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.

[42] Mulla, the Persian form of Maulavi, ‘a doctor of law’.

[43] It is a mistake to suppose that the procession of the Ta’ziya or
    Tabut is peculiar to India.  It is practised in Persia and Egypt.

[44] The Prophet was obliged to make some compromise with idolatry, as in
    the case of the Black Stone at Mecca.  But he protested against idols
    in one of the earliest Suurahs of the Koraan (lii 35-43), and in
    other passages.

LETTER III

Continuation of Mahurrum.—­Consecration of Banners.—­Durgah at Lucknow.—­Its origin explained.—­Regarded with peculiar veneration.—­The Nuwaub vows to build a new one.—­Its description.—­Procession to the Durgah.—­Najoomies.—­Influence possessed and practised by them.—­Eunuchs.—­Anecdotes of some having attained great honours and wealth.—­Presents bestowed upon them generally revert to the donor.—­Rich attire of male and female slaves.

After the Tazia is brought home (as the temporary ones are from the bazaar on the eve of Mahurrum, attended by a ceremonious display of persons, music, flags, flambeaux, &c.), there is little to remark of out-door parade beyond the continual activity of the multitude making the sacred visits to their several Emaum-baarahs, until the fifth day, when the banners are conveyed from each of them in solemn procession, to be consecrated at the Durgah[1] (literally translated, ‘The threshold’ or ’Entrance to a sanctified place’).

This custom is perhaps exclusively observed by the inhabitants of Lucknow, where I have had the privilege of acquiring a knowledge of the motives which guide most of their proceedings; and as there is a story attached to the Durgah, not generally known to European visitors, I propose relating it here, as it particularly tends to explain the reasons for the Mussulmauns conveying their banners for consecration to that celebrated shrine.

’A native of India—­I forget his name—­remarkable for his devotion and holy life, undertook the pilgrimage to Mecca; whilst engaged in these duties at the “holy house”, he was visited with a prophetic dream.  Abass Ali (the standard-bearer and relation of Hosein) appeared to him in his dream, commanding him, that as soon as his duties at Mecca were fulfilled he should, without delay, proceed to Kraabaallah, to the tomb of Hosein; directing him, with great precision, how he was to find the exact spot of earth where was deposited the very Allum[2] (banner) of Hosein, which he (Abass Ali) had, on the great day of Kraabaallah, carried to the field.  The man was further instructed to possess himself of this relic secretly, and convey it about his person until he should reach his native country, when he would be more fully directed by the orderings of Providence how the relic should be disposed of.

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