Muslims in central India: 1916

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From The Tribes And Castes Of The Central Provinces Of India

By R. V. Russell

Of The Indian Civil Service

Superintendent Of Ethnography, Central Provinces

Assisted By Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, Extra Assistant Commissioner

Macmillan And Co., Limited, London, 1916.

NOTE 1: The 'Central Provinces' have since been renamed Madhya Pradesh.

NOTE 2: While reading please keep in mind that all articles in this series have been scanned from the original book. Therefore, footnotes have got inserted into the main text of the article, interrupting the flow. Readers who spot these footnotes gone astray might like to shift them to their correct place.

Muhammadan Religion

The Muhammadans numbered nearly 600,000 persons in the Central Provinces in 191 1, or about 3 per cent of the population. Of these about two- fifths belong to Berar, the Amraoti and Akola Districts con-

I. Statistics and dis- tribution.

taining more than 70,000 each; while of the 350,000 rcturnep from the Central Provinces proper, about 40,000 reside in each of the Jubbulpore, Nagpur and Nimar Districts. Berar was for a long period governed by the Muhammadan Bahmani dynasty, and afterwards formed part of the Mughal empire, passing to the Mughal Viceroy, the Nizam of Hyderabad, when he became an independent ruler.

Though under British administration, it is still legally a part of Hyderabad territory, and a large proportion of the official classes as well as many descendants of, retired soldiers are Muhammadans. Similarly Nimar was held by the Muhammadan FarSki dynasty of Khandesh for 200 years, and was then included in the Mughal empire, Burhanpur being the seat of a viceroy. At this period a good deal of forcible conversion probably took place, and a considerable section of the Bhils nominally became Muhammadans. When the Gond Raja of Deogarh embraced Islam after his visit to Delhi, members of this religion entered his service, and he also brought back with him various artificers and craftsmen.

The cavalry of the Bhonsla Raja of Nagpur was largely composed of Muhammadans, and in many cases their descendants have settled on the land. In the Chhattls- garh Division and the Feudatory States the number of Muhammadans is extremely small, constituting less than one per cent of the population. No less than 37 per cent of the total number of Muhammadans live in towns, though the general proportion of urban population in the Provinces is only 7^- per cent. The number of Muhammadans in Government service excluding the police and army, is quite disproportionate to their small numerical strength in the Provinces, being 20 per cent of all persons employed.

In the garrison they actually outnumber Hindus, while in the police they form ^yj per cent of the whole force. In the medical and teaching professions also the number of Muhammadans is com- paratively large, while of persons of independent means a proportion of 29 per cent are of this religion. Of persons employed in domestic services nearly 14 per cent of the total are Muhammadans, and of beggars, vagrants and prostitutes 23 per cent. Muhammadans are largely engaged


in making and selling clothes, outnumbering the Hindus in this trade ; they consist of two entirely different classes, the Muhammadan tailors who work for hire, and the Bohra and Khoja shopkeepers who sell all kinds of cloth ; but both live in towns. Of dealers in timber and furniture 36 per cent are Muhammadans, and they also engage in all branches of the retail trade in provisions. The occupations of the lower-class Muhammadans are the manufacture of glass bangles and slippers and the dyeing of cloth.^ About 14 per cent of the Muhammadans returned caste 3. Muhnm- names. The principal castes are the Bohra and Khoja "^stcg" merchants, who are of the Shiah sect, and the Cutchis or Memans from Gujarat, who are also traders ; these classes are foreigners in the Province, and many of them do not bring their wives, though they have now begun to settle here.

The resident castes of Muhammadans are the Bahnas or cotton-cleaners ; Julahas, weavers ; Kacheras, glass bangle-makers ; Kunjras, greengrocers ; Kasais, butchers ; and the Rangrez caste of dyers who dye with safflower. As already stated, a section of the Bhils are at least nominally Muhammadans, and the Fakirs or Muhammadan beggars are also considered a separate caste. But no caste of good standing such as the Rajput and Jat includes any consider- able number of Muhammadans in the Central Provinces, though in northern India large numbers of them belong to this religion, while retaining substantially their caste usages.

The Muhammadan castes in the Central Provinces probably consist to a large extent of the descendants of Hindu con- verts. Their religious observances present a curious mixture of Hindu and Muhammadan rites, as shown in the separate articles on these castes. Proper Muhammadans look down on them and decline to take food or intermarry with them. The Muhammadans proper are usually divided into four 4. The classes. Shaikh, Saiyad, Mughal and Pathan. Of these the JJj^f^n'i!' Shaikhs number nearly 300,000, the Pathans nearly i 50,000, the Saiyads under 50,000, and the Pathans about 9000 in the Central Provinces. The term Saiyad properly means a descendant of Ali, the son-in-law, and the lady Fatimah, the ^ Mr. Marten's C.P. Census Report (191 1), Subsidiary Table, ix., Occupation, p. 276.

daughter of the Prophet. They use the title Saiyad or Mir ^ before, and sometimes Shah after, their name, while women employ that of Begum. Many Saiyads act as Plrs or spiritual guides to other Muhammadan families. The ex- ternal mark of a Saiyad is the right to wear a green turban, but this is of course no longer legally secured to them. The title Shaikh properly belongs only to three branches of the Ouraish tribe or that of Muhammad : the Siddlkis, who claim descent from Abu Bakr Siddlk,^ the father-in-law of the Prophet and the second Caliph ; the Farukis claiming it from Umar ul Faruk, the third Caliph, and also the father- in-law of the Prophet ; and the Abbasis, descended from Abbas, one of the Prophet's nine uncles.

The Farukis are divided into two families, the Chistis and Faridls. Both these titles, however, and especially Shaikh, are now arrogated by large numbers of persons who cannot have any pretence to the above descent. Sir D. Ibbetson quotes a proverb, ' Last year I was a butcher ; this year I am a Shaikh ; next year if prices rise I shall become a Saiyad.' And Sir H. M. Elliot relates that much amusement was caused in i860 at Gujarat by the Sherishtadar or principal officer of the judicial department describing himself in an official return as Saiyad Hashimi Quraishi, that is, of the family and lineage of the Prophet.

His father, who was living in obscurity in his native town, was discovered to be a Lobar or blacksmith.^ The term Shaikh means properly an elder, and is freely taken by persons of respectable position. Shaikhs commonly use either Shaikh or Muhammad as their first names. The Pathans were originally the descendants of Afghan immigrants. The name is probably the Indian form of the word Pushtun (plural Pushtanah), now given to themselves by speakers of the Pushtu language.' The men add Khan to their names and the women Khatun or Khatu. It is not at all likely either that the bulk of the Muhammadans who returned themselves as Pathans in the Central Provinces are really of Afghan descent. The ' Short for Amir or Prince. ^ Supplemental Glossary, vol. i. p. 2 Siddlk means veracious or truthful, 195. and he was given the name on account * Mr. A. M. T. Jackson in Bomb. of his straightforward character {Horn- Caz. Miih. Git/', p. 10. bay Gazelteer).

Mughals proper are of two classes, Irani or Persian, who belong to the Shiah sect, and Turani, Turkish or Tartar, who are Sunnis. Mughals use the title Mirza (short for Amlrzacla, son of a prince) before their names, and add Beg after them. It is said that the Prophet addressed a Mughal by the title of Beg after winning a victory, and since then it has always been used. Mughal women have the designation Khanum after their names.^ Formerly the Saiyads and Mughals constituted the superior class of Muhammadan gentry, and never touched a plough themselves, like the Hindu Brahmans and RajpUts.

