Topsy-Turvy Land eBook

Samuel Marinus Zwemer
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 72 pages of information about Topsy-Turvy Land.

What do you think of our second picture?  Is not the design very pretty for an embroidery pattern?  The motto is written twice; once from the right and once backward from the left, the same as in the other picture.  The words are taken from the Koran and are as true as they are beautiful. Man yattawakil ala Allah fa hooa hasbahoo; which means, “Whoever trusts in God will find Him sufficient.”  That surely contradicts the other picture, does it not?  And yet they are both from the same copy-book.  There are many contradictions in the religion of Mohammed.  I only hope that when Christ’s gospel has conquered Arabia, the name of Jesus will be written on every mosque and in every heart; then contradiction will give way to the truth, and whoever trusts in Christ will find Him sufficient.

Would it not be nice to make something pretty for use in the home or in the Sunday-school, and embroider the Arabic words on it?  It would be a constant reminder of Arabia and of the beautiful motto—­only an Arabic version of Paul’s words, Our sufficiency is of God.

Our last illustration to close this chapter is an example of Arabic every-day penmanship.  It was written in the mountains of Oman, and is a letter from a poor cripple asking for a copy of the Psalms and other books.  It was sent to our brother Peter J. Zwemer a year before he died, when he was on a missionary journey in Oman.

[Illustration:  ARABIC LETTER FROM A POOR CRIPPLE.]

XII

THE QUEER PENNIES OF OMAN AND OF HASSA

If Jesus Himself, on one occasion, said, “Show me a penny,” and preached a sermon from it, surely we may follow his example and learn something from these strange coins which you see in the pictures at the beginning and end of this chapter.  The coin on this page comes from Oman, the home of the Arabian camel and one of its most fertile provinces.  Perhaps some of the boys and girls can tell where Oman is and give its boundaries without looking in the geography, but I am sure none of you can read the inscription on the penny, and tell what it all means.  Who is Fessul bin Turkee?  What is an Imam?  How much is one-quarter of an Anna?  And when did this queer coin come fresh from the mint?

[Illustration:  OMAN COIN.]

Let us begin at the beginning.  Fessul bin Turkee, the present ruler of Oman, lives in a large, tumble-down old castle in Muscat, and his big red flag waves over the town every Friday, the Mohammedan Sabbath.  He is not much better nor worse than his father, Turkee, or than other rulers in Arabia, but he certainly is far more enterprising, and is generally liked by the Arabs of Muscat.  He is not however in all respects a merciful ruler.  When I visited Muscat a few years ago this petty king had a real lion’s den, like Nebuchadnezzar, and the story goes that he sometimes used it in the same way to get rid of his

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Topsy-Turvy Land from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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