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oepts of Mahomet himself inculcates a more simple and rational piety: prayer, fasting, and alms, are the religious duties of a Mussulman; and he is encouraged to hope, that prayer will carry him half way to God, fasting will bring .\im to the dooi of his palace, and alms will gain him admittance.101 I. According to the tradition of the nocturnal journey, the apostle. in his personal conference with the Deity, was commanded tc impose on his disciples the daily obligation of fifty prayers By the advice of Moses, he applied for au alleviation of this intolerable burden; the number was gradually reduced to five; without any dispensation of business or pleasure, or time or place: the devotion of the faithful is repeated at daybreak, at noon, in the afternoon, in the evening, and at the first watch of the night; and in the present decay of religious fervor, our travellers are edified by the profound humility and attention of the Turks and Persians. Cleanliness is the key of prayer: the frequent lustration of the hands, the face, .and the body, 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 Mussulman for his own person is invested with the character of a priest. Among the theists, who reject the use of images, it lias 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 Dotbi, are
101 The most authentic account of them precepts, pilgrimu^. praj er, ftwting, alms, and ablutions, is extracted from the Persian and Arabian theologians by Maracci, (Prodrom. part iv. p. 9—24,) Reland, (in hit excellent treatise de Religione Moharninedica, Utrecht, 1717, p. 67— 123,) and Chardin, (Voyages in Perse, torn. iv. p. 47—195.) Marac* m a partial accuser ; but the jeweller, Chardin, had the eyes of a phi loaopher; and Reland, a judicious student, had travelled over the Easl in his closet at Utrecht. The xivth letter of Tournefort (Voyage du J/VAt, torn, ii p. •'525—360, in octavo) describe* what he had se«n »f &> jl'lfion oi the Turks.
devoutly turned to the holy temple of Mecca. Yet every ipot for the service of God is equally pure: the Mahometan* ndifferently 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 imam, 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 m penance of the ascetics, the torment and glory of their lives, was odious 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 Mussulman 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
,"* Mahomet (Sale's Koran, c. 9, p. 153) reproaches the Christiana 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 Koriin itself, the case of Eblis, or Satan, who was oast from heaven for refusing to adore Adam.
108 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 re/igieuse; and that the first swarms of fakirs, dervises, (fee, did not appear till after the year 300 of the Hegira, (Bibliot Jrient. p. 292, 718.)
* Such is Mahometanism beyond the precincts of the Holy City. Bil Mahomet retained, and the Koran sanctions, (Sale's Koran, c. 5, in init. c. 22, vol. ii. p. 171, 172,) the sacrifice of sheep and camels (probably according to the old Arabian rites) at Mecca; and the pilgrims complete their cere mouial with sacrifices, sometimes as numerous and costly as those of King Solomon. Compare note, vol. iv. c. xxiii. p. 96. and Forster's Mahometaiiistn Unveiled, vol. i. p. 420. This author quotes the questionable authority sf Benjamin of Tmiela, tor the sacrifice of a camel by the caliph at Bosra; out sacrifice undoubtedly forms no part of the ordinary Mahometan ritual; Qor will the sanctity of the caliph, as the earthly representative of the prophet, bear any close analogy to the priesthood of the Mcsaicor GetitiW alunons.—M VOL. V.—5
his senses. la the revolation of the lunar year, the Ramadar coincides, by turns, with the winter cold and the sumraej heat; and the patient martyr, without assiaging his thirsl 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 lawj;104 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 denned 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 Mussulman 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.10" 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 nis moral precepts he can only repeat the lessons of our own hearts.
The two articles of belief, and the four practical duties, of Islam, are guarded by rewards and punishments; and the
104 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 Pr'deaux (Life of Mahomet, p. 62—-64) and Sale, (Preliminary Discourse, o. 1?4.)
m 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 confiatcrnities relieve the wants of their brethreu, &c The benevolence of Jjondon is still more extensive; but I am afraid that much more is to be ascribed »■» the humanity, than to tie -eligion, of th« people.
faith of the Mussulman is devoutly fixed on the event of th« 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;I08 and their mummies were embalmed, their pyramids Wpw constructed, to preserve the 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 reanimate the breathless clay, and collect the innumerable atoms, that no longer retain their form or substance.107 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 reunion 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 favorable 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
1JS See Herodotus (1. ii. c. 123) and our learned countryman Sif John Marsham, (Canon. Chronicus, p. 46.) The 'Acns of the same writer (p. 254—274) is an elaborate sketch of the infernal regions, aa they were painted by the fancy of the Egyptians and Greeks, of the peeta and philosophers of antiquitv.
10T The Koran (c. 2, p. 259, &c.\ of Sale, p. 32; of Mararei, p 97) relates an ingenious miracle, which satisfied the curiosity, auJ. toa finned the faith, of Abraham.
the Koran,"8 the belief of God is inseparable from that of Mahomet: the good works are those which lie has enjoined; and the two qualifications imply the profession of Islam, tc which all nations and all sects are equally invited. Then spiritual blindness, though excused by ignorance and crownec with virtue, will be scourged with everlasting torments; anc the tears which Mahomet shed over the tomb of his mothei for whom he was forbidden to pray, display a striking con trast of humanity and enthusiasm.109 The doom of the in6 dels is common: the measure of their guilt and punishmem Is determined by the degree of evidence which they have rejected, by the magnitude of the errors which they hjive entertained: the eternal mansions of the Christians, the Jews, the Sabians, the Magians, and idolaters, are sunk below each other in the abyss; and the lowest hell is reserved for the, faithless hypocrites 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 Mussulman will be accurately weighed in a real or allegorical balance; and a singular mode of compensation 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 preponderate, the sentence will be pronounced, and all, without distinction, will pass over the sharp and perilous bridge of the abyss; but the innocent, treading in the footsteps of Mahomet, will gloriously enter the gate? of paradise, while the guilty will fall into the first and mildest of the seven hells. The term of expiation will vary from
108 The candid Roland has demonstrated, that Mahomet damns all unbelievers, (de Religion. Moham. p. 128—142;) that devils will not be finally saved, (p. 19(5—199;) that paradise will not solely consist of corporeal delights, (p. 199—205;) and that women's souls are immortal (p. 205—209.)
10" A. Beidawi, apud Sale. Koran, c. 9, p. 164. The refusal to pray for an unbelieving kindred is justified, according to Mahomet, by the duty of a prophet, and the example of Abraham, who reprobated his cwn lather as an enemy of God. Yet Abraham (he ? Ida. c,9, i lift. Maracci, torn, ii p. 317) fuit sane pins, mitis.