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l-Mukaddas. Another writer says, From below the rock of the Holy Abode flow four rivers of Paradise Seehan, and Geehan, and Al Níl, and Al Furát. Now, Seehan is the river of Balkhthe Oxus; in Khorassán; Geehan is the river Tigris ; Al Níl is the Egyptian Nile; and Al Furát is Euphrates-the river of Kúfa : also, all the water which the sons of men drink, is derived from these four rivers, which flow from beneath the Sakhrá (rock). Again, from Ibn Abbas (God's satisfaction be with him !): God hath sent down five rivers from Paradise unto the earth :--Seehan, which is the river of India; and Yihún, which is the river of Balkh ; and Al Furát and Al Dijlat, which are the rivers of Irak; and Al Nil, which is the Nile of Egypt. These all flow from one fountain, which is itself one of the fountains of Paradise. They were brought from the remotest depths of Paradise" upon the wings of Gabriel. They were set down upon the mountains by him ; and God made them to flow upon the earth, and gave them for the service and advantage of men in all the various purposes of life. To this purpose is the great verse (of the Korán), “By our power have we sent down water from heaven upon the earth; and, behold! when Majúj and Yajúj come forth, God shall send down Gabriel, who shall carry away from the earth the Korán and the true knowledge, and the corner-stone of the Temple, and the spot where Abraham stood (peace be with him !), and the ark of Moses (peace be with him !), and all that is therein.” And these five rivers shall all be carried away to Heaven : for this is the divine word :-“I am he who can cause the mighty to come; and, lo! I will carry away these things from the earth, upon which the Faith, and mankind, now dwell.”
Now, with regard to the Chain, which is among the miracles of the exterior surface of the glorious Rock in the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, Ibn-Abbas tells us that the Prophet said, That, with regard to the Rock of this Temple, the children of Israël had an immense hole, in which was a chain ; and this hole was bored in the Rock: also from this hole they suspended their chain, which was in the middle of the hole. Then they approached with their offerings ; and whatever was graciously received, was taken up; but whatever was not accepted, remained attached and adhering to the ground. In like manner were their fastings and sackcloth clothings accepted or rejected. Now, from Ali-Ibn-Abu-Tálib. (God's contentment be with him !)—He said, Men never more needed the chain to be among them (than) this day. So they said, What chain? Who replied, The chain which God gave unto David (peace be with him!).
: By this chain, assertions were judged : for there came two men, in order to claim justice : one of these, having gone to a distance, had committed to the care of the other man a pearl, or some gold, (I do not know which, said Ali). Then the last man took a stick, and, boring a hole within it, placed the pearl therein, or melted the gold and placed it therein. Then he denied to its owner that he had ever received it. This last came to David (peace be with him!), who said, Go ye unto the chain. Then the man who owned the property said, O God! thou knowest that I
gave him 'the pearl (or the gold); but he denies it: I pray thee therefore that I may make the chain shake. Then the chain shook. Then said the other man, Hold my stick, whilst I take the oath. So he gave him the stick, in which was the entrusted property, and then said, O God! thou knowest that I have given him his deposited property again. I ask thee that I may make the chain shakė. Then the chain shook. Then said David (peace be with him!), 0 Lord! what is this? The injurer and the injured party both make the chain shake (in assent). Upon this God revealed unto him that the property was within the stick which the one had given to the other. From this time the chain was removed (from sight), Also, it is said, that this chain was one of the signs of David (peace be with him !): for he was judging between two of the sons of Israël by God's law, and said, O God! would that thou wouldst give me to behold some clear evidence whereby to know the just from the unjust, and the true from the false. Then God sent down unto him from heaven a chain of light, suspended over the spot now on the Rock, between heaven and earth; and whenever he proceeded to give judgment, he sent the men to the spot wherein was the chain. Whoever, then, was true in his saying respecting the matters in dispute, towards him the chain gently moved ; but whosoever was a liar, unto him it moved not. Until that fraud and deception fell among men, and their inward minds became depraved, then the chain was removed, for this time. This chain was one of the miracles; and was suspended from heaven to earth, east of the Rock, on the spot where now exists the Chain Chapel, built by Abdul-Málik-Ibn-Marwán. Upon this subject, a certain poet says (verse), “The Scripture hath gone; nobility is dead; generosity is carried away with the chain."
This is the place for examining a different story, told by the author of the Muthír Alfaram. He says, There were two Jewish men; one of whom confided to the other one hundred deenars; which sum he reclaimed; but the other denied that he had it; which affair caused the removal of the chain: for the one, a Jew, in his fraud, and wickedness, and craftiness, had melted down the deenars, and, hollowing out a stick, placed them therein. When, therefore, he came to the spot where the chain was, he gave the stick to the owner of the deenars, and laid hold of the chain, swearing by God that he had restored them. Then the owner of the deenars gave the stick back, and, going forward, took hold of the chain, swore that he had never received them, and the chain touched both of them : upon which, the people were surprised beyond measure. From that day, the chain was removed. Before this, whoever spoke the truth, could touch the chain, but whoever spoke folly, saw it rise up, and could not reach it.
Now, for the eligibility of praying at the entrance of the Sakhrá, and the proper and commendable rites and ceremonies to be observed upon entering : also, upon the proper seasons when any one, desiring so to do, may enter it. First, from the traditions of Abu-Al-Muálí, in his sayings, and the opinion he expressed regarding the supplication to be used in preference by any one entering the Rock of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas: “ It is best,” he says, "for any one entering the Sakhrá, to do so on the right hand; so that he may have his back towards the sacred proces