quent lustration of the hands, the face, and the body, CHAP.

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which was practised of old by the Arabs, is solemnly

enjoined by the Koran; and a permission is formally granted to supply with sand the scarcity of water. The words and attitudes of supplication, as it is performed either sitting, or standing, or prostrate on the ground, are prescribed by custom or authority, but the prayer is poured forth in short and fervent ejaculations; the measure of zeal is not exhausted by a tedious liturgy; and each Musulman, for his own person, is invested with the character of a priest. Among the theists, who reject the use of images, it has been found necessary to restrain the wanderings of the fancy, by directing the eye and the thought towards a kebla, or visible point of the horizon. The prophet was at first inclined to gratify the Jews by the choice of Jerusalem; but he soon returned to a more natural partiality; and five times every day the eyes of the nations at Astracan, at Fez, at Delhi, are devoutly turned to the holy temple of Mecca. Yet every spot for the service of God is equally pure: the Mahometans indifferently pray in their chamber or in the street. As a distinction from the Jews and Christians, the Friday in each week is set apart for the useful institution of public worship: the people is assembled in the mosch; and the iman, some respectable elder, ascends the pulpit, to begin the prayer and pronounce the sermon. But the Mahometan religion is destitute of priesthood or sacrifice; and the independent spirit of fanaticism looks down with contempt on the ministers and the slaves of superstition. II. The voluntary” penance of the ascetics, the torment and glory of their lives, was odious

* Mahomet (Sale's Koran, c. 9. p. 153) reproaches the Christians with taking their priests and monks for their lords, besides God. Yet Maracci (Prodromus, part iii. p. 69, 70) excuses the worship, especially of the pope, and quotes, from the Koran itself, the case of Eblis, or Satan, who was cast from heaven for refusing to adore Adam.

CHAP. to a prophet who censured in his companions a rash

vow of abstaining from flesh, and women, and sleep; and firmly declared, that he would suffer no monks in his religion.” Yet he instituted, in each year, a fast of thirty days; and strenuously recommended the observance, as a discipline which purifies the soul and subdues the body, as a salutary exercise of obedience to the will of God and his apostle. During the month of Ramadan, from the rising to the setting of the sun, the Musulman abstains from eating and drinking, and women, and baths, and perfumes; from all nourishment that can restore his strength, from all pleasure that can gratify his senses. In the revolution of the lunar year, the Ramadan coincides, by turns, with the winter cold and the summer heat; and the patient martyr, without assuaging his thirst with a drop of water, must expect the close of a tedious and sultry day. The interdiction of wine, peculiar to some orders of priests or hermits, is converted by Mahomet alone into a positive and general law;” and a considerable portion of the globe has abjured, at his command, the use of that salutary, though dangerous, liquor. These painful restraints are, doubtless, infringed by the libertine, and eluded by the hypocrite: but the legislator, by whom they are enacted, cannot surely be accused of alluring his proselytes by the indulgence of their sensual appetites. III. The charity of the Mahometans descends to the animal creation; and the Koran repeatedly inculcates, not as a merit, but as a strict and indispensable duty, the relief of the indigent and unfortunate. Mahomet, perhaps, is the only lawgiver who has de- chAP.

y Koran, c. 5. p. 94. and Sale's note, which refers to the authority of Jallaloddin and Al Beidawi. D'Herbelot declares, that Mahomet condemned la vie religieuse; and that the first swarms of fakirs, dervises, &c. did not appear till after the year 300 of the Hegira (Bibliot. Orient. p. 292.718).

* See the double prohibition (Koran, c. 2. p. 25. c. 5. p. 94); the one in the style of a legislator, the other in that of a fanatic. The public and private motives of Mahomet are investigated by Prideaux (Life of Mahomet, p. 62–64) and Sale (Preliminary Discourse, p. 124).

fined the precise measure of charity: the standard

may vary with the degree and nature of property, as

it consists either in money, in corn or cattle, in fruits or merchandise; but the Musulman does not accomplish the law, unless he bestows a tenth of his revenue; and if his conscience accuses him of fraud or extortion, the tenth, under the idea of restitution, is enlarged to a fifth." Benevolence is the foundation of justice, since we are forbid to injure those whom we are bound to assist. A prophet may reveal the secrets of heaven and of futurity; but in his moral precepts he can only repeat the lessons of our own hearts.

