As soon as the sun was visible, the ifada to Mina used to begin in pre-Islamic times. Mohammed therefore ordained that this should begin before sunrise; here again we have the attempt to destroy a solar rite. In ancient times they are said to have sung during the ifada, “ ashrik thabir kaima mughir.” The explanation of these words is uncertain; it is sometimes translated: “Enter into the light of morning, Thabir, so that we may hasten.” And again we know from a statement in Ibn Hisham (ed. Wustenfeld, p. 76, et seq.), that the stone throwing only began after the sun had crossed the meridian. Houtsma has made it probable that the stoning was originally directed at the sun-demon; important support is found for this view in the foct that the Pilgrimage originally coincided with the autumnal equinox as similar customs are found all over the world at the beginning of the four seasons. With the expulsion of the sun-demon, whose harsh rule comes to an end with summer, worship of the thunder-god who brings fertility and his invocation may easily be connected, as we have seen above at the festival in Muzdalifa. The name tarwiya, moistening,” may also be explained in this connection as a sympathetic rain-charm, traces of which survive in the libation of Zem Zem water. Other explanations of the stone-throwing are given. Van Vloten connects it with snake-worship or demonolatry and as proof gives the expression used in the Koran so frequently, As Shaitan ar rajim “the pelted devil.” Chauvin finds in it “an example of scopelism (sic) the object being to prevent the cultivation of the ground by the Meccans.” Both theories have been refuted by Houtsma." Regarding the throwing of the pebbles in the pilgrimage ceremony we may compare what Frazer says in his chapter on the transference of evil to stones and sticks among pagans and animists (“The Scapegoat,” pp. 23–24):

5 See Art. “Hadjdj in the Encyclop. of Islam,” Vol. II, p. 200.

“Sometimes the motive for throwing the stone is to ward off a dangerous spirit; sometimes it is to cast away an evil; sometimes it is to acquire a good. Yet, perhaps, if we could trace them back to their origin in the mind of primitive man, we might find that they all resolve themselves more or less exactly into the principle of the transference of evil. For to rid themselves of an evil and to acquire a good are often merely opposite sides of one and the same operation; for example, a convalescent regains health in exactly the same proportion as he shakes off his malady. And though the practice of throwing stones at dangerous spirits, especially at mischievous and malignant ghosts of the dead, appears to spring from a different motive, yet it may be questioned whether the difference is really as great to the savage as it seems to us.” . . . “Thus the throwing of the sticks or stones would be a form of ceremonial purification, which among primitive peoples is commonly conceived as a sort of physical rather than moral purgation, a mode of sweeping or scouring away the morbid matter by which the polluted person is supposed to be infected. This motion perhaps explains the rite of stone-throwing observed by pilgrims at Mecca; on the day of sacrifice every pilgrim has to cast seven stones on a cairn, and the rite is repeated on the three following days. The traditional explanation of the custom is that Mohammed here drove away the devil with a shower of stones; but the original idea may perhaps have been that the pilgrims cleanse themselves by transferring their ceremonial impurity to the stones which they fling on the heap.”

Dr. Snouck Hurgronje gives, in addition, the following pagan practices of the pilgrimage. It is commonly supposed that in the time of ignorance two idols were worshiped on Safa and Marwa, and the names of these idols are mentioned. In the second chapter of the Koran, Verse 153, the pagan custom observed by the Arabs before Islam is sanctioned. Prof. Hurgronje thinks that the existence of the small sanctuaries around the Ka'aba are due to the existence of sacred trees, stones and wells, which formerly were pagan places of worship, but were afterwards Islamized by stating that under such a tree the Prophet sat down — this stone spoke to him — on that stone he sat down — and certain wells even were made sacred because Mohammed spat in them. (Azraqi, p. 438, quoted in Hurgronje, p. 123.)

A little south of the valley of Arafat there is a small hill called the Hill of Grace, on the top of which there was formerly a small building with a dome. At present it is connected with Um Salima, but its origin is lost in obscurity. When the Wahhabis came to Mecca and desired to purify it of idolatry, they destroyed these places. Prof. Hurgronje concludes that while the general ritual of the pilgrimage is Mohammedan, there are many practices that now are condemned as innovations, which are in reality old Arabian and pagan in their character. His conclusion at the end of his learned paper is this: “Should Sprenger's hope ever be fulfilled,— and it is not probable — that a school of Tübingen critics should arise in Islam, then surely the feast at Mecca and the pilgrim ceremonies would be the first to disappear among the practices which belong to the heart of the Moslem religion.”


IN no monotheistic religion are magic and sorcery so firmly entrenched as they are in Islam; for in the case of this religion they are based on the teaching of the Koran and the practice of the Prophet. In one celebrated passage * we read: “they follow that which the devils recited against Solomon's kingdom;- it was not Solomon who misbelieved, but the devils who misbelieved, teaching men sorcery, and what has been revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut, yet these taught no one until they said, “We are but a temptation, so do not misbelieve.’ Men learn from them only that by which they may part man and wife; but they can harm no one therewith, unless with the permission of God, and they learn what hurts them and profits them not. And yet they knew that he who purchased it would have no portion in the future; but sad is the price at which they have sold their souls, had they but known. But had they believed and feared, a reward from God were better, had they but known.” In the commentaries we have a long account of how these two angels, Harut and Marut, had compassion on the frailties of mankind and were sent down to earth to be tempted. They both sinned, and being permitted to choose whether they would be punished now or hereafter, chose the former and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky pit, where they are great teachers of magic.” There are other passages 1 “The Qur'an,” E. H. Palmer, Part I, Sura 11:96 f. * Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p. 168. In a beautifully illustrated Persian book of Traditions found in the Sultaniah Museum, Cairo, there in the Koran dealing with magic, in fact the book itself, as we have already seen, has magical power. The superstitions that obtained in Arabia before Islam have been perpetuated by it. No orthodox Moslem doubts that men are able to call forth the power of demons and Jinn by means of magic (sihr). Everywhere there are professional magicians, wizards and witches. The popular belief in them to-day in Arabia is well described by Doughty (Vol. II, p. 106). “Wellah,” he said, “Sheykh Khalil, one of them sitting on such a beam, may ride in the night-time to Medina and return ere day, and no man know it; for they will be found in their houses when the people waken.” “How may a witch that has an husband gad abroad by night, and the goodman not know it?” “If she take betwixt her fingers only a little of the ashes of the hearth, and sprinkle it on his forehead, the dead sleep will fall upon him till the morning. But though one knew his wife to be a witch, yet durst he not show it, nor put her away, for she might cause him to perish miserably yet the most witches are known, and one of them, he added darkly, is a neighbor of ours. When it is the time to sleep they roam through the village ways: and I warn thee, Sheykh Khalill for a thing which we looked not for may happen in a moment! have a care in thy coming home by night.” “I would willingly see them.” “Eighl speak not so fool-hardily, except thou know some powerful spells to say against them. I have heard that Dakhilallah (a menhel, or man of God), once meeting with the witches did cry against them words which the Lord put into his heart, out of the Roran, and they fled from him shrieking that the pairs of hell were come upon them.” “The witches,” said the melancholy Imam, “are of all ages: they have a sheikh, who is a man, and he also is known.” “And why are they not punished?” “Wellah, it is for fear of their malice. The hags assemble in dead hours of the night, and sitting in a

is a picture of these culprits.

« ElőzőTovább »