reason why it should be prohibited than the flesh of the camel, ass, or horse, all allowed by Mahomet. It was, indeed, a matter indifferent, in which each was free to follow his taste and fancy. The prohibition is moreover set down to the pernicious teaching of Abdallah ibn Sallam, the Jew, who had depraved the faith; and for this Mahomet himself was nowise responsible.

and rites
of Mecca
The invitation to observe the Pilgrimage and the Meccan rites, is derided by Al Kindy, as if his Friend took him for a child or a fool. "Knowest thou not that the same is the practice of the Sun-worshippers and Brahmas in India at the present day? They make the circuit of their idol temples, with just these ceremonies, shaved and naked, or with the dress they call ihrām. The only difference is that ye perform it once in the year at a movable season while they do it twice at certain solar conjunctions, one in the spring when the heat begins, the other in autumn when the cold sets in.1 Such is the origin of these idolatrous customs. Thou well knowest that the Arabs practised them from the foundation of the Kāaba; and thy Master continued the same, with only this alteration, that on account of the distance and labour of travel, he limited the Pilgrimage to one period of the year, and abolished what was indecent in the pilgrim dress.2 Thus, that

1  Our familiar Indian terms Rubbee and Khurreef are given for the Spring and Autumn festivals.

2  Our Author is at fault here; for the only change made by Mahomet in the season of pilgrimage was to abolish the intercalary month, so that the pilgrimage shifts with the lunar, instead of being stationary, according to the luni-solar year.---"Life of Mahomet," p. 486.


which ye perform in nothing differs from the idolatrous ceremonies of the Sun-worshippers and idolaters of India. There is a saying attributed to Omar as he stood by the Black Stone and the Station (of Abraham);1 'By the Lord! I know that neither of these stones can benefit nor hurt; but I have seen the Prophet kiss them both, and therefore I do the same.' Now whether they spake false or true in attributing this utterance to Omar, they certainly spake what is true as regardeth the stones themselves." Shaving the head, making bare the body, running the prescribed circuits about the Kāaba, and casting the small stones at Minā, senseless and unmeaning rites, were defended by some as acts of service to the Deity; but the worship of God should be conducted, not by unfit and foolish practices, but by observances consonant with reason, pleasing to the Almighty, and edifying to His servants. If otherwise, then why abandon the objectionable customs of the Magians, who thought it lawful to take to wife their own mothers, sisters, and daughters, with other such-like abominations? "But what could be more vile (he seizes the opportunity of adding) than your own ordinance for legalising remarriage after the thrice-repeated divorce; for by it,

1  The "Macām." See "Life of Mahomet," p. 423 (also 1st edition, vol. ii. p. 38).