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

[28] Sawan, the fourth month of the Hindu year, July-August.

[29] The feast is held in honour of the mythical Khwaja Khizr, ’the
    green one’, a water spirit identified with the Prophet Elisha (see
    Sale on Koran, xviii. 63).  The launching of the little boats is,
    in essence, a form of magic intended to carry away the evils which
    menace the community, and to secure abundant rainfall.

[30] Ilyas ki kishti.

[31] This is known as Hilal.

[32] The Semites, like other races, believed in the influence of the moon. 
    ‘The sun shall not strike thee by day, nor the moon by night’ (Ps.
    cxxi. 6).  It was believed to cause blindness and epilepsy.  Sir J.G. 
    Frazer has exhaustively discussed the question of the influence of the
    moon.  The harvest moon, in particular, brings fertility, and hears the
    prayers of women in travail:  the moon causes growth and decay, and she
    is dangerous to children.  Many practical rules are based on her
    influence at the various phases (The Golden Bough[3] Part I, vol. ii,
    p. 128; Part IV, vol. ii, p. 132 ff.).

[33] ’The sixth house is Scorpio, which is that of slaves and servants,
    and of diseases’ (Abul Fazl, Akbarnama, tr.  H. Beveridge, ii. 12).

[34] Here the moon is supposed to exert a curative influence.

[35] Hindus believe that during an eclipse the moon is being strangled by
    a demon, Rahu.  Cries are raised, drums and brazen pans are beaten
    to scare him.

[36] Properly the Mu’azzin or official summoner to prayer.

[37] Allahu akbar.

[38] All offerings of intercession or thanksgivings are denominated sutkah
    [Author] (sadaqah, see p. 136).

[39] Lime liniment, composed of equal parts of lime-water and a bland oil,
    is recognized in surgical practice.

[40] Shab-i-bara’at, ‘the night of record’, is a feast held on the
    15th of the month Sha’ban, when a vigil is kept, with prayers and
    illuminations.  On this occasion service in memory of the deceased
    ancestors of the family is performed.  On this night the fortunes of
    mortals during the coming year are said to be recorded in Heaven.  See
    p. 51.

[41] Al-Fatihah, ‘the opening one’, the first chapter of the Koran.

[42] Mitha, mithai, ‘sweetmeats’.

[43] Imam Mahdi, see pp. 72, 76.

[44] Ziyarat, see p. 15.

[45] Compare the oracular trees of the Greeks (Sir J.G.  Frazer,
    Pausanias, ii. 160).  For legends of speaking trees in India,
    W. Crooke, Popular Religion and Folklore of N. India,[2] ii. 89.

LETTER XII

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