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.

[12] Kajal.

[13] Nath, a love-token presented to the bride by the bridegroom.  The
    very mention of it is considered indelicate.

[14] They generally adopt an odd number.

[15] Suar.

[16] Nim (Melia Azidirachta).

[17] Babul (Acacia arabica).

[18] Gulbadan, ‘with body like a rose’, a fine silk fabric.

[19] Mashru ‘conformable to law’, a silk-cotton cloth, which—­but not
    pure silk—­a Musulman can wear during prayer.

[20] Zerband, ‘fastening below’, ‘a girth’.

[21] Angiya.

[22] Shabnam.  The finest varieties of these cloths were made at Dacca. 
    Aurungzeb is said to have remonstrated with his daughter for wearing
    what he thought to be a Coa vestis.  She answered that she wore seven
    folds of this cloth.

[23] Har, a necklace, an embroidered garland thrown round the neck of
    a visitor on his departure, as a mark of respect.  These garlands were
    substituted for the pearl necklaces which, in former days, were
    presented to guests.

[24] ’Stockings are never worn [in the Zenana]:  but I have seen little
    coloured stockings, made of the wool from Cashmir, worn at times
    during the cold season.’—­Mrs. Parks, Wanderings of a Pilgrim,
     i. 456.

[25] According to the traditions, the Prophet said, ’Change the whiteness
    of your hair, but not with anything black’.  The first Caliph is said
    to have dyed his beard red with henna.  Nowadays indigo is largely used.

LETTER VI

The Mussulmaun religion.—­Sectarians.—­Their difference of faith.—­History of the Soonies.—­The Caliphas Omir, Osman, Aboubuker, &c.—­Mahumud’s parting charge to Ali.—­Omir’s jealousy of Ali.—­The Khoraun.—­How compiled.—­The Calipha Omir held in detestation.—­Creed of the Sheahs.—­Funeral service.—­Opinions of the Mussulmauns respecting the Millennium.—­The foundation of their faith exhibited.—­Sentiments of the most devout followers of Mahumud.—­Bridge of Sirraat, the Scales, &c. explained.—­Emaum Mhidhie.—­Prophecy of his reappearance.—­Its early fulfilment anticipated.—­Discourse with the Meer Hadjee Shaah on this subject.

I do not presume to offer opinions on the nature, substance, or character, of the Mussulmaun Faith; but confine myself to the mere relation of such facts as I have received from the best possible authority, viz. the religious men who are of that faith, and live in strict accordance with the tenets they profess.

There are two sects of the Mussulmaun persuasion, as I have before remarked, viz. the Sheahs and the Soonies.  The leaders of the former are called Emaums; and those of the latter Caliphas.  The Sheahs acknowledge Ali and his immediate descendants (eleven in number) ’the right and only lawful Emaums’, in succession, after Mahumud.  The Soonies declare the Caliphas—­as Omir, Aboubuker, &c.—­to be their lawful leaders after Mahumud.

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