These four divisions are not proper subcastes, as they are not endogamous. A man of one group can marry a woman of any other and she becomes a member of her husband's group ; but the daughters of Saiyads do not usually marry others than Saiyads. Nor is there any real distinction of occupation between them, the men following any occupation indifferently. In fact, the divisions are now little more than titular, a certain distinction attaching to the titles Saiyad and Shaikh when borne by families who have a hereditary or prescriptive right to use them. The census returns of 191 i show that three-fourths of 5- ^^ar- Muhammadan boys now remain unmarried till the age of '^'^^'^' 20; while of girls 31 per cent are unmarried between 15 and 20, but only 13 per cent above that age.

The age of marriage of boys may therefore be taken at 18 to 25 or later, and that of girls at 10 to 20. The age of marriage both of girls and boys is probably getting later, especially among the better classes. Marriage is prohibited to the ordinary near relatives, but not between first cousins. A man cannot marry his foster- mother or foster-sister, unless the foster-brother and sister were nursed by the same woman at intervals widely separated. A man may not marry his wife's sister during his wife's life- time unless she has been divorced. A Muhammadan cannot marry a polytheist, but he may marry a Jewess or a Christian. No specific religious ceremony is appointed, nor are any rites essential for the contraction of a valid marriage. If both persons are legally competent, and contract marriage with each other in the presence of two male or one male and ^ Bombay Gazetteer, ibidem.


two female witnesses, it is sufficient. And the Shiah law- even dispenses with witnesses. As a rule the Kazi performs the ceremony, and reads four chapters of the Koran with the profession of belief, the bridegroom repeating them after him. The parties then express their mutual consent, and the Kazi, raising his hands, says, " The great God grant that mutual love may reign between this couple as it existed between Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Joseph and Zuleika, Moses and Zipporah, His Highness Muhammad and Ayesha, and His Highness Ali and Fatimah." ^ A dowry or mehcr must be paid to the wife, which under the law must not be less than ten silver dirliams or drachmas ; but it is customary to fix it at Rs. 17, the dowry of Fatimah, the Prophet's favourite daughter, or at Rs. 750, that of the Prophet's wife, Ayesha."

The wedding is, however, usually accompanied by feasts and celebrations not less elaborate or costly than those of the Hindus. Several Hindu ceremonies are also included, such as the anointing of the bride and bridegroom with oil and turmeric, and setting out earthen vessels, which are meant to afford a dwelling-place for the spirits of ancestors, at least among the lower classes.^ Another essential rite is the rubbing of the hands and feet of the bridegroom with meJindi or red henna.

The marriage is usually arranged and a ceremony of betrothal held at least a year before it actually takes place. 6. Poly- A husband can divorce his wife at pleasure by merely dfTOfce repeating the prescribed sentences. A wife can obtain and widow- divorce from her husband for impotence, madness, leprosy remarriage. ^^ non-payment of the dowry. A woman who is divorced can claim her dowry if it has not been paid. Polygamy is permitted among Muhammadans to the number of four wives, but it is very rare in the Central Provinces. Owing to the fact that members of the immigrant trading castes leave their wives at home in Gujarat, the number of married women returned at the census was substantially less than that of married men. A feeling in favour of the legal prohibition of polygamy is growing up among educated Muhammadans, and many of them sign a contract at marriage not to take 1 Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, s.v. '-^ Bomb. Gaz. Muh. Giij. p. l66. Marriage. ^ Ibidem, p. 66.

a second wife during the lifetime of the first. There is no prohibition on the remarriage of widows in Muhammadan law, but the Hindu rule on the subject has had considerable influence, and some Muhammadans of good position object to the marriage of widows in their family. The custom of the seclusion of women also, as Mr. Marten points out, operates as a bar to a widow finding a husband for herself Women who desire children resort to the shrines of 7. Devices saints, who are supposed to be able to induce fertility. ^<^P'"°" ' ^" J curing " Blochmann notes that the tomb of Saint Sallm-i-Chishti children, at Fatehpur-Sikri, in whose house the Emperor Jahanglr ^^^m^'*^ ^ was born, is up to the present day visited by childless them. Hindu and Musalman women.

A tree in the compound of the saint Shaih Alam of Ahmedabad yields a peculiar acorn-like fruit, which is sought after far and wide by those desiring children ; the woman is believed to conceive from the moment of eating the fruit. If the birth of a child follows the eating of the acorn, the man and woman who took it from the tree should for a certain number of years come at every anniversary of the saint and nourish the tree with a supply of milk. In addition to this, jasmine and rose-bushes at the shrines of certain saints are supposed to possess issue-giving properties. To draw virtue from the saint's jasmine the woman who yearns for a child bathes and purifies herself and goes to the shrine, and seats herself under or near the jasmine bush with her skirt spread out.

As many flowers as fall into her lap, so many children will she have. In some localities if after the birth of one child no other son is born, or being born does not live, it is sup- posed that the first-born child is possessed by a malignant spirit who destroys the young lives of the new-born brothers and sisters. So at the mother's next confinement sugar and sesame-seed are passed seven or nine times over the new- born infant from head to foot, and the elder boy or girl is given them to eat. The sugar represents the life of the young one given to the spirit who possesses the first-born. A child born with teeth already visible is believed to exer- cise a very malignant influence over its parents, and to render the early death of one of them almost certain." ^ ' Bomb. Gaz. Muh. Guj. pp. 147, 14S, from which ihe whole paragraph is taken.

8. Preg- In the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy a fertiHty nancy rites. ^-^^^ j^ performed as among the Hindus. The woman is dressed in new clothes, and her lap is filled with fruit and vegetables by her friends. In some localities a large number of pots are obtained, and a little water is placed in each of them by a fertile married woman who has never lost a child. Prayers are repeated over the pots in the names of the male and female ancestors of the family, and especially of the women who have died in childbirth. This appears to be a propitiation of the spirits of ancestors.^ 9. Child- A woman goes to her parents' home after the last birth and nreonancv rite and stays there till her confinement is over. naming l o j j children. The ritcs performed by the midwife at birth resemble those of the Hindus. When the child is born the azati or summons to prayer is uttered aloud in his right ear, and the takbir or Muhammadan creed in his left. The child is named on the sixth or seventh day.

Sometimes the name of an ancestor is given, or the initial letter is selected from the Koran at a venture and a name beginning with that letter is chosen. Some common names are those of the hundred titles of God combined with the prefix abd or servant. Such are Abdul Aziz, servant of the all-honoured ; Ghani, the everlasting ; Karim, the gracious ; Rahim, the pitiful ; Rahman, the merciful ; Razzak, the bread-giver ; Sattar, the concealer ; and so on, with the prefix Abdul, or servant of, in each case. Similarly Abdullah, or servant of God, was the name of Muhammad's father, and is a very favourite one. Other names end with Baksh or ' given by,' as Haidar Baksh, given by the lion (Ali) ; these are similar to the Hindu names ending in Prasad. The prefix Ghulam, or slave of, is also used, as Ghulam Hussain, slave of Hussain ; and names of Hebrew patriarchs mentioned in the Koran are not uncommon, as Ayub Job, Harun Aaron, Ishaq Isaac, Musa Moses, Yakub Jacob, Yusaf Joseph, and so on." 10. The After childbirth the mother must not pray or fast, touch Ukika |.]^g Koran or enter a mosque for forty days ; on the expiry sacnhce. , , ' j j ^ i. j of this period she is bathed and dressed in good clothes, and her relatives bring presents for the child. Some people do ' /io»ib. G11Z. AInil. Guj. p. 150. 2 Temple's ProJ^er Na?nes of the Punjabis, pp. 41, 43.

not let her oil or comb her hair during these days.

