Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah — Volume 2
686 Pages
English

Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah — Volume 2

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

Description

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah by Sir Richard FrancisBurton (#18 in our series by Sir Richard Francis Burton)Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & MeccahAuthor: Sir Richard Francis BurtonRelease Date: November, 2003 [EBook #4658] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on June 12, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF A PILGRIMAGE TO AL-MADINAH & MECCAH ***Scanned and proofread by William Thierens and Robert SintonPERSONAL ...

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 24
Language English

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Personal
Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah
by Sir Richard Francis Burton (#18 in our series by
Sir Richard Francis Burton)
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be
sure to check the copyright laws for your country
before downloading or redistributing this or any
other Project Gutenberg eBook.
This header should be the first thing seen when
viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not
remove it. Do not change or edit the header
without written permission.
Please read the "legal small print," and other
information about the eBook and Project
Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is
important information about your specific rights and
restrictions in how the file may be used. You can
also find out about how to make a donation to
Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla
Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By
Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands
of Volunteers!*****Title: Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-
Madinah & Meccah
Author: Sir Richard Francis Burton
Release Date: November, 2003 [EBook #4658]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of
schedule] [This file was first posted on June 12,
2002]
Edition: 10
Language: English
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK, PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF A
PILGRIMAGE TO AL-MADINAH & MECCAH ***
Scanned and proofread by William Thierens and
Robert Sinton
PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF A PILGRIMAGE TO
AL-MADINAH & MECCAH
BY
CAPTAIN SIR RICHARD F. BURTON,K.C.M.G., F.R.G.S., &c., &c., &c.
EDITED BY HIS WIFE, ISABEL BURTON.
“Our notions of Mecca must be drawn from the
Arabians; as no unbeliever is permitted to enter the
city, our travellers are silent.”—Gibbon, chap. 50.
MEMORIAL EDITION.
IN TWO VOLUMES
VOLUME II.
[p.xii]
[Arabic]
Dark and the Desert and Destriers me ken,
And the Glaive and the Joust, and Paper and Pen.
Al-Mutanabbi
PART II.
AL-MADINAH.
(Continued.)
[p.1] A PILGRIMAGE
TOAL-MADINAH AND MECCAH.
CHAPTER XXI.
THE PEOPLE OF AL-MADINAH.
AL-MADINAH contains but few families descended
from the Prophet’s Auxiliaries. I heard only of four
whose genealogy is undoubted. These were,—
1. The Bayt al-Ansari, or descendants of Abu
Ayyub, a most noble race whose tree ramifies
through a space of fifteen hundred years. They
keep the keys of the Kuba Mosque, and are
Imams in the Harim, but the family is no longer
wealthy or powerful.
2. The Bayt Abu Jud: they supply the Harim with
Imams and Mu’ezzins.[FN#l] I was told that there
are now but two surviving members of this family,
a boy and a girl.
3. The Bayt al-Sha’ab, a numerous race. Some of
the members travel professionally, others trade,
and others are employed in the Harim.
4. The Bayt al-Karrani, who are mostly engaged in
commerce.
There is also a race called Al-Nakhawilah,[FN#2]
who,
[p.2]according to some, are descendants of theAnsar, whilst others derive them from Yazid, the
son of Mu’awiyah: the latter opinion is improbable,
as the Caliph in question was a mortal foe to Ali’s
family, which is inordinately venerated by these
people. As far as I could ascertain, they abuse the
Shaykhayn (Abu Bakr and Omar): all my
informants agreed upon this point, but none could
tell me why they neglected to bedevil Osman, the
third object of hatred to the Shi’ah persuasion.
They are numerous and warlike, yet they are
despised by the townspeople, because they openly
profess heresy, and are moreover of humble
degree. They have their own priests and
instructors, although subject to the orthodox Kazi;
marry in their own sect, are confined to low offices,
such as slaughtering animals, sweeping, and
gardening, and are not allowed to enter the Harim
during life, or to be carried to it after death. Their
corpses are taken down an outer street called the
Darb al-Janazah—Road of Biers—to their own
cemetery near Al-Bakia. They dress and speak
Arabic, like the townspeople; but the Arabs pretend
to distinguish them by a peculiar look denoting their
degradation: it is doubtless the mistake of effect for
cause, about all such
“Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast.”
number of reports are current about the horrid
[p.3]customs of these people, and their community
of women[FN#3] with the Persian pilgrims who
pass through the town. It need scarcely be said
that such tales coming from the mouths of fanatic
foes are not to be credited. I regret not having hadan opportunity to become intimate with any of the
Nakhawilah, from whom curious information might
be elicited. Orthodox Moslems do not like to be
questioned about such hateful subjects; when I
attempted to learn something from one of my
acquaintance, Shaykh Ula al-Din, of a Kurd family,
settled at Al-Madinah, a man who had travelled
over the East, and who spoke five languages to
