Yahya. On the capture of Damascus by the
churches were equally divided between the Christians and their
conquerors. The great Cathedral of St. John was similarly divided,
and for eighty years the two religions worshipped under the same
roof.—Arnold, The Preaching of Islam, p. 50.
 A vulgar corruption of Jame’ Masjid, the Cathedral Mosque.
 On the taboos attached to the sanctuary, see Burton,
i. 379 f.
 At-Ta’if, meaning ‘circumambulation’.
When Adam settled at Mecca,
finding the country barren, he prayed to Allah to supply him with a
piece of fertile land. Immediately a mountain appeared, which, having
circumambulated the Ka’aba, settled itself down eastward of Mecca.
Hence it was called Kita min Sham, ‘a piece of Syria,’ whence it
came. (Burton, ii. 336.) ’Its fertile lands produce the fruits of
Syria in the midst of the Arabian desert’ ( Gibbon, Decline and Fall,
 At Mecca are ’evident signs, with the standing
place of Abraham; and
he who enters it is safe’ (Koran, iii. 90). On the north side of
the Ka’aba, just by its door, is a slight hollow in the ground, lined
with marble. The spot is called Mi’jan, and it is supposed to be the
place where Abraham and Ishmael kneaded the chalk which they used in
building the Ka’aba: the stone, with the mark of Abraham’s feet, is
shown.—Burckhardt, quoted by Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p. 337;
Burton, ii. 311; Sale, Preliminary Discourse, p. 84.
 The Asiatics, generally, have faith in certain
properties of chemical
productions to alter the nature of the common to the precious metals.
I have often witnessed the anxious exertions of Natives in India, who
try all sorts of experiments in alchemy, expecting to succeed; but I
have never known any other issue from the many laborious efforts of
individuals than waste of time and property in these absurd schemes.
 One of the best-known versions of this famous
tale is found in The
Decameron of Boccaccio, Day 5, novel 9. It goes back to Buddhist
times, and is told of Hatim Tai, the model of Oriental
liberality. For numerous parallels, see A.C. Lee, The Decameron of
Boccaccio, its Sources and Analogues, 1909, pp. 170 ff.
 Labada, ‘a rain coat, wrapper’.
 This is probably some local tradition, of which
no record appears in
travellers’ accounts of the Ka’aba.
 On the north-west side of the Ka’aba is
a water-spout, called
Mi’zabu’r-Rahmah, ‘the spout of Mercy’. It is made of gold, and was
sent from Constantinople in A.D. 1573. It carries the rain-water from
the roof, and discharges it on the grave of Ishmael.—Hughes,
Dictionary of Islam, pp. 257, 337.