The custom would seem to be a relic of the period of impurity of women after childbirth. On the fortieth day the child is placed in a cradle for the first time. In some localities a rite called Uklka is performed after the birth of a child. It consists of a sacrifice in the name of the child of two he- goats for a boy and one for a girl. The goats must be above a year old, and without spot or blemish. The meat must be separated from the bones so that not a bone is broken, and the bones, skin, feet and head are afterwards buried in the earth. When the flesh is served the following prayer is said by the father : " O, Almighty God, I offer in the stead of my own offspring life for life, blood for blood, head for head, bone for bone, hair for hair, and skin for skin. In the name of God do I sacrifice this he-goat." This is apparently a relic of the substitution of a goat for Ishmael when Abraham was offering him as a sacrifice. The Muhammadans say that it was Ishmael instead of Isaac who was thus offered, and they think that Ishmael or Ismail was the ancestor of all the Arabs.

Either on the same day as the Uklka sacrifice or soon n. Shav- afterwards the child's hair is shaved for the first time. By j"JrVnd the rich the hair is weighed against silver and this sum is ear- distributed to beggars. It is then tied up in a piece of P"^^'^'"^" cloth and either buried or thrown into a river, or sometimes set afloat on a little toy raft in the name of a saint. Occasionally tufts of hair or even the whole head may be left unshaven in the name of a saint, and after one or more years the child is taken to the saint's tomb and the hair shaved there ; or if this cannot be done it is cut off at home in the name of the saint.^ When a girl is one or two years old the lobes of her ears are bored. By degrees other holes are bored along the edge of the ear and even in the centre, till by the time she has attained the age of two or three years she has thirteen holes in the right ear and twelve in the left. Little silver rings and various kinds of earrings are inserted and worn in the holes. But the practice of boring so many holes has now been abandoned by the better-class Muhammadans. ' Qaiifin-i- Islam, p. 20. '^ Ihidei>i.

12. Birth- days. 13. Cir- cumcision, and maturity of girls. 14. Funeral rites. The child's birthday i.s known as sdl-girah and i.s cele- brated by a feast. A knot is tied in a red thread and annually thereafter a fresh knot to mark his age, and prayers are offered in the child's name to the patriarch Noah, who is believed to have lived to five hundred or a thousand years, and hence to have the power of conferring longevity on the child. When a child is four years, four months and four days old the ceremony of liismillah or taking the name of God is held, which is obligatory on all Muhammadans. Friends are invited, and the child is dressed in a flowered robe {sahrd) and repeats the first chapters of the Koran after his or her tutor.^ A boy is usually circumcised at the age of six or seven, but among some classes of Shiahs and the Arabs the opera- tion is performed a few days after birth. The barber operates and the child is usually given a little bJidng or other opiate.

Some Muhammadans leave circumcision till an age bordering on puberty, and then perform it with a pomp and ceremony almost equalling those of a marriage. When a girl arrives at the age of puberty she is secluded for seven days, and for this period eats only butter, bread and sugar, all fish, flesh, salt and acid food being prohibited. In the evening she is bathed, warm water is poured on her head, and among the lower classes an entertainment is given to friends.^ The same word jajidzaJi is used for the corpse, the bier and the funeral. When a man is at the point of death a chapter of the Koran, telling of the happiness awaiting the true believer in the future life, is read, and some money or sherbet is dropped into his mouth. After death the body is carefully washed and wrapped in three or five cloths for a male or female respectively. Some camphor or other sweet- smelling stuff is placed on the bier. W^omcn do not usually attend funerals, and the friends and relatives of the deceased walk behind the bier. There is a tradition among some Muhammadans that no one should precede the corpse, as the angels go before. To carry a bier is considered a very meritorious act, and four of the relations, relieving each other in turn, bear it on their shoulders. Muhammadans carry


their dead quickly to the place of interment, for Muhammad is stated to have said that it is good to carry the dead quickly to the grave, so as to cause the righteous person to attain the sooner to bliss ; and, on the other hand, in the case of a bad man it is well to put wickedness away from one's shoulders. Funerals should always be attended on foot, for it is said that Muhammad once rebuked people who were following a bier on horseback, saying, " Have you no shame, since God's angels go on foot and you go upon the backs of quadrupeds ? " It is a highly meritorious act to attend a funeral whether it be that of a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian. The funeral service is not recited in the cemetery, this being too polluted a place for so sacred an office, but either in a mosque or in some open space close to the dwelling of the deceased person or to the graveyard. The nearest relative is the proper person to recite the service, but it is usually said by the family priest or the village Kazi.

The grave sometimes has a recess at the side, in which the body is laid to prevent the earth falling upon it, or planks may be laid over the body slantwise or supported on bricks for the same purpose. Coffins are only used by the rich. When the body has been placed in the grave each person takes up a clod of earth and pronouncing over it a verse of the Koran, ' From earth we made you, to earth we return you and out of earth we shall raise you on the resurrection day,' places it gently in the grave over the corpse.^ The building of stone or brick tombs and writing verses of the Koran on them is prohibited by the Traditions, but large masonry tombs are common in all Muhammadan countries and very frequently they bear inscriptions. On the third day a feast is given in the morning and after it trays of flowers with a vessel containing scented oil are handed round and the guests pick flowers and dip them into the oil.

They then proceed to the grave, where the oil and flowers are placed. Maulvis are employed to read the whole of the Koran over the grave, which they accomplish by dividing it into sections and reading them at the same time. Rich people some- times have the whole Koran read several times over in this manner. A sheet of white or red cloth is spread over the ' Hughes, Notes on Muhanwtadanisni, pp. 122, 1 3 1. VOL. I S

IS- Muliam- madan sects. Shiah and Sunni. grave, green being usually reserved for Fakirs or saints. On the evening of the ninth day another feast is given, to which friends and neighbours, and religious and ordinary beggars are invited, and a portion is sent to the Fakir or mendicant in charge of the burying-ground. Some people will not eat any food from this feast in their houses but take it outside.^ On the morning of the tenth day they go again to the grave and repeat the offering of flowers and scented oil as before.

Other feasts are given on the fortieth day, and at the expira- tion of four, six and nine months, and one year from the date of the death, and the rich sometimes spend large sums on them. None of these observances are prescribed by the Koran but have either been retained from pre-Islamic times or adopted in imitation of the Hindus. For forty days all furniture is removed from the rooms and the whole family sleep on the bare ground. Sometimes a cup of water and a wheaten cake are placed nightly for forty days on the spot where the deceased died, and a similar provision is sent to the mosque. When a man dies his mother and widow break their glass bangles. The mother can get new ones, but the widow does not wear glass bangles or a nose-ring again unless she takes a second husband.

