haste, in order to erect a place to sacrifice the Passover,” upon the Ro , they say, of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas. And again another word revealed, “We have allotted in return to the children of Israël a sure place of rest : their abode is called Syria, and the Consecrated House; and that Holy House shall be called the Peculiar.

And again, another word, revealed on the day when he manifested the mysteries of his will in the “ place of near access,” which is said to be the Rock of the Holy House. Also another word, revealed when they were in the untrodden ground (the desert) and the borders of the Consecrated House. And another word revealed “The figs and the Olives.” Now Akibah-Ibn-Omar observed that the figs signified Damascus, and the olives the Consecrated Abode. Also another word revealed, “ God hath fixed among you a wall, within which is mercy, and on its external front is punishment." This is the wall of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, within which are the Gates of Mercy, and without, the

[ocr errors]

Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna). We may further quote those passages bearing upon the supreme eminence of this Temple, from the Sunna of the traditions of Abu Huraira (may the satisfaction of God be perfected in him !): “The fixed abidingplace of the Deity shall be in three mosques alone, the mosque Masjidu-l-Harám, the mosque Al Aksá, and this mosque (i. e. Medina).” Also a passage found among the traditions of Abu-SoadAl-Hadhari (may the satisfaction of God be with him!): “The prophet of God (upon whom be the peace and blessing of God !) said, “There shall be no fixed residence except in three mosques those of Mecca, Jerusalem, and Medina. Neither shall there be any fasting upon two days—the day of the dawn (i. e. the solemn sacrifice offered at Mecca) and the day of the fast-breaking ; neither shall there be prayer at two moments of time, viz. from the prayer before the dawn until sunrise, and from the evening prayer until sun-set; nor shalt thou journey with a woman more than two bareed, i.e. 24 miles) unless with your wife or nearest relations.' Thus also in the traditions of Abu Tharir (may the satisfaction of God rest with him !) we have the following: “I said, O Apostle of God, which mosque hath been placed first upon the earth? Who said, in reply, The mosque of the Kaaba. I said, And then? He said, The mosque

Al Aksá. Then I said, How much time between them ? He said, Forty years : also he said, In these two mosques divided prayers concentre; and this (i.e. Medina) is also a mosque.'

Also, to quote from Omra-Ibn-Hussain : “I said, O Apostle of God, which is the most beautiful city? Who said, How, if I say that I think the Consecrated House to be the most beautiful ? Then I said, That therefore is the most beautiful. Thereupon he said, How then may there not be some place of second rank, besides that, possessing an increase of honour, which may be visited by pilgrims, and to which the winds may point ? (But the wind of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas is directed only towards God.) Truly Medina is most noble. Truly to me its savour is sweet; for herein I live, and herein will I die: and if this had not been so, I would not have fled hither from Mecca: also I have never seen a more beautiful moon than that here."

Again, to quote from Kaab-Al-Habbar, “The hour is fixed(by divine decree) when the Masjidu-l-Haram shall visit the Baitu-l-Mukaddas ; and they shall both be conducted to Paradise together; and all their inhabitants within them : also, the last judgment, and the final reckoning shall be in the Baitu-l-Mukaddas.” Again, from the same Kaab, God brought down the sons of Israël to the Consecrated or Holy Land : and David and Solomon, (peace be upon them both!) being of the number of prophets, were kings of the land : also God Almighty named this migration · The Blessed Passage, and The Holy Passage.'” Again, another word written to us in the Psalms, among certain traditions, that “the land which the sincere worshippers shall tread, shall be called the land of Paradise: they shall tread it who have performed (true) obedience to God.”

Now, it is said that the word 'land' here means * the world,' and 'the sincere' means the people of Muhammad, (on him may the blessing and the salutation of God remain !) It is also said that this word applies to the sons of Israël. Moreover, this land is said to be that in which the souls of the faithful will assemble together; which means, that the resurrection of the dead will take place therein, and it shall be called the Holy Land, because it shall be trodden by Muhammad, (upon whom be the blessing of God! and whom I salute).

Again, another word revealed, “They act unjustly, who repulse us from the mosques of God, nor suffer his name to be mentioned therein, and by their superior strength persist in desolating these places, so that (the Moslem) cannot enter them but with fear and trembling. Truly in this world they shall have their reward, and in the

« PreviousContinue »