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                            Table of Contents
Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah
	Sir Richard Francis Burton
VOLUME I.
	PREFACE TO THE MEMORIAL EDITION.
	PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
	PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
PART I. AL-MISR
	CHAPTER I. TO ALEXANDRIA.
	CHAPTER II. I LEAVE ALEXANDRIA.
	CHAPTER III. THE NILE STEAMBOAT-THE "LITTLE ASTHMATIC."
	CHAPTER IV. LIFE IN THE WAKALAH.
	CHAPTER V. THE RAMAZAN.
	CHAPTER VI. THE MOSQUE.
	CHAPTER VII. PREPARATIONS TO QUIT CAIRO.
	CHAPTER VIII. FROM CAIRO TO SUEZ.
	CHAPTER IX. SUEZ.
	CHAPTER X. THE PILGRIM SHIP.
	CHAPTER XI. TO YAMBU'.
	CHAPTER XII. THE HALT AT YAMBU'.
	CHAPTER XIII. FROM YAMBU' TO BIR ABBAS.
	CHAPTER XIV. FROM BIR ABBAS TO AL-MADINAH.
	CHAPTER XV. THROUGH THE SUBURB OF AL-MADINAH TO HAMID'S HOUSE.
	CHAPTER XVI. A VISIT TO THE PROPHET'S TOMB.
	CHAPTER XVII. AN ESSAY TOWARDS THE HISTORY OF THE PROPHET'S MOSQUE.
	CHAPTER XVIII. AL-MADINAH.
	CHAPTER XIX. A RIDE TO THE MOSQUE OF KUBA.
	CHAPTER XX. THE VISITATION OF HAMZAH'S TOMB.
                        
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ago by Vincent (Periplus, lib. 3), and lately by Prichard (Natural History of Man). I repeat it because it has been
my fate to hear, at a meeting of a learned society in London, a gentleman declare, that in Eastern Africa he found
a people calling themselves Moors. Maghrabin-Westerns,-then would be opposed to Sharkiyin, Easterns, the
origin of our "Saracen." From Gibbon downwards many have discussed the history of this word; but few expected
in the nineteenth century to see a writer on Eastern subjects assert, with Sir John Mandeville, that these people
"properly, ben clept Sarrazins of Sarra." The learned M. Jomard, who never takes such original views of things,
asks a curious question:-"Mais comment un son aussi distinct que le Chine [Arabic text] aurait-il pu se confondre
avec le Syn [Arabic text] et, pour un mot aussi connu que charq; comment aurait-on pu se tromper a l’omission
des points?" Simply because the word Saracens came to us through the Greeks (Ptolemy uses it), who have no
such sound as sh in their language, and through the Italian which, hostile to the harsh sibilants of Oriental dialects,
generally melts sh down into s. So the historical word Hashshashiyun-hemp-drinker,-civilised by the Italians
into "assassino," became, as all know, an expression of European use. But if any one adverse to "etymological
fancies" objects to my deriving Maurus from "Maghrab," let him remember Johnson’s successfully tracing the
course of the metamorphosis of "dies" into "jour." An even more peculiar change we may discover in the word
"elephant." "Pilu" in Sanscrit, became "pil" in old Persian, which ignores short final vowels; "fil," and, with the
article, "Al-fil," in Arabic, which supplies the place of p (an unknown letter to it), by f; and elephas in Greek,
which is fond of adding "as" to Arabic words, as in the cases of Aretas (Haris) and Obodas (Obayd). "A name,"
says Humboldt, "often becoming a historical monument, and the etymological analysis of language, however it
may be divided, is attended by valuable results."
[FN#2] The Toni or Indian canoe is the hollowed-out trunk of a tree,-near Bombay generally a mango. It must
have been the first step in advance from that simplest form of naval architecture, the "Catamaran" of Madras and
Aden.
[FN#3] In these vessels each traveller, unless a previous bargain be made, is expected to provide his own water
and firewood. The best way, however, is, when the old wooden box called a tank is sound, to pay the captain for
providing water, and to keep the key.
[FN#4] The "opener"-the first chapter of the Koran, which Moslems recite as Christians do the Lord’s Prayer; it is
also used on occasions of danger, the beginnings of journeys, to bind contracts, [FN#5] These Maghrabis, like the
Somalis, the Wahhabis of the desert, and certain other barbarous races, unaccustomed to tobacco, appeared to hate
the smell of a pipe.
[FN#6] The hands are raised in order to catch the blessing that is supposed to descend from heaven upon the
devotee; and the meaning of drawing the palms down the face is symbolically to transfer the benediction to every
part of the body.
