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the Bukra Ede will enter Paradise riding on a camel, whilst other good and true believers will only enter it on a goat. Now, the advantage of riding the camel is, that from the trees of Paradise the riders on the camel can pluck the luscious fruit as they go along, whilst those riding on the goat cannot reach it. All this, and more of religious knowledge, did we learn from our good mistress the queen, who was learned and pious.
The Subrath is a feast of woe, in honour of the dead. Flour, ghee or clarified butter, sugar, almonds, and raisins, are all made into a kind of paste, called hulwa. When all is ready, and cakes of unleavened bread baked, a space is cleared for the ceremony, and a pan with fire in it placed in the midst. Five unleavened cakes are placed in the cleared space round the fire. The family dead are then enumerated one by one, name by name, and as each name is mentioned a portion of the cake and of the hulwa is dropped into the fire, and good wishes for his condition in the future life are expressed. All the family dead for two generations back
were thus named in the queen's household, but it is not right on these occasions to mention those who have died within two moons of the Subrath. If five or six moons have elapsed, then the names may be mentioned; and it being the first mention of them, a longer address is made use of, and more ceremony used in naming the name of the deceased. The ceremony is then concluded by pouring out forty jars of water. Forty is a sacred number, the queen explained to usmany events being recorded in the Koran with forty attached-forty days, forty years, forty prophets, forty stars, and such like. The rich add to this giving of alms to the poor, and in the doing of this our queen was very liberal, and we servants had our little advantages in it. Lastly lamps are lit upon the graves of the deceased, which makes the Subrath of the Mussulmans look like the Dewalee of the Hindus. But they are very different. Are not the Hindus pagans and worshippers of idols and unbelievers ?
THE MOHURRIM is a time of mourning kept in remembrance of the deaths of Hassain and Hoossen, the sons of Huzrut Aly.* The Soonnies only celebrate the Mohurrim for ten days, and they carry about no images or models. The Sheeahs celebrate the festival for forty days, with much parade, and images, and models, and some acting. During this fast, or festival of woe, no tobacco or pawn (betel-nut chewed with spices and lime) is used, and men and women are not to indulge in any sensual pleasures, but all ought to mourn and lament, with soul and body. The queen kept the Mohurrim so strictly,
* The term Huzrut is equivalent to our Saint. Noah and Abraham and Christ are always spoken of by Mussulmans as Huzrut Noah, &c.
that she would not change her clothes those forty days, used no oil or sweet scents, put no missee (tooth-powder) to her teeth, nor mayndee (colouring matter like rouge) to her hands or feet, and left off all her ornaments. No marriages ought to be celebrated or contracted during the Mohurrim, and in properly conducted households the men and women live separately at that time.
Every Mohurrim the queen instructed us diligently in the story of the deaths of Hassain and Hoossen, and I heard it all so often that I remember every word of it. The queen would tell it thus:
Shortly after the time of the Prophet, whose name be always blessed, there were four brothers, leaders of the faithful: their names were Huzrut Aly, Yahudy, Zenabia Abas Alaam, and Zenabia Ameen Alaam. They disagreed amongst themselves on points of faith, too difficult for servants to understand; Abas Alaam sided with Huzrut Aly, who was the true follower of the Prophet, and Ameen Alaam sided with Yahudy, who was a father of error. The commander-in
chief of Huzrut Aly's forces was Syud Salár, who, after a little, deserted, with all his forces, to Yahudy, and a civil war began. Cursed be those that breed dissension amongst the faithful! In the course of the war Yahudy, whose name and memory be for ever defiled, bribed one of the bodyguard of Huzrut Aly to cut off his chief's head, and the bribe was. his daughter in marriage, the betrothed of Hassain, son of Huzrut Aly. This girl was beautiful as a houri, and the bribe was more than enough to corrupt even a good man. But so attached and devoted were the few followers of the saint, that the one who was faithless waited long in vain for an opportunity to execute his wicked purpose, born of the devil. The army of Yahudy was large, and Huzrut Aly, with only a few followers, was shut up, besieged, and in want of all things-water and provisions and ammunition.
At length the day of the martyrdom of the saint dawned. As he was on his way to the musjid for morning prayers, according to his wont, a goose caught hold of his robe, and