Observations on the Mussulmauns of India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 594 pages of information about Observations on the Mussulmauns of India.

[6] Razai, a counterpane padded with cotton.

[7] Dopatta, a double sheet:  see p. 26.

[8] See p. 24.

[9] Dastarkhwan, see p. 108.

[10] ’Ayishah, daughter of Abubakr, third and best loved wife of the
    Prophet, though she bore him no child.  The tale of the scandal about
    her is historical, but it is treated as a calumny (Koran, xxiv. 
    II, 22, with Sale’s note).

[11] Known as the burqa.

[12] Amir Taimur, known as Taimur Lang, ‘the lame’, was born A.D.
    1336; ascended the throne at Balkh, 1370; invaded India and captured
    Delhi, 1398; died 1405, and was buried at Samarkand.  There seems to be
    no evidence that he introduced the practice of the seclusion of women,
    an ancient Semitic custom, which, however, was probably enforced on
    the people of India by the brutality of foreign invaders.

[13] Dak.

[14] See p. 32.

[15] Kabab, properly, small pieces of meat roasted on skewers.

[16] Nanbai, a baker of bread (nan).

[17] Khir, milk boiled with rice, sugar, and spices.

[18] Mutanjan, a corruption of muttajjan, ‘fried in a pan’; usually in
    the form mutanjan pulao, meat boiled with rice, sugar, butter,
    and sometimes pine-apples or nuts.

[19] Salan, a curry of meat, fish, or vegetables.

[20] The left hand is used for purposes of ablution.

[21] The Musalman lota, properly called badhna, differs from
    that used by Hindus in having a spout like that of a teapot.

[22] Lagan, a brass or copper pan in which the hands are washed:  also
    used for kneading dough.

[23] Besan, flour, properly that of gram (chana).  The prejudice
    against soap is largely due to imitation of Hindus, who believe
    themselves to be polluted by fat.  Arabs, after a meal, wash their
    hands and mouths with soap (Burton, Pilgrimage, ii. 257).  Sir G.
    Watt (Economic Dictionary, iii. 84 ff.) gives a long list of other
    detergents and substitutes for soap.

[24] Katora.

[25] The prejudice against the use of tea has much decreased since this
    book was written, owing to its cultivation in India.  Musalmans and
    many Hindus now drink it freely.

[26] Dali, the ‘dolly’ of Anglo-Indians.

[27] See p. 13.

[28] Huqqahbardar.

[29] Munhnal.


Plurality of wives.—­Mahumud’s motive for permitting this privilege.—­State of society at the commencement of the Prophet’s mission.—­His injunctions respecting marriage.—­Parents invariably determine on the selection of a husband.—­First marriages attended by a public ceremony.—­The first wife takes precedence of all others.—­Generosity of deposition evinced by the Mussulmaun ladies.—­Divorces obtained under certain restrictions.—­Period of solemnizing marriage.—­Method adopted in choosing a husband or wife.—­Overtures and contracts of marriage, how regulated.—­Mugganee, the first contract.—­Dress of the bride elect on this occasion.—­The ceremonies described as witnessed.—­Remarks on the bride.—­Present from the bridegroom on Buckrah Eade.

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