For four months and ten days the widow is strictly secluded and does not leave the house. Prayers for ancestors are offered annually at the Shab-i-Barat or Bakr-Id festival.^ The property of a de- ceased Muhammadan is applicable in the first place to the payment of his funeral expenses ; secondly, to the discharge of his debts ; and thirdly, to the payment of legacies up to one-third of the residue.

If the legacies exceed this amount they are proportionately reduced. The remainder of the property is distributed by a complicated system of shares to those of the deceased's relatives who rank as sharers and residuarics, legacies to any of them in excess of the amount of their shares being void. The consequence of this law is that most Muhammadans die intestate.'^ Of the two main sects of Islam, ninety-four per cent of the IMuhamn.adans in the Central Province were returned as being Sunnis in 191 i and three per cent as Shiahs, while ' Q('i)iuii-i-/sldni, p. 286. 2 Dictionary of Islam, art. Inherit- - Bomb. Gaz. Mali. Giij. pp. 168, ance.

the remainder gave no sect. Only the Cutchi, Bohra and Khoja immigrants from Gujarat are Shiahs and practically all other Muhammadans are Sunnis. With the exception of Persia, Oudh and part of Gujarat, the inhabitants of which are Shiahs, the Sunni sect is generally prevalent in the Muhammadan world. The main difference between the Sunnis and Shiahs is that the latter think that according to the Koran the Caliphate or spiritual headship of the Muhammadans had to descend in the Prophet's family and therefore necessarily devolved on the Lady Fatimah, the only one of his children who survived him, and on her husband Ali the fourth Caliph. They therefore reject the first three Caliphs after Muhammad, that is Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman. After Ali they also hold that the Caliphate descended in his family to his two sons Hasan and Hussain, and the descendants of Hussain. Consequently they reject all the subsequent Caliphs of the Muhammadan world, as Hussain and his children did not occupy this position.

They say that there are only twelve Caliphs, or Imams, as they now prefer to call them, and that the twelfth has never really died and will return again as the Messiah of whom Muhammad spoke, at the end of the world. He is known as the Mahdi, and the well-known pretender of the Soudan, as well as others elsewhere, have claimed to be this twelfth or unrevealed Imam. Other sects of the Shiahs, as the Zaidiyah and Ismailia, make a difference in the succession of the Imamate among Hussain's descendants. The central incident of the Shiah faith is the slaughter of Hussain, the son of Ali, with his family, on the plain of Karbala in Persia by the sons of Yazld, the second Caliph of the Uniaiyad dynasty of Damascus, on the loth day of the month Muharram, in the 6 1st year of the Hijra or A.D. 680.

The martyrdom of Hussain and his family at Karbala is cele- brated annually for the first ten days of the month of Muharram by the Shiahs. Properly the Sunnis should take no part in this, and should observe only the tenth day of Muharram as that on which Adam and Eve and heaven and hell were created. But in the Central Provinces the Sunnis participate in all the Muharram celebrations, which now have rather the character of a festival than of a season of

1 6. Lead- ing religi- ous observ- ances. Prayer. 17. The fast of Ramazan, mourning. The Shiahs also reject the four great schools of tradition of the Sunnis, and have separate traditional authorities of their own. They count the month to begin from the full moon instead of the new moon, pray three instead of five times a day, and in praying hold their hands open by their sides instead of folding them below the breast. The word Shiah means a follower, and Sunni one proceed- ing on the sumiaJi^ the path or way, a term applied to the traditions of the Prophet. The two words have thus almost the same signification. Except when otherwise stated, the information in this article relates to the Sunnis.

The five standard observances of the Muhammadan religion are the Kalima, or creed ; Sula, or the five daily prayers ; Roza, or the thirty-day fast of Ramazan ; Zakab, the legal alms ; and Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, which should be performed once in a lifetime. The Kalima, or creed, consists simply in the sentence, ' There is but one God and Muhammad is His prophet,' which is frequently on the lips of Muhammadans. The five periods for prayer are Fajr ki namaz, in the morning before sunrise ; Zohar, or the midday prayer, after the sun has begun to decline ; Asur, or the afternoon prayer, about four ; Maghrib, or the evening prayer, immediately after sunset ; and Aysha, or the evening prayer, after the night has closed in.

These prayers are repeated in Arabic, and before saying them the face, hands and feet should be washed, and, correctly speak- ing, the teeth should also be cleaned. At the times of prayer the Azan or call to prayer is repeated from the mosque by the muezzan or crier in the following terms

'• God is great, God is great, God is great, God is great ! I bear witness that there is no God but God ! (twice). I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of God ! (twice). Come to prayers ! Come to prayers ! Come to salvation ! Come to salvation ! God is great ! There is no other God but God." In the early morning the following sentence is added, ' Prayers are better than sleep.' ^ The third necessary observance is the fast in the month of Ramazan, the ninth month of the Muhammadan year. The fast begins when the new moon is seen, or if the sky is 1 Hughes, Notes on Miihaiiimadaiiism, ])p. 63, 75.

clouded, after thirty days from the beginning of the previous month. During its continuance no food or water must be taken between sunrise and sunset, and betel-leaf, tobacco and conjugal intercourse must be abjured for the whole period. The abstention from water is a very severe penance during the long days of the hot weather when Ramazan falls at this season. Mr, Hughes thinks that the Prophet took the thirty days' fast from the Christian Lent, which was observed very strictly in the Eastern Church during the nights as well as days. In ordaining the fast he said that God ' would make it an ease and not a difficulty,' but he may not have reflected that his own action in discarding the intercalary month adopted by the Arabs and reverting to the simple lunar months would cause the fast to revolve round the whole year.

During the fast people eat before sunrise and after sunset, and dinner-parties are held lasting far into the night. It is a divine command to give alms annually of money, cattle, grain, fruit and merchandise. If a man has as much as eighty rupees, or forty sheep and goats, or five camels, he should give alms at specified rates amounting roughly to two and a half per cent of his property.

In the case of fruit and grain the rate is one -tenth of the harvest for unirrigated, and a twentieth for irrigated crops. These alms should be given to pilgrims who desire to go to Mecca but have not the means ; and to religious and other beggars if they are very poor, debtors who have not the means to discharge their debts, champions of the cause of God, travellers without food and proselytes to Islam. Religious mendicants consider it unlawful to accept the zakdt or legal alms unless they are very poor, and they may not be given to Saiyads or descendants of the Prophet. The Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is incumbent on all 18. The men and women who have sufficient means to meet the f'fV^rf^ to Mecca. expenses of the journey and to maintain their families at home during their absence. Only a very small proportion of Indian Muhammadans, however, now undertake it. Mecca is the capital of Arabia and about seventy miles from the Red Sea. The pilgrimage must be performed during the month Zu'l Hijjah, so that the pilgrim may be

at Mecca on the festival of Id-ul-Zoha or the Bakr-Id. At the last stage near Mecca the pilgrims assume a special dress, consisting of two seamless wrappers, one round the waist and the other over the shoulders. Sandals of wood may also be worn. Formerly the pilgrim would take with him a little compass in which the needle in the shape of a dove pointed continually towards Mecca in the west. On arrival at Mecca he performs the legal ablutions, proceeds to the sacred mosque, kisses the black stone, and encom- passes the Kaaba seven times.

