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Omar,” “We were in a detachment and we were in a state of impurity, etc. . . .” and he uses the words: “he spat on his hands' instead of “he breathed.” These two traditions from Bokhari also show the value ascribed to the animistic custom of blowing and spitting. There are a number of traditions regarding spitting in a mosque. It must in no case be done in front of any one, nor to the right hand but to the left." According to Annas Ibn Malek, to spit in a mosque is a sin: one may expiate it by wiping up the spittle. Again, in entering a mosque one must put the right foot forward first for fear of evil consequences. In the same way we are told that a man who was carrying arrows in his hand entered a mosque, and the Prophet cried: “Hold them by the point.” The only reason for this command, as is shown by its connection, is that the points of the arrows or other sharp instruments might arouse jinn or damage the value of prayer. We also find traditions concerning such Animistic practices as crossing the fingers or the limbs at the time of prayer. In regard to the ritual ablution, (ghasl), after certain natural functions, Wensinck remarks, “Das Geschlechtsleben stand in semitischen Heidentum unter den Schutze gewisser Götter and war ihnen somit geweiht. Die mannlichen und weiblichen Prostituierten bei den Pālastinichen und babylonichen Heiligtumern sind ja bekaunt genug. Ich brauche darüber kein wort ze verlieren. Weil nun der betreffende Gott für den Monotheismus Dāmon geworden ist, so ist auch sein Kult, das Geschlechtsleben, den Monotheismus dāmonisch.” There are many traditions which assert a close relationship between sleep and the presence of Jinn. It is during sleep that the soul, according to animistic belief, leaves the body. Therefore, one must waken those who sleep, gently, lest the soul be prevented from returning. Not only during sleep, but during illness demons are present; and in Egypt it is considered unfortunate for any one who is ceremonially unclean to approach a patient suffering from ophthalmia. The Moslem when he prays is required, according to tradition, to cover his head, especially the back part of the skull. This according to Wensinck is also due to animistic belief; for evil spirits enter the body by this way. Goldziher has shown that the name given to this part of the body (al qafa) has a close relation to the kind of poetry called Qafiya, which originally meant a poem to wound the skull, or in other words, an imprecatory poem. It is therefore for the dread of evil powers which might enter the mind that the head must be covered during prayer. References are found to this practice both in Moslem tradition and in the Talmud, on which they are based. Again it is noteworthy that those places which are ritually unclean, such as closets, baths, etc., are considered the habitation of demons. According to tradition a Moslem cannot perform his prayer without a Sutra or some object placed between himself and the Kibla (the direction of Mecca) in order, “that nothing may harm him by passing in between.” Of this custom we speak later. The call of the Muezzin according to Al-Bokhari drives away the demons and Satan.” No one dares to recite the Koran, which is a holy book, without first repeating the words, “I take refuge in God against Satan the accursed.” We may add to all this what Mittwoch has shown in his book “Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des islamischen Gebets und Kultus,” that the Takbir itself (that is the cry Allahu Akbar, God is greater), one of the elements of daily prayer, is a cry 7 Bokhari: Kitab al Adhan: Section IV.
6 Bokhari: Chap. 33. Cf. Muslim, Vol. I, 207 — Arabic edition. “No one must enter or approach a mosque if he has eaten onion, or garlic, because the angels hate the smell as much as human beings do.” Muslim: Vol. I: 210.
against demons. The raising of the hands during prayer and the movement of the forefinger is perhaps to ward off the spirits of the air,” or it may have a connection with the Qanut. Others say that the spreading out or the stretching forth of the fingers and arms is to prevent any idol or thing of blasphemy being hidden between the fingers or under the armpits, a ruse used formerly by the unbelievers and discovered by the Angel Gabriel. Among the Arabs before the time of Mohammed and among Moslems to-day, sneezing, especially during prayer, is an ominous sign and should be accompanied by a pious ejaculation. This also is clearly animistic; among the tribes of Malaysia the general belief is that when one sneezes, the soul leaves the body. At the close of the prayer, as is well-known, the worshiper salutes the two angels on his right and left shoulders. When one sneezes one should say, “I ask forgiveness of God’”; when one yawns, however, the breath (soul) passes inward and one says, “Praise be to God.” Not only the preparations for prayer and prayer itself but the times” of prayer have a distinct connection with the animistic belief. The noon-day prayer is never held at high noon but a short time after the sun reaches the meridian. Wensinck points out that this is due to the belief that the sun-god is really a demon and must not be worshiped by the 8 I am told by my sheikh from Al-Azhar that according to Moslem tradition it is bad luck (Makruh) to drink water or any liquid while one is standing. If, however, one is compelled to drink standing one should move his big toe rapidly as this will ward off all harm. We find here the same superstitious custom of warding off evil spirits by moving the first toe up and down as that of the finger at the end of the ritual prayer. 9 Prayer is forbidden at three particular periods: at high noon because the devil is then in the ascendant; when the sun is rising because it rises between the horns of the devil, when the sun is at the setmonotheist. According to al-Bokhari the Prophet postponed the noon-day prayer until after high noon for “the greatest heat of the day belongs to the heat of hell.” Nor is it permitted to pray shortly after sunrise for “the sun rises between the horns of the devil.” According to Abu Huraira and Abdallah ibn 'Omar, the prophet of God said: “When it is excessively hot wait until it is cool to make your prayers, for intense heat comes from hell.” Abu-Dzarr said: The Muezzin of the Prophet had called for the noon-prayer. “Wait until it is cooler, wait until it is cooler, or wait . . .” said the Prophet. Then he added: “Great heat is of hell: so when it is excessively hot wait until it is cool, then make your prayers.” Abou-Dzarr" adds: “And we waited until we saw the shadow declining.” That certain hours of the day are unlucky and must be guarded against is a pagan belief probably based on their fear of darkness. Maxwell, quoted by Skeat (page 15), says: “Sunset is the hour when evil spirits of all kinds have most power. In Perak, children are often called indoors at this time to save from unseen dangers. Sometimes, with the same object, a woman belonging to the house where there are young children, will chew kuniet terus (an evil-smelling root), supposed to be much disliked by demons of all kinds, and spit it out at seven different points as she walks round the house. “The yellow glow which spreads over the western sky, when it is lighted up with the last rays of the dying sun, is called mambang kuning (‘the yellow deity’), a term indicative of the superstitious dread associated with this particular period.” " In this connection it is curious to note that the unlucky times among the Malay people correspond exactly with the
ting because it sets between the horns of the devil. .” Ibn Maja ”: Vol. I, p. 195.