[FN#7] As is the case under all despotic governments, nothing can be more intentionally offensive than the
official manners of a superior to his inferior in Egypt. The Indians charge their European fellow-subjects with
insolence of demeanour and coarseness of language. As far as my experience goes, our roughness and brusquerie
are mere politeness compared with what passes between Easterns. At the same time it must be owned that I have
seen the worst of it.
[FN#8] It was far safer and more expeditious in Al-Adrisi’s day (A.D. 1154), when the captain used to sit on the
poop "furnished with numerous and useful instruments"; when he "sounded the shallows, and by his knowledge of
the depths could direct the helmsman where to steer."
[FN#9] In the East it is usual, when commencing a voyage or a journey, to make a short day’s work, in order to be
at a convenient distance for returning, in case of any essential article having been forgotten.
[FN#10] A Jesuit missionary who visited the place in A.D. 1720, and described it in a well-known volume. As
every eminent author, however, monopolises a "crossing," and since the head of the Suez creek, as is shown by its
old watermark, has materially changed within no very distant period, it is no wonder that the question is still sub
judice, and that there it will remain most probably till the end of time. The Christians have two equally favourite
lines: the Moslems patronise one so impossible, that it has had attractions enough to fix their choice. It extends
from Zafaran Point to Hammam Bluffs, ten miles of deep water.
[FN#11] The Hebrew name of this part of the Red Sea. In a communication lately made to the Royal
Geographical Society, I gave my reasons for believing that the Greeks borrowed their Erythraean Sea from the
Arabic "Sea of Himyar."

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[FN#12] Most travellers remark that they have never seen a brighter blue than that of the Red Sea. It was the
observation of an early age that "the Rede Sea is not more rede than any other sea, but in some place thereof is the
gravelle rede, and therefore men clepen it the Rede Sea."
[FN#13] Jild al-Faras (or Kamar al-Din), a composition of apricot paste, dried, spread out, and folded into
sheets, exactly resembling the article after which it is named. Turks and Arabs use it when travelling; they
dissolve it in water, and eat it as a relish with bread or biscuit.
[FN#14] "Pharaoh’s hot baths," which in our maps are called "Hummum Bluffs." They are truly "enchanted land"
in Moslem fable: a volume would scarcely contain the legends that have been told and written about them. (See
Note 1, p. 10, ante.)
[FN#15] One of the numerous species of what the Italians generally call "Pasta." The material is wheaten or
barley flour rolled into small round grains. In Barbary it is cooked by steaming, and served up with hard boiled
eggs and mutton, sprinkled with red pepper. These Badawi Maghrabis merely boiled it.
[FN#16] The Azan is differently pronounced, though similarly worded by every orthodox nation in Al-Islam.
[FN#17] The usual way of kissing the knee is to place the finger tips upon it, and then to raise them to the mouth.
It is an action denoting great humility, and the condescending superior who is not an immediate master returns the
compliment in the same way.
[FN#18] The Maghrabi dialect is known to be the harshest and most guttural form of Arabic. It owes this
unenviable superiority to its frequency of "Sukun," or the quiescence of one or more consonants;-"K’lab," for
instance, for "Kilab," and "’Msik" for "Amsik." Thus it is that vowels, the soft and liquid part of language,
disappear, leaving in their place a barbarous sounding mass of consonants.
[FN#19] Burckhardt mentions the Arab legend that the spirits of the drowned Egyptians may be seen moving at
the bottom of the sea, and Finati adds that they are ever busy recruiting their numbers with shipwrecked mariners.
[FN#20] I thus called upon a celebrated Sufi or mystic, whom many East-Indian Moslems reverence as the Arabs
do their Prophet. In Appendix I the curious reader will find Abd al-Kadir again mentioned.
[FN#21] Those people are descendants of Syrians and Greeks that fled from Candia, Scios, the Ionian Islands, and
Palestine to escape the persecutions of the Turks. They now wear the Arab dress, and speak the language of the
country, but they are easily to be distinguished from the Moslems by the expression of their countenances and
sometimes by their blue eyes and light hair. There are also a few families calling themselves Jabaliyah, or
mountaineers. Originally they were 100 households, sent by Justinian to serve the convent of St. Catherine, and to
defend it against the Berbers. Sultan Kansuh al-Ghori, called by European writers Campson Gaury, the Mamluk
King of Egypt, in A.D. 1501, admitted these people into the Moslem community on condition of their continuing
the menial service they had afforded to the monks.