The Kaaba or ' Cube ' is a large stone building and the black stone is let into one of its walls. He drinks the water of the sacred well Zem- Zem from which Hagar and Ishmael obtained water when they were dying of thirst in the wilderness, and goes through various other rites up to the day of Id-ul-Zoha, when he performs the sacrifice or kurbdn, offering a ram or he-goat for every member of his family, or for every seven persons a female camel or cow. The flesh is dis- tributed in the same manner as that of the ordinary Bakr-Id sacrifice.^ He then gets himself shaved and his nails pared, which he has not done since he assumed the pilgrim's garb, and buries the cuttings and parings at the place of the sacrifice. The pilgrimage is concluded after another circuit of the Kaaba, but before his departure the pilgrim should visit the tomb of Muhammad at Medina. One who has performed the pilgrimage to Mecca thereafter has the title of Haji. 19. Festi- The principal festivals are the Muharram and the two Ids.

The month of Muharram is the first of the year, and the first ten days, as already stated, are devoted to mourning for the death of Hussain and his family. This is observed indifferently by Sunnis and Shiahs in the Central Provinces, and the proceedings with the Sunnis at any rate have now rather the character of a festival than a time of sorrow. Models of tlie tomb of Hussain, called tdzia, are made of bamboo and pasteboard and decorated with tinsel. Wealthy Shiahs have expensive models, richly decorated, which are permanently kept in a chamber of the house called the Imambara or Imam's place, but this ' See post. The account is compiled mainly from the Dictionary of Isldi/i, articles Idu-1-Azha and Hajj. vals. The Muharram

is scarcely ever done in the Central Provinces.

As a rule the tdzias are taken in procession and deposited in a river on the last and great day of the Muharram. Women who have made vows for the recovery of their children from an illness dress them in green and send them to beg ; and men and boys of the lower classes have themselves painted as tigers and go about mimicking a tiger for what they can get from the spectators. It seems likely that the repre- sentations of tigers may be in memory of the lion which is said to have kept watch over the body of Hussain after he had been buried. In Persia a man disguised as a tiger appears on the tomb of Hussain in the drama of his murder at Karbala, which is enacted at the Muharram. In Hindu mythology the lion and tiger appear to be interchangeable. During the tragedy at Karbala, Kasim, a young nephew of Hussain, was married to his little daughter Sakinah, Kasim being very shortly afterwards killed.

It is supposed that the cast shoe of Kasim's horse was brought to India, and at the Muharram models of horse-shoes are made and carried fixed on poles. Men who feel so impelled and think that they will be possessed by the spirit of Kasim make these horse-shoes and carry them, and frequently they believe themselves to be possessed by the spirit, exhibiting the usual symptoms of a kind of frenzy, and women apply to them for children or for having evil spirits cast out.^ The Id-ul-Fitr, or the breaking of the fast, is held on 20. id-ui- Fitr the first day of the tenth month, Shawwal, on the day after the end of the fast of Ramazan.

On this day the people assemble dressed in their best clothes and proceed to the Id-Gah, a building erected outside the town and consisting of a platform with a wall at the western end in the direction of Mecca. Here prayers are offered, concluding with one for the King-Emperor, and a sermon is given, and the people then return escorting the Kazi or other leading member of the community and sometimes paying their respects in a body to European officers. They return to their homes and spend the rest of the day in feasting and merriment, a kind of vermicelli being a special dish eaten on this day. The Idu-1-Azha or Id-ul-Zoha, the feast of sacrifice, 1 Bomb. Gaz. Muh. Git;, p. 138.

21. id-ui- also called the Bakr-Id or cow - festival, is held on the tenth day of the last month, Zu'l Hijjah. It is the principal day of the Muhammadan year, and pilgrims going to Mecca keep it there.^ At this time also the Arabs were accustomed to go to Mecca and offer animal sacrifices there to the local deities. According to tradition, when Abraham (Ibrahim) founded Mecca the Lord desired him to prepare a feast and to offer his son Ishmael (Ismail).

But when he had drawn the knife across his son's throat the angel Gabriel substituted a ram and Ishmael was saved, and the festival commemorates this. As already stated, the Arabs believe themselves to be descended from Ishmael or Ismail. According to a remarkable Hadls or tradition, related by Ayesha, Muhammad said : " Man hath not done anything on the Id-ul-Zoha more pleasing to God than spilling blood in sacrifice ; for, verily, its blood reacheth the acceptance of God before it falleth upon the ground, there- fore be joyful in it." " On this day, as on the other Id, the people assemble for prayers at the Id-Gah. On returning home the head of a family takes a sheep, cow or camel to the entrance of his house and sacrifices it, repeating the formula, ' In the name of God, God is great,' as he cuts its throat.

The flesh is divided, two-thirds being kept by the family and one-third given to the poor in the name of God. This is the occasion on which Muhammadans offend Hindu feeling by their desire to sacrifice cows, as camels are un- obtainable or too valuable, and the sacrifice of a cow has probably more religious merit than that of a sheep or goat. But in many cases they abandon their right to kill a cow in order to avoid stirring up enmity. 22. The entrance to a Muhammadan mosque consists of a Mosques, g^one gateway, bearing in verse the date of its building ; this leads into a paved courtyard, which in a large mosque may be 40 or 50 yards long and about 20 wide. The court- yard often contains a small tank or cistern about 20 feet square, its sides lined with stone seats. Beyond this lies the building itself, open towards the courtyard, which is on its eastern side, and closed in on the other three sides, with a roof. The floor is raised about a foot above the level of the ' Hughes, Didionary of Isliiin, s.v. Idii-l-Azlia. - Hughes, ibidem.

courtyard. In the back wall, which is opposite the court- yard to the west in the direction of Mecca, is an arched niche, and close by a wooden or masonry pulpit raised four or five feet from the ground. Against the wall is a wooden staff, which the preacher holds in his hand or leans upon according to ancient custom.^ The walls are bare of decora- tions, images and pictures having been strictly prohibited by Muhammad, and no windows are necessary ; but along the walls are scrolls bearing in golden letters the name of the Prophet and the first four Caliphs, or a chapter of the Koran, the Arabic script being especially suitable for this kind of ornamental writing.^ The severe plainness of the interior of a mosque demonstrates the strict monotheism of Islam, and is in contrast to the temples and shrines of most other religions.

The courtyard of a mosque is often used as a place of resort, and travellers also stay in it. A service is held in the principal mosque on Fridays 23. The about midday, at which public prayers are held and a sJrvice. sermon or khutbah is preached or recited. Friday is known as Jumah, or the day of assembly. Friday was said by Muhammad to have been the day on which Adam was taken into paradise and turned out of it, the day on which he repented and on which he died. It will also be the day of Resurrection. The Prophet considered that the Jews and Christians had erred in transferring their Sabbath from Friday to Saturday and Sunday respectively. The priest in charge of a mosque is known as Mulla. 24. Priests.

Any one can be a Mulla who can read the Koran, and say Mauivi. the prayers, and the post is very poorly paid. The Mulla proclaims the call to prayer five times a day, acts as Imam or leader of the public prayers, and if there is no menial servant keeps the mosque clean. He sometimes has a little school in the courtyard in which he teaches children the Koran. He also sells charms, consisting of verses of the Koran written on paper, to be tied round the arm or hung on the neck.

