IN the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. I[1] was told by al-Shaykh abu-al-Husayn al-Muburak ibn-'Abd-al-Jabbar ibn-Ahmad al-Sayrafi[2], from whom I received the recension, that, in the year [of the Hijrah] 463[3], abu-Ja'far Muhammad ibn-Ahmad ibn-al-Muslimah[4] related to him that he was told by abu-Ubayd-Allah Muhammad ibn-'Imran ibn-Musa al-Marzubani[5], with the permission to teach, that abu-Bakr Ahmad ibn-Muhammad ibn-'Abdullah al-Jawhari[6] had related to him on the authority of abu-'Ali al-Hasan ibn-'Ulayl al-Anazi[7] that abu-al-Hasan 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbah ibn-Furat[8] said that in the year [of the Hijrah] 201[9], while studying at the feet of Hisham ibn-al-Kalbi, he received the following:




Hisham ihn-Muhammad al-Kalbi said: I was informed by my father[10] and others, and I personally checked and ascertained their report, that when Ishmael, the son of Abraham, settled in Mecca, he begot many children. [Their descendants] multiplied so much that they crowded the city and supplanted its original inhabitants, the Amalekites. Later on Mecca became overcrowded with them, and dissension and strife arose among them, causing them to fight among themselves and consequently be dispersed throughout the land where they roamed seeking a livelihood.

The reason which led them to the worship of images and stones was the following: No one left Mecca without carrying away with him a stone from the stones of the Sacred House (al-Haram) as a token of reverence to it, and as a sign of deep affection to Mecca. Wherever he settled he would erect that stone and circumambulate it in the same manner he used to circumambulate the Ka'bah [before his departure from Mecca], seeking thereby its blessing and affirming his deep affection for the Sacred House. In fact, the Arabs still venerate the Ka'bah and Mecca and journey to them in order to perform the pilgrimage and visitation, conforming thereby to the time honored custom which they inherited from Abraham and Ishmael.

In time this led them to the worship of whatever took their fancy, and caused them to forget their former worship. They exchanged the religion of Abraham and Ishmael for another. Consequently they took to the worship of images, becoming like the nations before them. They sought and determined what the people of Noah had worshiped of these images and adopted the worship of those which were still remembered among them. Among these devotional practices were some which came down from the time of Abraham and Ishmael, such as the veneration of the House[11] and its circumambulation,




the pilgrimage, the visitation or the lesser (al-umrah), the vigil (al-wuqul) on 'Arafah [12] and [al-] Muzdalifah[13] sacrificing she-camels, and raising acclamation of the name of the deity (tahlil)[14] age and the visitation, introducing there into belonging to it. Thus whenever the Nizar[15] raised their voice[7] the tahlil, they were wont to say:

"Here we are O Lord! Here we are! Here we are!
Thou hast no associate save one who is thine
Thou hast dominion over him and over what he
possesseth[16]. "

They would thus declare His unity through the talbiyah[17] and at the same tune associate their gods with Him placing their affairs in His hands. Consequently, God said to His Prophet, "And most of them believe not in associating other deities with Him[18]." In other words, they would not declare His unity through the knowledge of His rightful dues, without associating with Him some of His own creatures.

The talbiyah of the 'Akk[19], whenever they set out on a pilgrimage, was as follows: They would place at the head of the caravan two of their black slave who would lead the procession and say,

"We are the two ravens of the 'Akk!"

Thereupon the 'Akk would say in response,



"The 'Akk humble themselves before thee; Thy Yamanite servants are we.
[We are come] to perform another pilgrimage."

Whenever the Rahi'ah[20] performed the pilgrimage, observed the sacred rites and ceremonies, and carried out the vigils at the appointed places, they were wont to start back with the first returning group and not wait until the al tashriq[21].

The first to change the religion of Ishmael, set up images for worship, institute the practices of the sa'ibah[22], the wasilah[23], the bairah[24], the hamiyah[25], was 'Amr ibn-Rabi'ah, who is Luhayy ibn-Harithah ibn-Amr ibn-'Amir al-Azdi[26], the father of the Khuz'ah[27] [tribe].




The mother of 'Amr ibn-Lubayy was Fuhayrah[28], the daughter of 'Amr ibn-al-Harith[29]. It is also said that she was Qam'ah[30], the daughter of Mudad al-Jurhumi[31].

It was al-Harith[32] who used to be the custodian of the Ka'bah. But when 'Amr ibn-Luhayy came [to Mecca] he disputed his right to its custody, and with the aid of the children of Ishmael, fought the Jurhumites[33], defeated them, and cleared them out of the Ka'bah; he then drove them out of Mecca, and took over the custody of the Sacred House (al Bayt) after them.

