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for the punctilious performance of the duties of abstinence. If the fast have unfortunately been neglected at the appointed season, atonement must be made to the law by “ fasting a like number of “ days at another period *.” The slightest indulgence, from the moment " when a white thread can “ be distinguished from a dark, till the hour of

sun-set,” might vitiate the whole virtue of the observancef. The saving efficacy is in the mode, not in the principle, in the punctiliousness of the performance, and not in the temper of the heart. The fast is not holy and efficacious according to the spirit with which it is observed, but, according as the day or month, during which it is observed, is holy or common I. The very air during its continuance must not be too freely breathed, nor even the communications of speech indulged ||; and the most learned of the Mahomedan doctors maintain that it is rendered inoperative and unholy, by circumstances which, in the estimate of common sense, would be considered as utterly disconnected with the duties of man, but which they enumerate and magnify with punctilious piety and sectarian zeal g.

The Koran, however, is, on this subject, singularly inconsistent and contradictory. The obligation of frequent and formal fasts was enforced by numerous precepts and reiterated sanctions; and was classed among the highest of those duties which are indispensably necessary to the salvation of the sinner. Yet an ordinance so solemnly and emphatically enjoined, may, it seems, be omitted by the faithful Mussulman, at the expense of a slight and easy penalty. “ Those who can keep the fast and do not, must redeem their neglect by maintaining of a poor man *.”

* Koran, chap. ii. p. 33.

+ Koran, ch. ii. 1“ It is an adınitted tradition, that a fast of one day in a sacred month, is better than a fast of thirty days in another month; and that the fast of one day in Ràbmadan is more meritorious than a fast of thirty days in a sacred month.” Sale. Prel. Disc. sect. iv. p. 150.

0 “ I have vowed a fast to the Omnipotent, and therefore I cannot speak to a man this day." Kor. ch. xix. vol. ii. p. 131.

Appendix, Note R. R.

The act of charity is not required as a duty, but prescribed as a mulct. The fulfilment of one obligation is to atone forthe contempt or disregard of another; and the votary is instructed to enter into a composition with God, and to believe that, however this imperfection of his abstinence may have merited the punishment of disobedience, he possesses, in an act of mercy, a supererogatory treasure to make satisfaction for his frailty.

The most zealous and learned of the commentators on the Koran are disturbed by this tenet, and they utterly and justly deny the doctrine of composition which it seems to affirm. They have, therefore, exercised all their ingenuity to rescue their prophet from the contradiction of, at once, requiring the observance, and authorizing the neglect, of one of his most solemn and essential institutions; but, after having tried every artifice of sophistry on the original text which has created the difficulty, they have been compelled to abandon their purpose altogether, and to shelter themselves and their religion under the convenient doctrine of celestial abrogation t.

* Kor. ch. ii. pp. 32, 33.

By maintaining of a poor man ; according to the usual quantity which a man eats in a day, and the custom of the country. Sale. Note. Koran. ch. ii. pp. 32, 33.

+ Sale. Note on Kor. ch. ii. p. 32.

II. To the ordinance of fasts, the Koran has added the institution of pilgrimage. “ Perform the “ pilgrimage to Mecca, in the known months let it “ be performed, and remember God the appointed “ number of days in the valley of Mina-Proclaim “ unto the people a solemn pilgrimage ; let them

come unto thee on foot, and on every lean camel,

arriving from every distant road, that they may be “ witnesses of the advantage arising from visiting the

holy place, and that they may pay their vows, and “ compass the holy house *.” In the performance of this duty, from which even female feebleness is not exempt, every true disciple of Islem is faithful and exemplary. Once at least in their lives, the most unthinking of the moslems bend their knees on the sacred steps of the Caaba; but the more scrupulous and pious votaries frequently resort, from the most distant regions, to that consecrated temple. “ It was " there that God gave the site of the house, for an “ abode unto Abraham;" and "there is the scene of “ the venerable Arafat and the holy mountain t.” Patriarchs, and saints, and prophets, the primitive guides and teachers of mankind, walked and dwelt in those divine precincts. Celestial communications imparted there the precepts of life; and, there.“ the last and best” of the prophets planted the standard of,