These have the effect of curing disease and keeping off evil spirits or the evil eye. Sometimes there is a mosque servant who also acts as sexton of the local ' Bomb. Gaz. Muh. Ghj.^. \T,\. ^ Professor Margolioutli's /J/zz/^awwai/a^uw. ^ Bomb. Caz. Muh. Guj. p. 13 1.

cemetery. The funds of the mosque and any endowment attached to it are in charge of some respectable resident, who is known as Mutawalli or churchwarden. The principal religious officer is the Maulvi, who corresponds to the Hindu Guru or preceptor. These men are frequently intelligent and well-educated. They are also doctors of law, as all Muhammadan law is based on the Koran and Traditions and the deductions drawn from them by the great com- mentators. The Maulvi thus acts as a teacher of religious doctrine and also of law.

He is not permanently attached to a mosque, but travels about during the open season, visiting his disciples in villages, teaching and preaching to them, and also treating the sick. If he knows the whole of the Koran by heart he has the title of Hafiz, and is much honoured, as it is thought that a man who has earned the title of Hafiz frees twenty generations of his ancestors and descendants from the fires of hell. Such a man is much in request during the month of Ramazan, when the leader of the long night prayers is expected to recite nightly one of the thirty sections of the Koran, so as to complete them within the month.

25. The The Kazi was under Muhammadan rule the civil and '^ criminal judge, having jurisdiction over a definite local area, and he also acted as a registrar of deeds. Now he only leads the public prayers at the Id festivals and keeps registers of marriages and divorces. He does not usually attend marriages himself unless he receives a special fee, but pays a deputy or ndib to do so." The Kazi is still, however, as a rule the leading member of the local Muham- madan community, the office being sometimes elective and sometimes hereditary. 26. In proclaiming one unseen God as the sole supernatural feamres t)eing, Muhammad adopted the religion of the Jews of Arabia, of Islam, with whose sacred books he was clearly familiar. He looked on the Jewish prophets as his predecessors, he himself being the last and greatest. The Koran says, "We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, and that which was sent down unto Abraham, and Ishmael and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was delivered unto 1 Boiii/i. Gaz. Mnh. Gtij. \)\^. 132, 135. 2 Bomb. Gaz., ibidem.

Moses, and Jesus and the prophets from the Lord, and we make no distinction between any of them." Thus Muhammad accepted the bulk of the Old but not of the New Testament, which the Jews also do not receive. His deity was the Jewish Jehovah of the Old Testament, though called Allah after the name of a god worshipped at Mecca.

The six prophets who brought new laws were Adam, the chosen of God ; Noah, the preacher of God ; Abraham, the friend of God ; Moses, one who conversed with God ; Jesus, the Spirit of God ; and Muhammad, the Messenger of God. His seven heavens and his prophecy of a Messiah and Day of Judgment were Jewish beliefs, though it is supposed that he took the idea of the Sirat or narrow bridge over the midst of hell, sharper than the edge of a sword, over which all must pass, while the wicked fall from it into hell, from Zoro- astrianism. Muhammad recognised a devil, known as Iblis, while the Jinns or Genii of pagan Arabia became bad angels. The great difference between Islam and Judaism arose from Muhammad's position in being obliged continually to fight for his own existence and the preservation of his sect. This circumstance coloured the later parts of the Koran and gave Islam the character of a religious and political crusade, a kind of faith eminently fitted to the Arab nature and train- ing. And to this character may be assigned its extra- ordinary success, but, at the same time, probably the religion itself might have been of a somewhat purer and higher tenor if its birth and infancy had not had place in a constant state of war.

Muhammad accomplished most beneficent reforms in abolishing polytheism and such abuses as female infanticide, and at least regulating poly- gamy. In forbidding both gambling and the use of alcohol he set a very high standard to his disciples, which if adhered to would remove two of the main sources of vice. His religion retained fewer relics of the pre-existing animism and spirit-worship than almost any other, though in practice uneducated Indian Muhammadans, at least, preserve them in a large measure. And owing to the fact that the Muham- madan months revolve round the year, its festivals have been dissociated from the old pagan observances of the changes of the sun and seasons and the growth of vegetation. At the Koran.

same time the religious sanction given to polygamy and slavery, and the sensual nature of the heaven promised to true believers after death, must be condemned as debasing features ; and the divine authority and completeness ascribed to the Koran and the utterances of the Prophet, which were beyond criticism or question, as well as the hostility towards all other forms of religion and philosophy, have necessarily had a very narrowing influence on Muhammadan thought. While the formal and lifeless precision of the religious ser- vices and prayers, as well as the belief in divine interference in the concerns of everyday life, have produced a strong spirit of fatalism and resignation to events.

27. The The word Kuran is derived from kuraa, to recite or proclaim. The Muhammadans look upon the Koran as the direct word of God sent down by Him to the seventh or lowest heaven, and then revealed from time to time to the Prophet by the angel Gabriel. A few chapters are supposed to have been delivered entire, but the greater part of the book was given piecemeal during a period of twenty-three years. The Koran is written in Arabic prose, but its sentences generally conclude in a long -continued rhyme. The language is considered to be of the utmost elegance and purity, and it has become the standard of the Arabic tongue. Muhammadans pay it the greatest reverence, and their most solemn oath is taken with the Koran placed on the head.

Formerly the sacred book could only be touched by a Saiyad or a Mulla, and an assembly always rose when it was brought to them. The book is kept on a high shelf in the house, so as to avoid any risk of contamination, and nothing is placed over it. Every chapter in the Koran except one begins with the invocation, ' Bisniillah-nirrahmdn- nimiJiinil or ' In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful ' ; and nearl}' all Muhammadan prayers and religious writings also begin with this. As the Koran is the direct word of God, any statement in it has the unquestioned and complete force of law. On some points, however, separate utterances in the work itself are contradictory, and the necessity then arises of determining which is the later and more authoritative statement.^ ' Professor Margoliouth's Mukammadanisin and the Dictio]iary of IslCitn.

Next to the Koran in point of authority come the 28. The Traditions of the sayings and actions of the Prophet, which '*"^'"°"^- are known as Hadis or Sunnah. These were eagerly collected as the jurisdiction of Islam was extended, and numerous cases arose for decision in which no ruling was provided by the Koran. For some time it was held necessary that a tradition should be oral and not have been reduced to writing.

When the necessity of collecting and searching for the Traditions became paramount, indefatigable research was displayed in the work. The most trustworthy collection of traditions was compiled by Abu Abdullah Muhammad, a native of Bokhara, who died in the Hijra year 256, or nearly 250 years after Muhammad.

He succeeded in amassing no fewer than 600,000 traditions, of which he selected only 7275 as trustworthy. The authentic traditions of what the Prophet said and did were considered practically as binding as the Koran, and any case might be decided by a tradition bearing on it. The development of Moslem jurisdiction was thus based not on the elucidation and exposition of broad principles of law and equity, but on the record of the words and actions of one man who had lived in a substantially less civilised society than that existing in the countries to which Muham- madan law now came to be applied. Such a state of things inevitably exercised a cramping effect on the Moslem lawyers and acted as a bar to improvement.