[FN#22] Adam’s forehead (says the Tarikh Tabari) brushed the skies, but this height being inconvenient, the Lord
abridged it to 100 cubits. The Moslems firmly believe in Anakim. Josephus informs us that Moses was of "divine
form and great tallness"; the Arabs specify his stature,-300 cubits. They have, moreover, found his grave in some
parts of the country S.E, of the Dead Sea, and make cups of a kind of bitumen called "Moses’ Stones." This people
nescit ignorare-it will know everything.
[FN#23] "Moses’ Well." I have no argument except the untrustworthy traditions of the Badawin, either for or
against this having been the identical well near which Moses sat when he fled from the face of Pharaoh to the land
of Midian. One thing is certain, namely, that in this part of Arabia, as also at Aden, the wells are of a very ancient
date.

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person who bore the title of Emir Al-Hajj was Abu Bakr, who, in the ninth year of the Hijrah, led 300 Moslems
from Al-Madinah to the Meccah pilgrimage. On this occasion idolaters and infidels were for the first time
expelled the Holy City.
[FN#9] "Harrah" from Harr (heat) is the generic name of lava, porous basalt, scoriae, greenstone, schiste, and
others supposed to be of igneous origin. It is also used to denote a ridge or hill of such formation. One Harrah has
already been mentioned in Chapter XV. The second is on the road to Ohod. There is a third Harrah, called
Al-Wakin or Al-Zahrah, about one mile Eastward of Al-Madinah. Here the Prophet wept, predicting that the last
men of his faith would be foully slain. The prophecy was fulfilled in the days of Yazid, when the people of
Al-Madinah filled their assembly with slippers and turbands to show that on account of his abominations they
had cast off their allegiance as a garment. The "Accursed" sent an aged sinner, Muslim bin Akbah al-Marai, who,
though a cripple, defeated the Madani in a battle called the "Affair of the Ridge," slaying of them 10,000 citizens,
1700 learned and great men, 700 teachers of the Koran, and 97 Karashi nobles. This happened in the month of
Zu’l Hijjah, A.H. 63. For three days the city was plundered, the streets ran blood, dogs ate human flesh in the
Mosque, and no fewer than 1000 women were insulted. It was long before Al-Madinah recovered from this fatal
blow, which old Muslim declared would open to him the gates of Paradise. The occurrence is now forgotten at
Al-Madinah, though it will live in history. The people know not the place, and even the books are doubtful
whether this Harrah be not upon the spot where the Khandak or moat was.
[FN#10] Meaning that on the Day of Resurrection it shall be so treated. Many, however, suppose Ohod to be one
of the four hills of Paradise. The other three, according to Al-Tabrani from Amr bin Auf, are Sinai, Lebanon, and
Mount Warkan on the Meccan road. Others suppose Ohod to be one of the six mountains which afforded
materials for the Kaabah, viz., Abu Kubays, Sinai, Kuds (at Jerusalem), Warkan and Radhwah near Yambu’. Also
it is said that when the Lord conversed with Moses on Sinai, the mountain burst into six pieces, three of which
flew to Al-Madinah, Ohod, Warkan and Radhwah, and three to Meccah, Hira (now popularly called Jabal Nur),
Sabir, (the old name for Jabal Muna), and Saur.
[FN#11] "Ayr" means a "wild ass," whereas Ohod is derived from Ahad, "one,"-so called because fated to be the
place of victory to those who worship one God. The very names, say Moslem divines, make it abundantly evident
that even as the men of Al-Madinah were of two parties, friendly and hostile to the Prophet, so were these
mountains.
[FN#12] This Cave is a Place of Visitation, but I did not go there, as it is on the Northern flank of the hill, and all
assured me that it contained nothing worth seeing. Many ignore it altogether.
[FN#13] Ohod, it is said, sent forth in the Prophet’s day 360 springs, of which ten or twelve now remain.
[FN#14] Meaning that the visitor must ascend several smaller eminences. The time occupied is from eight to nine
hours, but I should not advise my successor to attempt it in the hot weather.
[FN#15] When engaged in such a holy errand as this, to have ridden away for the purpose of inspecting a line of
black stone, would have been certain to arouse the suspicions of an Arab. Either, he would argue, you recognise
the place of some treasure described in your books, or you are a magician seeking a talisman.
[FN#16] Most Arab authors place Ohod about two miles N. of Al-Madinah. Al-Idrisi calls it the nearest hill, and
calculates the distance at 6000 paces. Golius gives two leagues to Ohod and Ayr, which is much too far. In our
popular accounts, "Mohammed posted himself upon the hill of Ohod, about six miles from Al-Madinah," two
mistakes.
[FN#17] They are said to be seventy, but the heaps appeared to me at least three times more numerous.