perfection, he coldly replied that he had never
consorted with these heretics. Sayyids and
Sharifs,[FN#4] the descendants of the Prophet,
here abound. The Benu Hosayn of Al-Madinah
have their head-quarters at Suwayrkiyah:[FN#5]
the former place contains six or seven families; the
latter, ninety-three or ninety-four. Anciently they
were much more numerous, and such was their
power, that for centuries they retained charge of
the Prophet’s tomb. They
[p.4]subsist principally upon their Amlak, property
in land, for which they have title-deeds extending
back to Mohammed’s day, and Aukaf, religious
bequests; popular rumour accuses them of
frequent murders for the sake of succession. At Al-
Madinah they live chiefly at the Hosh Ibn Sa’ad, a
settlement outside the town and south of the Darb
al-Janazah. There is, however, no objection to their
dwelling within the walls; and they are taken to the
Harim after death, if there be no evil report against
the individual. Their burial-place is the Bakia
cemetery. The reason of this toleration is, that
some are supposed to be Sunni, or orthodox, and
even the most heretical keep their “Rafz[FN#6]”
(heresy) a profound secret. Most learned Arabsbelieve that they belong, like the Persians, to the
sect of Ali: the truth, however, is so vaguely
known, that I could find out none of the
peculiarities of their faith, till I met a Shirazi friend
at Bombay. The Benu Hosayn are spare dark men
of Badawi appearance, and they dress in the old
Arab style still affected by the Sharifs,—a Kufiyah
(kerchief) on the head,[FN#7] and a Banish, a long
and wide-sleeved garment resembling our
magicians’ gown, thrown over the white cotton
Kamis (shirt): in public they always carry swords,
even when others leave weapons at home. There
are about two hundred families of Sayyid Alawiyah,
—descendants of Ali by any of his wives but
Fatimah, they bear no distinctive mark in dress or
appearance, and are either employed at the
[p.5]temple or engage at trade. Of the Khalifiyah,
or descendants of Abbas, there is, I am told, but
one household, the Bayt Al-Khalifah, who act as
Imams in the Harim, and have charge of Hamzah’s
tomb. Some declare that there are a few of the
Siddikiyah, or descendants from Abu Bakr; others
ignore them, and none could give me any
information about the Benu Najjar.
The rest of the population of Al-Madinah is a
motley race composed of offshoots from every
nation in Al-Islam. The sanctity of the city attracts
strangers, who, purposing to stay but a short time,
become residents; after finding some employment,
they marry, have families, die, and are buried there
with an eye to the spiritual advantages of the
place. I was much importuned to stay at Al-Madinah. The only known physician was one
Shaykh Abdullah Sahib, an Indian, a learned man,
but of so melancholic a temperament, and so
ascetic in his habits, that his knowledge was
entirely lost to the public. “Why dost thou not,” said
my friends, “hire a shop somewhere near the
Prophet’s Mosque? There thou wilt eat bread by
thy skill, and thy soul will have the blessing of being
on holy ground.” Shaykh Nur also opined after a
short residence at Al-Madinah that it was bara
jannati Shahr, a “very heavenly City,” and little
would have induced him to make it his home. The
present ruling race at Al-Madinah, in consequence
of political vicissitudes, is the “Sufat,[FN#8]” sons
of Turkish fathers by Arab mothers. These half-
castes are now numerous, and have managed to
secure the highest and most lucrative offices.
Besides Turks, there are families originally from the
Maghrib, Takruris, Egyptians in considerable
numbers, settlers from Al-Yaman and other parts
of Arabia, Syrians, Kurds, Afghans, Daghistanis
from the Caucasus, and a few Jawis—Java
Moslems. The Sindis, I was told, reckon about one
hundred families, who are exceedingly despised for
their
[p.6]cowardice and want of manliness, whilst the
Baluch and the Afghan are respected. The Indians
are not so numerous in proportion here as at
Meccah; still Hindustani is by no means
uncommonly heard in the streets. They preserve
their peculiar costume, the women persisting in
showing their faces, and in wearing tight,
exceedingly tight, pantaloons. This, together withother reasons, secures for them the contempt of
the Arabs. At Al-Madinah they are generally small
shopkeepers, especially druggists and sellers of
Kumash (cloth), and they form a society of their
own. The terrible cases of misery and starvation
which so commonly occur among the improvident
Indians at Jeddah and Meccah are here rare.
The Hanafi school holds the first rank at Al-
Madinah, as in most parts of Al-Islam, although
many of the citizens, and almost all the Badawin,
are Shafe’is. The reader will have remarked with
astonishment that at one of the fountain-heads of
the faith, there are several races of schismatics,
the Benu Hosayn, the Benu Ali, and the
Nakhawilah. At the town of Safra there are said to
be a number of the Zuyud schismatics,[FN#9] who
visit Al-Madinah, and have settled in force at
Meccah, and some declare that the Bayazi
sect[FN#10] also exists.
The citizens of Al-Madinah are a favoured race,
although the city is not, like Meccah, the grand
mart of the Moslem world or the meeting-place of
nations. They pay no taxes, and reject the idea of
a “Miri,” or land-cess, with extreme disdain. “Are
we, the children of the Prophet,” they exclaim, “to
support or to be supported?” The Wahhabis, not
understanding the argument, taxed them,
[p.7]as was their wont, in specie and in materials,
for which reason the very name of those Puritans
is an abomination. As has before been shown, all
the numerous attendants at the Mosque are paid