Thus, because the Koran charged the Jews and Christians with having corrupted the text of their sacred books, it was laid down that no Jew or Christian could be accepted as a credible witness in a Moslem lawsuit ; and since the Prophet had forbidden the keeping of dogs except for certain necessary purposes, it was ruled by one school that there was no property in dogs, and that if a man killed a dog its owner had no right to compensation.^ After the Koran and Traditions the decisions of certain 29. The lawyers during the early period of Islam were accepted as ^'^^°°'^ authoritative. Of them four schools are recognised by the Sunnis in different countries, those of the Imams Abu Hanifa, Shafei, Malik, and Hambal. In northern India 1 Early Developments 0/ Mtihanniiadamsvt, pp. 87, 97.

the school of Abu Hanifa is followed. He was born at Kufa, the capital of Irak, in the Hijra year 8o, when four of the Prophet's Companions were still alive.

He is the great oracle of jurisprudence, and with his two pupils was the founder of the Hanifi code of law. In southern India the Shafei school is followed.^ The Shiahs have separate collections of traditions and schools of law, and they say that a Mujtahid or doctor of the law can still give decisions of binding authority, which the Sunnis deny. Except as regards marriage, divorce and inheritance and other personal matters, Muhammadan law is of course now superseded by the general law of India. 30. Food. An animal only becomes lawful food for Muhammadans if it is killed by cutting the throat and repeating at the time the words, ' Bismillah Allaho Akbar,' or 'In the name of God, God is great.' But in shooting wild animals, if the invocation is repeated at the time of discharging the arrow or firing the gun, the carcase becomes lawful food.

This last rule of Sunni law is, however, not known to, or not observed by, many Muhammadans in the Central Provinces, who do not eat an animal unless its throat is cut before death. Fish and locusts may be eaten without being killed in this manner. The animal so killed by Zabh is lawful food when slain by a Moslem, Jew or Christian, but not if slaughtered by an idolater or an apostate from Islam. Cloven-footed animals, birds that pick up food with their bills, and fish with scales are lawful, but not birds or beasts of prey.

It is doubtful whether the horse is lawful. Elephants, mules, asses, alligators, turtles, crabs, snakes and frogs are unlawful, and swine's flesh is especially prohibited. Muhammadans eat freely of mutton and fish when they can afford it, but some of them abstain from chickens in imitation of the Hindus. Their favourite drink is sherbet, or sugar and water with cream or the juice of some fruit. Wine is forbidden in the Koran, and the prohibition is held to include intoxicating drugs, but this latter rule is by no means observed. According to his religion a Muhammadan need have no objection to eat with a Christian if the food eaten is of a lawful kind; but he should not eat with Hindus, ' Notes on MiihaDunadanisin, p. 168.

as they are idolaters. In practice, however, many Muham- madans have adopted the Hindu rule against eating food touched by Christians, while owing to long association together they will partake of it when cooked by Hindus.^ The most distinctive feature of Muhammadan dress is 31- Uress. that the men always wear trousers or pyjamas of cotton, silk or chintz cloth, usually white. They may be either tight or loose below the knee, and are secured by a string round the waist.

A Muhammadan never wears the Hindu dhoti or loin-cloth. He has a white, sleeved muslin shirt, made much like an English soft-fronted shirt, but usually without a collar, the ends of which hang down outside the trousers. Over these the well-to-do have a waistcoat of velvet, brocade or broadcloth. On going out he puts on a long coat, tight over the chest, and with rather full skirts hanging below the knee, of cotton cloth or muslin, or some- times broadcloth or velvet. In the house he wears a small cap, and on going out puts on a turban or loose headcloth. But the fashion of wearing the small red fez with a tassel is now increasing among educated Muhammadans, and this serves as a distinctive mark in their dress, which trousers no longer do, as the Hindus have also adopted them.

The removal of the shoes either on entering a house or mosque is not prescribed by Muhammadan law, though it has become customary in imitation of the Hindus. The Prophet in fact said, * Act the reverse of the Jews in your prayers, for they do not pray in boots or shoes.' But he himself sometimes took his shoes off to pray and sometimes not. The following are some of the sayings of the Prophet with regard to dress : ' Whoever wears a silk garment in this world shall not wear it in the next.' ' God will not have compassion on him who wears long trousers (below the ankle) from pride.' ' It is lawful for the women of my people to wear silks and gold ornaments, but it is unlawful for the men.' ' Wear white clothes, because they are the cleanest and the most agreeable, and bury your dead in white clothes.' Men are prohibited from wearing gold ornaments and also silver ones other than a signet ring. A silver ring, of value sufficient to produce a day's food in ^ Dictionary of Islam, s.v. Food,

32. Social rules.

Saluta- tions. case of need, should always be worn. The rule against ornaments has been generally disregarded, and gold and silver ornaments have been regularly worn by men, but the fashion of wearing ornaments is now going out, both among Muhammadan and Hindu men. A rich Muhammadan woman has a long shirt of muslin or net in different colours, embroidered on the neck and shoulders with gold lace, and draping down to the ankles. Under it she wears silk pyjamas, and over it an angia or breast-cloth of silk, brocade or cloth of gold, bordered with gold and silver lace. On the head she has a shawl or square kerchief bordered with lace. A poor woman has simply a bodice and pyjamas, with a cloth round the waist to cover their ends. Women as a rule always wear shoes, even though they do not go out, and they have a profusion of ornaments of much the same character as Hindu women.^

There are certain social obligations known as Farz or im- perative, but if one person in eight or ten perform them it is as if all had done so. These are, to return a salutation ; to visit the sick and inquire after their welfare ; to follow a bier on foot to the grave ; to accept an invitation ; and that when a person sneezes and says immediately, ' AlJianid ul lillaJi ' or ' God be praised,' one of the party must reply, ' Yar Jianiak Allah ' or ' God have mercy on you.' The Muhammadan form of salu- tation is ' Salam u alaikum ' or ' The peace of God be with you,' and the reply is ' Wo alaikum as saldm ' or * And on you also be peace.' "^ From this form has come the common Anglo-Indian use of the word Salaam.

When invitations are to be sent for any important function, such as a wedding, some woman who does not observe parda is employed to carry them. She is dressed in good clothes and provided with a tray containing betel- leaf biras or packets, cardamoms wrapped in red paper, sandalwood and sugar. She approaches any lady invited with great respect, and says : " So-and-so sends her best compliments to you and embraces you, and says that ' as to-morrow there is a little gaiety about to take place in my ' Bomb. Gaz. Muh. Guj. pp. 100- 103, and Dictionary of Islam, art. Dress and Ornaments. - Hughes, Azotes on Muhammad- anism.

house, and I wish all my female friends by their presence to grace and ornament with their feet the home of this poor individual, and thereby make it a garden of roses, you must also positively come, and by remaining a couple of hours honour my humble dwelling with your company." If the invitation is accepted the woman carrying it applies a little sandalwood to the neck, breast and back of the guest, puts sugar and cardamoms into her mouth, and gives her a betel-leaf. If it is declined, only sandalwood is applied and a betel-leaf given.^ Next day dhoolies or litters are sent for the guests, or if the hostess is poor she sends women to escort them to the house before daybreak. The guests are expected to bring presents.

