Travels in Arabia: Comprehending an Account of Those Territories in Hedjaz which the Mohammedans Regard as Sacred

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H. Colburn, 1829 - Arabia - 478 pages
John Lewis Burckhardt (1784-1817), the son of a Swiss Colonel undertook the journey to Mekkah in 1814. A master of the Arabic language and the Islamic religion, he assumed the guise of an Arab using the name of Sheikh Ibrahim in his travels, which he began in 1809 under the sponsorship of Sir Joseph Banks and the African Association. Burckhardt's description of the Hedjaz was the first accurate one to reach Europe. According to Leake in his preface ..." Burckhardt transmitted to the Association the most accurate and complete account of the Hedjaz, including the cities of Mekka and Medina, which has ever been received in Europe." His journals are invaluable for their observations on the Arab people and for his important geographical discoveries, including the site of Petra, Apameia, and the general structure of the peninsula of Mount Sinai. His knowledge of the Arabic language, and of Mohammedan manners, had enabled him to assumne the Muselman character with such success, that he resided in Mekka during the whole time of the pilgrimage, and passed through the various ceremonies of the occasion, without the slightest suspicion having arisen as to his real character. The folding plans include Makkah, Madinah, Wady Muna and Arafat.
 

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Page 273 - But the holy kaaba is rendered the scene of such indecencies and criminal acts, as cannot with propriety be more particularly noticed. They are not only practised here with impunity, but, it may be said, almost publicly ; and my indignation has often been excited on witnessing abominations which called forth from other passing spectators nothing more than a laugh or a slight reprimand.
Page 136 - Pasha the Kadhy of Mekka, who was then at Tayf for his health ; and that the former, when he heard of my desire to visit the holy cities, observed jocosely, " it is not the beard * alone which proves a man to be a true Moslem ;" but turning towards the Kadhy, he said, " you are a better judge in such matters than I am.
Page 247 - It is an irregular oval, about seven inches in diameter, with an undulated surface, composed of about a dozen smaller stones of different sizes and shapes, well joined together with a small quantity of cement, and perfectly...
Page 250 - Myzab, or water-spout, through which the rain-water collected on the roof of the building is discharged, so as to fall upon the ground ; it is about four feet in length, and six inches in breadth, as well as I could judge from below, with borders equal in height to its breadth. At the mouth, hangs what is called the beard of the Myzab, a gilt board, over which the water falls. This spout was sent hither from Constantinople in AH 981, and is reported to be of pure gold. The pavement round the...
Page 248 - It appeared to me like a lava, containing several small extraneous particles, of a whitish and of a yellowish substance. Its colour is now a deep reddish brown, approaching to black: it is surrounded on all sides by a border, composed of a substance which I took to be a close cement of pitch and gravel, of a similar, but not quite the same brownish colour. This border serves to support its detached pieces; it is two or three inches in breadth, and rises a little above the surface of the stone: Both...
Page 31 - Bey, who twice visited Jeddah, makes no allusion to it ; we may therefore conclude that it had been destroyed by the Wahhabis. Burckhardt, who, I need scarcely say, has been carefully copied by our popular authors, was informed that it was a " rude structure of stone, about four feet in length, two or three feet in height, and as many in breadth"; thus resembling the tomb of Noah, seen in the valley of Al-Buka'a in Syria. Bruce writes: "Two days...
Page 279 - Windows have, in consequence, been opened in many parts of the walls, on a level with the street, and above that of the floor of the colonnades. Hadjys living in these apartments are allowed to perform the Friday's prayers at home ; because, having the...
Page x - Mohammedan manners had now enabled him to assume the Mussulman character with such success, that he resided at Mekka, during the whole time of the pilgrimage, and passed through the various ceremonies of the occasion, without the smallest suspicion having arisen as to his real character.
Page 221 - About the middle of the Soueyga (Little Market), where the street is only four paces in breadth, are stone benches on each side. Here Abyssinnian male and female slaves are exposed for sale; and as beauty is an universal attraction, these benches are always surrounded by hadjys, both old and young, who often pretend to bargain with the dealers, for the purpose of viewing the slavegirls, during a few moments, in some adjoining apartment. Many of these slaves are carried from hence to the northern...
Page 245 - They are of sufficient breadth to admit four or five persons to walk abreast, and they are elevated about nine inches above the ground. Between these causeways, which are covered with fine gravel or sand, grass appears growing in several places, produced by the...

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