He then became very sick, and was told, "There is a hot spring in al-Balqa[34], in Syria (al-Sha'm); if you would go there, you would be cured[35]." So he went to the hot spring, bathed therein, and was cured. During his stay there, he noticed that the inhabitants of the place worshipped idols. He, therefore, queried them saying, "What are these things?" To which they replied, "To them we pray for rain, and from them we seek victory over the enemy." Thereupon he asked them to give him [a few of those idols], and they did. He took them back with him to Mecca and erected them around the Ka'bah.




1. The speaker is abu-Mansur Mawhub ibn-Ahmad al-Jawaliqi; see above, p. xi.

2. d. A.H. 500/A.D. 1106-1107; see ibn-al-Athir, vol. x, pp.305-306.

3. A.D. 1070-1071.

4. d. A.H. 465 / A.D. 1072-1073; see al-Dhahabi, al-Dhayl al-Tamm bi-Duwal al-Islam (Hyderabad, 1337), vol. 1, p.212.

5. d. A.H. 384 / AD. 994; Ta'rikh Baghdad, vol. III, pp.135-136.

6. Died after A.H. 333/ A.D. 944-945; see Ta'rikh Baghdad vol. v, p. 44.

7. d. A.H. 290/ A.D. 902-903; see Ta'rikh Baghdad, vol. VII, pp. 398-399.

8. d. A.H. 262/ A.D. 875-876; see Ta'rikh Baghdad, vol. xi, pp 439-440

9. A.D. 816-817.

10. Muhammad ibn-al-Sa'ib al-Kalbi, d. A.H. 146 / A.D. 763; al-Fihrist, p.95.

11. The Ka'bah.

12. Buldan, vol. iii, pp. 645-648.

13. ibid., vol. iv, pp. 519-520. Both 'Arafah and places in the vicinity of Meets connected with the pilgrimage.

14. The normal formula of the tahlil is: la ialaha illa allah (There is no God but Allah); cf. hallelujah.

15. The main group of the North-Arabian tribes; see ibn-Durayd al Azdi, Kitab al-lshtiqaq, ed. F. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen, 1854, p. 20.

16. Ar. labbayka allahumma labbayka labbayka lak illa sharikun husa lak tamlikuhu wa.ma malak

17. For the most common formula of the talbiyah, see al-Bukhari Sahih, Hajj:26. It is an old formula of salutation to the diety.

18. Surah XII: 106.

19. A large South Arabian tribe. See Ishtiqaq, p.287.

20. A large North Arabian tribe. See Ishtiqaq, p. l89.

21. These are the days next after the day of sacrifice which is the tenth day of dhu-al-Hujjah. They are now days of rest after the peripatetic performance of the last four days. Evidently they had pre-Islamic antecedents. The tashriq may either mean turning eastward in worship, or drying up the blood of the sacrifice in the torrid sun of Mecca. It may also mean sunrise prayer, to which meaning I incline. Cf. Surah II :199.

22. The liberation of a certain animal in honor of idols was prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia. in Surah v:103, the practice is vehemently condemned. The sa'ibah signifies any beast left to pasture without attention. According to some, it is the mother of the bahirah, or a she-camel which, having brought forth females at ten successive births, was act at liberty to pasture where it would, and was not ridden nor its milk taken.

23. A she-goat which browght forth twins, a male and a female; when the male was brought forth alone, it was slaughtered to the idols, the female alone being kept; but in case of the male and the female being born twins, the male was considered joined to the female, and was not, therefore, sacrificed.

24. A she-camel hiving its ears slit. When a she-camel, or a she-goat, had brought forth five, or seven, or ten, young ones, the last of these, if a male, was slaughtered; but if a female, its ears were slit. According to others, it was the mother; it being also exempt from slaughter and from carrying burdens.

25. A stallion-camel left at liberty, the offspring of which in the second degree of descent has been fertile.

26. Ishtiqaq p. 276; ibn-Hisham Sirat Rausl Allah, ed. F. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen, 1858-9, p. 50ff.

27. A south Arabian tribe. See Ishtiqaq p. 276.

28. cf. Tabari, vol. i, p. 1132, where the name is mentioned as the daughter of 'Amir ilin-al-Harith; also ihn-Durayd, "Jamharat al-Nasab" (Escurial MS), f. 150-; Taj al-Arus, entry mdd.

29. Also 'Amir; Tabari, vol. i, pp. 1131-1133; Wahb ibn-Munabbih, Kitab al-Tijan (Hyderabad, 1347), pp.211-212.

30. Unidentified.

31. Tabari, vol. I, p. 1031.

32. ibid., vol. 1, p. 675; Kitab al-Tijan, pp. 179ff.

33. For a list of the Jurhumite kings, see abu-al-Fida', Mukhtasar Ta'rikh al-Bashar (Constantinople, 1286), vol. 1, p. 77; Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. xii, p.103.

34. Buldan, vol. 1, pp.728-729.

35. cf. the story of Naaman the Syrian, II Kings 5.