The two articles of belief, and the four practical Resurrec.

duties of Islam, are guarded by rewards and punishments; and the faith of the Musulman is devoutly fixed on the event of the judgment and the last day. The prophet has not presumed to determine the moment of that awful catastrophe, though he darkly

announces the signs, both in heaven and earth, which

will precede the universal dissolution, when life shall be destroyed, and the order of creation shall be confounded in the primitive chaos. At the blast of the trumpet, new worlds will start into being; angels, genii, and men, will arise from the dead, and the human soul will again be united to the body. The doctrine of the resurrection was first entertained by the Egyptians;" and their mummies were embalmed, their pyramids were constructed, to preserve the

* The jealousy of Maracci (Prodromus, part iv. p. 33) prompts him to enumerate the more liberal alms of the Catholics of Rome. Fifteen great hospitals are open to many thousand patients and pilgrims, fifteen hundred maidens are annually portioned, fifty-six charity schools are founded for both sexes, one hundred and twenty confraternities relieve the wants of their brethren, &c. The benevolence of London is still more extensive; but I am afraid that much more is to be ascribed to the humanity, than to the religion, of the people.

* See Herodotus (l. ii. c. 123) and our learned countryman Sir John Marsham (Canon. Chronicus, p. 46). The A3ns of the same writer (p. 254–274) is an elaborate sketch of the infernal regions, as they were painted by the fancy of the Egyptians and Greeks, of the poets and philosophers of antiquity.

ancient mansion of the soul, during a period of three thousand years. But the attempt is partial and unavailing; and it is with a more philosophic spirit that Mahomet relies on the omnipotence of the Creator, whose word can re-animate the breathless clay, and collect the innumerable atoms, that no longer retain their form or substance.* The intermediate state of the soul it is hard to decide; and those who most firmly believe her immaterial nature are at a loss to understand how she can think or act without the agency of the organs of sense. The re-union of the soul and body will be followed by the final judgment of mankind; and in his copy of the Magian picture, the prophet has too faithfully represented the forms of proceeding, and even the slow and successive operations of an earthly tribunal. By his intolerant adversaries he is upbraided for extending, even to themselves, the hope of salvation, for asserting the blackest heresy, that every man who believes in God, and accomplishes good works, may expect in the last day a favourable sentence. Such rational indifference is ill adapted to the character of a fanatic; nor is it probable that a messenger from heaven should depreciate the value and necessity of his own revelation. In the idiom of the Koran," the belief of God is inseparable from that of Mahomet; the good works are those which he has enjoined; and the two qualifications imply the profession of Islam, to which all nations and all sects are equally invited. Their spiritual blindness, though excused by ignorance, and crowned with virtue, will be scourged with everlasting torments; and the tears which Mahomet CHAP. shed over the tomb of his mother, for whom he was L.


Hell and paradise.

• The Koran (c. 2. p. 259, &c.; of Sale, p. 32; of Maracci, p. 97) relates an ingenious miracle, which satisfied the curiosity, and confirmed the faith, of Abraham.

* The candid Reland has demonstrated, that Mahomet damns all unbelievers (de Religion. Moham. p. 128–142); that devils will not be finally saved (p. 196 — 199); that paradise will not solely consist of corporeal delights (p. 199—205); and that women's souls are immortal (p. 205—209).

forbidden to pray, display a striking contrast of hu-
manity and enthusiasm." The doom of the infidels
is common: the measure of their guilt and punishment
is determined by the degree of evidence which they
have rejected, by the magnitude of the errors which
they have entertained: the eternal mansions of the
Christians, the Jews, the Sabians, the Magians, and
the idolaters, are sunk below each other in the abyss;
and the lowest hell is reserved for the faithless hypo-
crites who have assumed the mask of religion. After
the greater part of mankind has been condemned
for their opinions, the true believers only will be
judged by their actions. The good and evil of each
Musulman will be accurately weighed in a real or
allegorical balance, and a singular mode of compensa-
tion will be allowed for the payment of injuries: the
aggressor will refund an equivalent of his own good
actions, for the benefit of the person whom he has
wronged; and if he should be destitute of any moral
property, the weight of his sins will be loaded with
an adequate share of the demerits of the sufferer.
According as the shares of guilt or virtue shall pre-
ponderate, the sentence will be pronounced, and all,
without distinction, will pass over the sharp and pe-
rilous bridge of the abyss; but the innocent, treading
in the footsteps of Mahomet, will gloriously enter the
gates of paradise, while the guilty will fall into the
first and mildest of the seven hells. The term of
expiation will vary from nine hundred to seven thou-
sand years; but the prophet has judiciously promised,
that all his disciples, whatever may be their sins, shall
• Al Beidawi, apud Sale, Koran, c. 9. p. 164. The refusal to pray for an un-
believing kindred is justified, according to Mahomet, by the duty of a prophet,
and the example of Abraham, who reprobated his own father as an enemy of
God. Yet Abraham (he adds, c. 9. v. 116. Maracci, tom. ii. p. 317) fuit sane
pius, mitis. -

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