If any ceremony connected with a child is to be performed they give it clothes or sweets, and similar articles of higher value to the bride and bridegroom in the case of a wedding. Certain customs known as Fi trail are supposed to have 33. Cus- existed among the Arabs before the time of the Prophet, ^'^^^' and to have been confirmed by him. These are : To keep the moustache clipped short so that food or drink cannot touch them when entering the mouth ; not to cut or shave the beard ; to clean the teeth with a miswdk or wooden toothbrush ; this should really be done at all prayers, but presumably once or twice a day are held sufficient ; to clean the nostrils and mouth with water at the time of the usual ablutions ; to cut the nails and clean the finger-joints ; and to pull out the hair from under the armpits and the pubic hair.

It is noticeable that though elaborate directions are given for washing the face, hands and feet before each prayer, there is no order to bathe the whole body daily, and this may probably not have been customary in Arabia owing to the scarcity of water."-^ And while many Muhammadans have adopted the Hindu custom of daily bathing, yet others in quite a respectable position have not, and only bathe once a week before going to the mosque. Gambling as well as the drinking of wine is prohibited in the Koran according to the text : " O believers ! Surely wine and ^ Qdnfin-i-Isld/n, pp. 24, 25. This been abandoned, account is a veiy old one, and the - Hughes, Dictionary of Isldiii, s.v. elaborate procedure may now have Fitrah. VOL. I T

games of chance and statues and the divining-arrows are an abomination of Satan's work." Statues as well as pictures were prohibited, because at this time they were probably made only as idols to be worshipped, the prohibition being exactly analogous to that contained in the Second Commandment.

The Koran enjoins a belief in the exist- ence of magic, but forbids its practice. Magic is considered to be of two kinds, that accomplished with the help of the Koran and the names of prophets and saints, which is divine or good, and evil magic practised with the aid of genii and evil spirits which is strongly condemned. Divining-rods apparently belong to the latter class. Perfection in divine magic consists in the knowledge of the Ismi Aazam or Great Name, a knowledge first possessed by the prophet Sulaiman or Solomon, and since Solomon transmitted only to those who are highly favoured by Providence. This appears to be the true name of God, which is too awful and potent to be known or used by the commonalty

hence Allah, really an epithet, is used instead.

It was in virtue of engraving the great name on his ring that Solomon possessed dominion over men and genii, and over the winds and birds and beasts. The uttering of Solomon's own name casts out demons, cures the sick, and raises the dead. The names of certain prophets and holy men have also a special virtue, and written charms of mj^sterious numerical combinations and diagrams have power for good.^ Both kinds of magic are largely practised by Muhammadans. Muhammad disapproved of whistling, apparently because whistling and clapping the hands were part of the heathen ritual at Mecca. Hence it is considered wrong for good Muhammadans to whistle.- The inferior status of women in Islam is inherited from tioiii^of Arabian society before the time of Muhammad. Among the pagan Arabs a woman was a mere chattel, and descended by inheritance. Hence the union of men with their step- mothers and mothers-in-law was common. Muhammad forbade these incestuous marriages, and also the prevalent practice of female infanticide. He legalised polygamy, ' Bomb. Gaz. Muh. Guj. pp. 143, ^ Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, s.v. 144. Whistling. 34. Posi-

but limited it to four wives, and taught that women as well as men could enter paradise. It would have been quite impossible to abolish polygamy in Arabia at the time when he lived, nor could he strike at the practice of secluding women even if he had wished to do so. This last custom has shown an unfortunate persistence, and is in full force among Indian Muhammadans, from whom the higher castes of Hindus in northern India have perhaps imitated it. Nor can it be said to show much sign of weakening at present.

It is not universal over the Islamic world, as in Afghanistan women are not usually secluded. As a matter of fact both polygamy and divorce are very rare among Indian Muhammadans. Mr. Hughes quotes an interesting passage against polygamy from a Persian book on marriage customs: "That man is to be praised who confines himself to one wife, for if he takes two it is wrong and he will certainly repent of his folly. Thus say the seven wise women : Be that man's life immersed in gloom Who weds more wives than one, With one his cheeks retain their bloom. His voice a cheerful tone ;

These speak his honest heart at rest. And he and she are always blest ; But when with two he seeks his joy. Together they his soul annoy ; With two no sunbeam of delight Can make his day of misery bright." Adultery was punished by stoning to death in accordance with the Jewish custom. Usury or the taking of interest on loans was prohibited 35. inter- by the Prophet. This precept was adopted from the Mosaic law and emphasised, and while it has to all appearance been discarded by the Jews, it is still largely adhered to by Moslems. In both cases the prohibition was addressed to a people in the pastoral stage of culture when loans were probably very rare and no profit could as a rule be made by taking a loan, as it would not lead to any increase. Loans would only be made for subsistence, and as the borrower was probably always poor, he would frequently be unable to pay the principal much less the interest, and est on monev education.

would ultimately become the slave of the creditor in lieu of his debt. Usury would thus result in the enslavement of a large section of the free community, and would be looked upon as an abuse and instrument of tyranny. As soon as the agricultural stage is reached usury stands on a different footing. Loans of seed for sowing the land and of cattle or money for ploughing it then become frequent and necessary, and the borrower can afford to pay interest from the profit of the harvest.

It is clearly right and proper also that the lender should receive a return for the risk involved in the loan and the capacity of gain thus conferred on the borrower, and usury becomes a properly legitimate and necessary institution, though the rate, being probably based on the return yielded by the earth to the seed, has a tendency to be very excessive in primitive societies. The prohibition of interest among Muhammadans is thus now a hopeless anachronism, which has closed to those who observe it some of the most important professions. A tendency is happily visible towards the abrogation of the rule, and Mr. Marten notes that the Berar Muhammadan Council has set an example by putting out its own money at interest.

The Indian Muhammadans have generally been con- sidered to be at a disadvantage in modern India as compared with the Hindus, owing to their unwillingness to accept regular English education for their sons, and their adherence to the simply religious teaching of their own Maulvis. How- ever this may have been in the past, it is doubtful whether it is at all true of the present generation. While there is no doubt that Muhammadans consider it of the first importance that their sons should learn Urdu and be able to read the Koran, there are no signs of Muhammadan boys being kept away from the Government schools, at least in the Central Provinces. The rationalising spirit of Sir Saiyad Ahmad, the founder of the Ali;i;-arh College, and the general educa- tional conference for Indian Muhammadans has, through the excellent training given by the College, borne continually increasing fruit. A new class of educated and liberal-minded Muhammadan gentlemen has grown up whose influence on

  • C.P. Census Report, 191 1, p. 66.

the aims and prejudices of the whole Muhammadan com- munity is gradually becoming manifest.

The statistics of occupation given at the commencement of this article show that the Muhammadans have a much larger share of all classes of administrative posts under Government than they would obtain if these were awarded on a basis of population. Presumably when it is asserted that Muhammadans are less successful than Hindus under the British Government, what is meant is that they have partly lost their former position of the sole governing class over large areas of the country. The community are now fully awake to the advantages of education, and their Anjumans or associations have started high schools which educate students up to the entrance of the university on the same lines as the Government schools. Where these special schools do not exist, Muhammadan boys freely enter the ordinary schools, and their standard of intelligence and application is in no way inferior to that of Hindu boys.

See also

Intestate assets: India <>

Muslims: India <>

Muslims in central India: 1916 <>

Muslims of Tibet

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