• Koran. ch. ii. pp. 35, 36. Kor. ch. xxii. p. 170. + Arafat is a mountain near Mecca. When Adam was driven out of paradise, he fell on the distant and desert island of Serendib or Ceylon, while the unhappy Eve was conducted to Jodda. At length the fatber of men, having mitigated the wrath of God by his repentance, was leil by the angel Gabriel to the mount of Arafat, where the long lost Eve was again restored to her husband. Hence the holy character of the mountain. D'Herbelot. Bibl. Oriental. p. 55.

Islem. Inflamed by these representations, the pilgrim proceeds from every part of the empire of the Mussulmans, to that memorable scene; and his piety is exercised with more exalted devotion on a spot where every object wears a sacred impress in his imagination, and where the most affecting monuments of divine power and wisdom tend to purify his meditations and elevate his faith.

Various were the painful or ludicrous observances required of the pilgrim, prior and subsequent to his pilgrimage, and during its continuance.' He was to prepare for his holy wanderings by a long and rigid seclusion, and to exercise his piety on the way by numerous and afflicting austerities * On his arrival at a certain distance from “ the house wherein are “ manifested signs,” his piety was to display itself in the squalidness of his garb, and the neglect of his person f. His nails, his beard, and his hair, were to remain uncut until “ he had fulfilled his vow;" and he was to enter the sacred territory with his head bare, and with a perfect heedlessness of every thing but the awful duties in which he was engaged.

On his arrival at Mecca, the wearied but sedulous votary is to commence a new series of pious observances. Seven times, beginning at the consecrated stone f at the corner of the temple, he must proceed to encompass the wide extent of the Caaba; three

To these austerities was frequently to be added hunger and thirst. Whatever might be his want of food, he was prohibited from the profane occupation of fowling and hunting, and permitted only to fish. Kor. ch. v. Sale, Prelim. Disc. sect. iv.

+ The pilgrims deem it a breach of the injunctions of their prophet to destroy the vermin, which multiply from neglect and dirt on their person. Sale. Prel. Disc. sect. iv.

† Appendix, Note S. S.

times in a short and hurried step, and four times in a more grave and measured pace. Seven times, also, he must traverse the plain between the sacred mounts of Safa and Merva, and, according to the well known ritual of the solemnity, sometimes in a slow, and sometimes in a hasty manner, and occasionally pausing to look back as if on some object of solicitude or alarm *. These preliminary duties are to be succeeded by other and yet more important observances. Prayers are to be repeated over the stone which bears the print of the feet of Abraham. The well of Zemzem is to be visited, and to yield its healing draughts to the lips of the pilgrim. And, finally, on the day prescribed, and after having passed the preceding night in holy contemplation in the oratory of Mozdaliza, the votary is to hasten before sun-rise to the valley of Mina, to throw seven stones to repel the intrusion of evil spirits t, to slay the victims of sacrifice, to cut his hair and his nails, and bury the portions so separated on the spot #, and, at length, to prepare and enjoy the feast which is to renovate his health after so many toils, and complete the duties and the glory of his pilgrimage Il.

* Appendix, Note T. T. + Doctor Pocock, from Al Ghazali, says seventy stones at different times. The Indians of Chili, at their funeral rites, stroke the ground with their spears, to drive away evil spirits. Molina. Hist. Chili. vol. ii. Append. 2.

Sale. Prel. Disc.


160. || For a more particular enumeration of these ceremonies, I refer to Chardin, Voyage de Perse. tom. ii. p. 440 Pitt on the Relig. of the Mahometans, p. 92. Gagnier Vie de Mahom. tom. ii. p. 258. Abulfeda, Vit. Mahom. p. 190. Reland de Relig. Mabom. p. 113. Sale. Prelim. Disc. sect. iv. Anciennes Relat. des Indes, and D'Herbelot, Bibl. Oriental. Pocock In Spec. Hist. Arab.

p. 115, &c.

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