Observations on the Mussulmauns of India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 486 pages of information about Observations on the Mussulmauns of India.

Such is the way in which they receive the blessings showered by the orderings of the Almighty, that one never hears a Mussulmaun offer thanks to his earthly benefactor, in return for present benefits; but ’Shooghur Allah!’[8] all thanks to God!  I was somewhat surprised when first acquainted with these people, that they accepted any kind of service done them with the same salutation as when first meeting in the morning, viz. salaam, and a bow.  I inquired of the Meer if there was no word in Hindoostaunie that could express the ‘Thank you!’ so common to us in England?  He bade me remark that the Mussulmauns return thanks to God whenever they receive a benefit from mortals, whom they consider but as the agents appointed by God to distribute His gifts.  ‘All thanks to God!’ is repeated with every benefit received; and this follows every meal or cup of water as naturally, as to eat or to drink is preceded by ’Bis ma Allah!’[9]—­In the name, or to the praise of God!

Amongst the many choice things I have gleaned from the work so often quoted in my Letters, viz.  ‘Hyaatool Kaaloob’, the following, through my Meer’s aid in translation, may here be inserted.

MAHUMUD’S ADVICE

’Observe, ye faithful, there are five things most acceptable to God the Creator, from man, His creature:—­

1st.  ’A generous gift, made when you have the greatest necessity yourself for that which you give away.

2nd.  ’All gifts that are free-will offerings of the heart, neither expecting nor desiring your bounty, should be rewarded, either by returns or acknowledgements.

3rd.  ’To be most humble, when in the enjoyment of the greatest prosperity.

4th.  ’To promote peace, when the reason for indulging your anger is most enticing.

5th.  ’To forgive freely from the heart, when the power to revenge is present with you.’

You perceive a system of charitable feeling is inculcated by the laws of Mahumud; and in every-day practice it is found to be the prominent feature in their general habits.  It is common with the meanest of the people to offer a share of their food to any one calling upon them at meal-time.  I have seen this amiable trait of character in all classes of the people; and often on a river voyage, or a land journey, when the servants cook their dinner under a tree or by the bank of the river, if a dog, which they consider an unclean animal, advances within their reach, a portion of their food is thrown to him with that kindliness of feeling which induces them to share with the hungry, whatever gifts they receive from the Author of all good.[10] Except in seasons of famine, no one need despair of having sufficient to support nature, wherever the Mussulmauns congregate.  I speak it to their credit, and in justice to their character.

[1] See p. 67.

[2] Known among Indian Musalmans as dasaundh, ‘tithes’.

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Observations on the Mussulmauns of India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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