[FN#18] A Zawiyah in Northern Africa resembles the Takiyah of India, Persia, and Egypt, being a monastery for
Darwayshes who reside there singly or in numbers. A Mosque, and sometimes, according to the excellent practice
of Al-Islam, a school, are attached to it.
[FN#19] Some historians relate that forty-six years after the battle of Ohod, the tombs were laid bare by a torrent,
when the corpses appeared in their winding-sheets as if buried the day before. Some had their hands upon their
death wounds, from which fresh blood trickled when the pressure was forcibly removed. In opposition to this
Moslem theory, we have that of the modern Greeks, namely, that if the body be not decomposed within a year, it
shows that the soul is not where it should be.
[FN#20] In fairness I must confess to believing in the reality of these phenomena, but not in their "spiritual"
origin.

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[FN#21] In Ibn Jubayr’s time the tomb was red.
[FN#22] In the common tombs of martyrs, saints, and holy men, this covering is usually of green cloth, with long
white letters sewn upon it. I forgot to ask whether it was temporarily absent from Hamzah’s grave.
[FN#23] All these erections are new. In Burckhardt’s time they were mere heaps of earth, with a few loose stones
placed around them. I do not know what has become of the third martyr, said to have been interred near Hamzah.
Possibly some day he may reappear: meanwhile the people of Al-Madinah are so wealthy in saints, that they can
well afford to lose sight of one.
[FN#24] Formerly in this place was shown a slab with the mark of a man’s head-like St. Peter’s at Rome-where
the Prophet had rested. Now it seems to have disappeared, and the tooth has succeeded to its honours.
[FN#25] Some historians say that four teeth were knocked out by this stone. This appears an exaggeration.
[FN#26] In Persian characters the word Umr, life, and Umar, the name of the hated caliph, are written in the same
way; which explains the pun.
[FN#27] That is to say, "to the hour of death."
[FN#28] When Jubayr bin Mutim was marching to Ohod, according to the Rauzat al-Safa, in revenge for the
death of his uncle Taymah, he offered manumission to his slave Wahshi, who was noted for the use of the
Abyssinian spear, if he slew Hamzah. The slave sat in ambush behind a rock, and when the hero had despatched
one Siba’a bin Abd al-Ayiz, of Meccah, he threw a javelin which pierced his navel and came out of his back. The
wounded man advanced towards his assassin, who escaped. Hamzah then fell, and his friends coming up, found
him dead. Wahshi waited till he saw an opportunity, drew the javelin from the body, and mutilated it, in order to
present trophies to the ferocious Hinda (mother of Mu’awiyah), whose father Utbah had been slain by Hamzah.
The amazon insisted upon seeing the corpse: having presented her necklace and bracelets to Wahshi, she supplied
their place with the nose, the ears, and other parts of the dead hero. After mangling the body in a disgusting
manner, she ended by tearing open the stomach and biting the liver, whence she was called "Akkalat al-Akbad."
When Mohammed saw the state of his father’s brother, he was sadly moved. Presently comforted by the
inspirations brought by Gabriel, he cried, "It is written among the people of the seven Heavens, Hamzah, son of
Muttalib, is the Lion of Allah, and the Lion of his Prophet," and ordered him to be shrouded and prayed over him,
beginning, says the Jazb al-Kulub, with seventy repetitions of "Allah Akbar." Ali had brought in his shield some
water for Mohammed, from a Mahras or stone trough, which stood near the scene of action (M.C. de Perceval
translates it "un creux de rocher formant un bassin naturel"). But the Prophet refused to drink it, and washed with
it the blood from the face of him "martyred by the side of the Mahras." It was of the Moslems slain at Ohod,
according to Abu Da’ud, that the Prophet declared that their souls should be carried in the crops of green birds,
that they might drink of the waters and taste the fruits of Paradise, and nestle beneath the golden lamps that hang
from the celestial ceiling. He also forbade, on this occasion, the still popular practice of mutilating an enemy’s
corpse.
[FN#29] The Prophet preferred women and young boys to pray privately, and in some parts of Al-Islam they are
not allowed to join a congregation. At Al-Madinah, however, it is no longer, as in Burckhardt’s time, "thought
very indecorous in women to enter the Mosque."
[FN#30] I have heard of a Persian being beaten to death, because instead of saying "Peace be with thee, Ya
Omar," he insisted upon saying "Peace be with thee, Ya Humar (O ass!)" A favourite trick is to change "Razi
Allahu anhu-may Allah be satisfied with him!"-to "Razi Allahu Aan." This last word is not to be found in
Richardson, but any "Luti" from Shiraz or Isfahan can make it intelligible to the curious linguist.
END OF VOLUME I.

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CHAPTER XX. THE VISITATION OF HAMZAH'S TOMB. 187

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